117 results in English
Imperial Calendar in the Third Year of Emperor Jia Jing’s Reign in the Ming Dynasty
The Da Ming Jiajing san nian datong li (Imperial calendar, or great universal system of calculating astronomy) is based upon the system of calendrical astronomy developed by the astronomer Guo Shoujin during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). It was officially adapted by the Ming Bureau of Astronomy in 1384. It specified the phases of the moon and contained predictions of when lunar and solar eclipses would occur. The great Chinese navigator Zheng He used Guo Shoujing's methods to determine latitude and longitude on his voyages to the Pacific and Indian ...
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Chronicle of Foreign Lands
The Zhifang waiji (Chronicle of foreign lands) is a concise geography of the world, the first of its kind written in Chinese. The Italian Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci produced a map of the world in Chinese in 1584. The map, which followed Western principles of cartography then unknown in China, underwent several revisions between 1584 and 1602. Ricci’s fellow priests Diego de Pantoja and Sabatino de Ursis were instructed by imperial order to compose a book explaining the map. Pantoja died in 1618 and the work eventually was completed ...
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Illustrated Guide of Tilling and Weaving: Rural Life in China
This book is comprised of 23 illustrations of tilling and 23 illustrations of weaving, each of which is accompanied by a poem. According to the "Preface to the imperially commissioned illustrations of tilling and weaving" and the formal memorandum of presentation by Yan Yudun, the poems were inscribed by the Kangxi Emperor. The painter, Jiao Bingzhen, for the most part draws on the “Tilling and Weaving Illustrations" by the early Southern Song painter Lou Shou, making adjustments to produce these pictures, which are masterpieces of art, notable for their vivacity ...
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Kangxi Dictionary
This book was compiled by Zhang Yushu, Chen Tingjing, and other famous philologists and linguists from all over China in response to an edict from Emperor Shengzu in the 49th year of the Kangxi era. The work was completed in the 55th year of the Kangxi era. Through diplomats, missionaries, and the 1904 Saint Louis World Exposition, the Library of Congress acquired editions of the Kangxi Dictionary published in 1716, 1780, 1827, and 1878.
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Lotus Sutra
This printed edition of this work from the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127) is the sole copy in existence. It was originally in the collection of Fu Zengxiang, and was acquired by the Library of Congress in 1941.
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Life and Activities of Shakyamuni Buddha Incarnate
The vivid colors in this Chinese book are reminiscent of the pictures in medieval European manuscripts. Liu Ruoyu (Ming dynasty) records this edition in his Neiban jingshu jilue (Outline record of imperial editions): “Life and Activities of Shakyamuni Incarnate: Four volumes, 440 pages.” The original book, by the Ming monk Baocheng, is in six juan (sections) and is titled Shijia rulai yinghua lu (Record of the teachings of the thus-come Śākyamuni Buddha), which indicates that the book was revised and combined with other texts before the printing blocks for it ...
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Grand Ceremony Celebrating the Emperor’s Birthday, Premier Compilation
This work, in 120 juan and 40 volumes celebrating Emperor Kangxi’s 60th birthday, was compiled by landscape painter and official Wang Yuanqi (1642–1715) and others and published at the imperial Wuying Hall in the 56th year of the Kangxi reign (1717). It also includes memorials by high officials to the imperial court petitioning and seeking approval for the issuance of the work. The work took several years to complete, with a total of 39 officials participating in the project. Among them was Leng Mei, a famed artist of ...
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Nanking Illustrated
This book was compiled by Zhu Zhifan of the Ming dynasty. Down through the ages, the famous sites of Jinling (Nanjing) have been called “Eight Views” or “Sixteen Views.” Zhifan broadened this list to make 40 scenes, which he had Lu Shoubai paint (the 40th scene has a colophon by Lu Shoubai). Zhifan assembled the scenes with poems and accounts of changes that the sites had undergone, written in his own hand, and printed the entire compilation. At the end are poems by Du Shiquan that harmonize with the poems ...
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A Tale of Two Gardens: Apricot Garden, Bamboo Garden
Eryuan ji (Gatherings in two gardens) was printed as a composite work by Xu Lun when he was provincial governor in Taiyuan, combining the “Painting of an Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden,” depicting a gathering attended by nine eminent persons including Yang Rong and Yang Shiqi, and the “Painting of a Longevity Gathering," depicting the 60th birthday party for Tu Yong, Zhou Jing, Lü Zhong, and others.
