Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku Collection — A Digital Exhibition on Japanese Puppet Theater with a Whole Lot of Data


Barbara Curtis Adachi Collection Item 9040 –

Barbara Curtis Adachi Collection Item 9040 – “The Visit of Benkei.” Retrieved from

The Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku Collection is a digital exhibition for Columbia’s Starr East Asian Library. The online Bunraku gallery is divided into plays, productions, authors, kashira (puppets), characters, performers, and image tags, and even includes data on individual performances and scenes. It documents the form’s revival in the second half of the 20th century, through more than 12,500 digitized slides and nearly 7,000 black-and-white photographs of rehearsals and performances.

The current exhibit is a deeply relational, fully static site that I migrated from a legacy MySQL and custom CakePHP application in 2018. The process involved extracting the SQL data and transforming them into standardized JSON records. I then designed a Jekyll theme and workflow for rendering the data in ways that encourage holistic user exploration as well as faceted search. The site also includes custom interactive D3 data visualizations.

Style Revolution p2p?