Exploring Republican China in the USC Digital Library: An Experimental Metadata Analysis

Social Network Analysis

Because the majority of the items in USC's Republican China collections lack information about interpersonal relationships in their descriptions, it is difficult to investigate the plausible social networks of personal names represented in these collections. Nevertheless, we experimented with the co-occurrence of two names mentioned together in the same document as a criterion for possible undirected relationships in our social network analysis to showcase some possible connections between these personal names.

Cytoscape, a powerful open-source network analysis software, was used to analyze the network node and edge data for connected components, modularity, and degree centrality. As a result, we discovered 11 top connectors in the possible social networks of these names. 

Consistent with our findings on personal names, U.S. Navy officer Harry E. Yarnell (1875-1959) [Bio], the top mentioned name in the collections, is the arguably central connector of the possible social networks. He had undirected connections with over 90 people from various backgrounds, including prominent Chinese political figures such as Chiang Kai-Shek 蔣介石 (1887-1975) [Bio], Wang Jingwei 汪精衛 (1883-1944) [Bio], T. V. (Tzu-wen) Soong 宋子文 (1894-1971) [Bio], and H. H. (Hsiang-hsi) Kung 孔祥熙 (1880-1967) [Bio]. Likewise, Chiang Kai-Shek 蔣介石, the top mentioned Chinese name in the collections, is the most connected Chinese person in our social network analysis. He was linked to over 20 personal names, most of which were warlords and military officers such as Zhang Xueliang 張學良 (1901-2001) [Bio] and He Yingqin 何應欽 (1890-1987) [Bio]. The graph below depicts a detailed view of the complex social networks that could exist.

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