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A Complete Study of the Chinese Zither
This book includes both research on Chinese music and detailed and complete marginalia. Although the book has been damaged, it remains valuable. The prefatory note on the use of the book records its contents, including detailed research into the origins of notes and pitches; complete standards for the construction of a floor zither (qin); a compilation of the theories of musicologists; a compilation of digests of fingering techniques; a strict comparison of tunes that have been handed down or recovered, with detailed collation of measures and lines; edited essays of ...
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An Album of the Miao Minority
This book contains 41 illustrations, with texts on the left and illustrations on the right. The painting is meticulous, the engraving and drawing lively, the people lifelike, and the colors rich, retaining their freshness after more than 200 years. The illustrations show that in the region depicted, the Miao, Lao, and Han Chinese lived in mixed communities and had customs that were quite different from those in other places in China. The illustrations, organized by category, give a picture of the area and the people's way of life in ...
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Biographical Records of the Royal Mu Family
This work is a faithful copy, by a painter of the Mu clan commissioned by Joseph Rock, to reproduce ancestral portraits that had been handed down through the ages. The body of the work records the Tusi Mu of Lijiang in Yunnan from the 1st through the 33rd generations. Rock (1884-1962) was an explorer, adventurer, and scientist who was born in Austria and later became a U.S. citizen. He spent much of his life in remote areas of western China, sponsored at different times by National Geographic, Harvard University ...
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Imperial Comments Concerning Illustrations of the Cotton Industry
This book is comprised of paintings by Fang Guancheng, with illustrations and text facing each other. The text is the same as in Fang’s memorial (on the cotton industry); the illustrations are slightly different. The first volume contains eight pictures, from “Planting” to “Ginning;” the second volume contains another eight pictures, from “Fluffing the Cotton” to “Bleaching and Dyeing.”
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Fang Family Ink Illustrations
Following prefaces written by various experts, this book contains passages from “Ink Table” by Yuan Fuzheng, “Documents on Ink" by Wang Daoguan, "Rhapsody on Ink" by Wang Daohui, and "Table of Inks" by Wang Daokun, all of which praise the author, Fang Yulu. However, no mention is made of Cheng (Junfang). This would suggest that although Cheng's “Garden of Ink” had not yet made its appearance, the rift between the two had already begun.
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Illustrated Album of Yangzhou Prefecture
The album, by an unknown artist, contains twelve illustrations depicting Yangzhou Prefecture and the eleven counties of Jiangdu, Guazhou, Yizhen, Qinxing, Gaoyou, Xinghua, Baoying, Qinzhou, Rugao, Tongzhou, and Haimen. Each illustration is followed by an essay on the history of the county depicted. Situated along the Grand Canal and close to the Yangtze River, Yangzhou had been a leading economic and cultural center and major trading port since the Tang dynasty. This work provides both textual and visual testimony to its place in history. The information in the county histories ...
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Emperor Kangxi's Poems on Thirty-Six Scenic Spots of Bi Shu Shan Zhuang, the Imperial Summer Resort
Bi shu shan zhuang is China’s largest imperial palace garden. Situated in Rehe (present-day Chengde, Hebei province) in a river valley bordered by mountains on the west, north, and east, the villa consists of palace halls, lakes, plains, and mountains. Construction of the complex spanned many years, beginning in 1703 under Emperor Kangxi (1654-1722). On the occasion of the completion of the main palace complex in 1711, Kangxi bestowed the title of Bi shu shan zhuang (Summer Mountain Villa) on the villa and selected 36 scenic spots and composed ...
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Illustrated Account of the Suppression of the Rebels
Yuan Mo, the author of the work, was a Grand Inspector to Henan who, in March 1633-April 1635, during the reign of Chongzhen, the last Ming emperor, led the Ming army in attacking and suppressing the peasant rebels in the province. Yuan was at one point briefly relieved of his duty, but returned to his post and died shortly thereafter, in 1635. The events described in the work complement the account of the peasant uprising in Ming shi (History of the Ming) with many additional details. The fine engraving of ...
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Ji Guang Jing, Land of Solitude and Illumination
This three-volume work by Hong Yingming, a Ming-dynasty philosopher, known also under his style name Zicheng, contains portraits of Buddhas. Volume one depicts 19 Buddhas of India; volumes two and three contain portraits of 42 Buddhas of China. The work includes brief biographies.
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Illustrated Classic of Mountains and Seas
Shan hai jing (Classic of the mountains and seas) is a Chinese classic text describing mountains, regions within and beyond the seas, and mythic animals. The author or authors and the date of composition are unknown. During the Jin dynasty (265-420) the renowned historian Guo Pu (276-324) wrote annotations to it. His name appears in the original title of this work. The names of two illustrators, Jiang Yinghao and Wu Linfu, as well as that of the engraver, Li Wenxiao, are found at the end of the work. A similar ...
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Complete Map of the Seven Coastal Provinces
The postscript to this work indicates that it was based on an original painting by Zhou Beitang, which was later acquired by a man named Shao Tinglie who had it published, together with two other works, Wusong ko fang yang (Wusong port to the ocean) and Jiang dong xing sheng (Natural frontiers east of the river) in book form in woodblock print. The book depicts the coastal provinces of Fengtian, Zhili, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong; and areas near the port of Wusong, including Baoshan, Shanghai, Huangpu River and ...
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Annotations to Maps
The original inscription of this work reads: “Compiled by Li Rihua of Jiahe; supplemented by Lu Zhongmin of Qianjiang; and edited by Qian Weiqi of Gulin.” Si ku quan shu zong mu (General catalog of the imperial Siku collection) records three of Li Rihua’s works, but not this title, which leads to the conclusion that Li may not have been its author. However, the prefaces of several other reference works claim that Li Rihua was the author of this work and that it was edited and supplemented by Lu ...
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Illustrated Discussion on Coastal Defenses
This work is a collection of essays, written by Zhang Zhaoyuan while he was serving as Prefectural Registrar in Baodi (now part of Tianjin, in northeastern China). In one of the essays, Zhang wrote that Baodi was the gateway to Tianjin, hence it was essential to intensify the building of beacon towers, walls, and moats, as well as to train soldiers. The defensive measures called for by Zhang were directed against Japanese pirates who, during the Wanli period (1573-1620), began staging raids on Chinese ships and coastal communities. The pirates ...
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An Illustrated Survey of Dikes and Dams in Jianghan Region
The work was compiled by Shi Duchen, who received the title of jin shi (doctoral degree) in the 35th year of the Jiajing reign (1556) and later became the governor of Shuntian Fu (present-day Beijing). The work depicts the dams and dikes of the Huguang region, which included Hubei and Hunan provinces. The Xiang, Zi, Yuan and Li Rivers converge on the Yangtze River at Lake Dongting in northeastern Hunan, which is known as the water country. During the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming dynasty (1522-1566), three imperial ...
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Illustrations of Famous Mountains
Originally untitled, this landscape work, a masterpiece in woodblock print, occupies a prominent place among the famous Chinese landscape gazetteers. Recorded on the top left and top right corners are the names of the famous mountains of China. Some of the prints include the names of the steepest peaks, streams, famous sites, and gardens. Other prints, originating from different sources, do not include such names. Compared with a similar work entitled Hai wai qi guan (Wonders within the four seas) from the 37th year of the Wanli period (1609) and ...
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Notes to the Complete Library of the Four Treasuries, Edited with Supplements
Even though the title indicates that this work is a supplement to Quan shu bei kao (Notes to the complete library of the four treasures), the existence of such a work cannot be confirmed. This edition contains very finely executed illustrations, which are of sociological and historical as well as artistic importance. Each volume has an inscription certifying that the volume was produced by Zheng Shangxuan at the printing shop, Ren Rui Tang (Hall of auspicious mankind). The contents of the work were mostly taken from Bu qiu ren (Not ...
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Maps of Ancient and Present Times
The three-volume work composed of maps with detailed texts was compiled by Wu Guofu of the Ming dynasty, based on a work done by Shen Dingzhi. The maps are executed in chromatography in red and black. There are two prefaces: one by Wu Guofu, dated 1638, and another by Chen Zilong, dated 1643.
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History of Three Kingdoms in Yi Xiang Tang Edition
This San guo zhi (History of three kingdoms) in the Yi xiang tang edition is imperfect, containing only 42 illustrations. The inscription in the first illustration reads: "Engraved by Huang Chengzhi of Xin'an." The seventh illustration has a similar inscription: "Engraved by Huang Chengzhi." The inscription of the eighth illustration reads, "engraved by Huang Shiheng." The famous book collector, Ma Lian (1893-1935), also had a fragmented copy of this work in the Yi xiang tang edition. Ma Lian and the literary critic Sun Kaidi (1898-1985) both considered this copy ...
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The Imperative Doctrines for Human Nature and Longevity
This work has been attributed to the disciples of Yinzhenren, the Daoist immortal, who narrated his doctrines to them. It was originally part of the collection of Tang Xin'an and was printed by his nephew, Wu Zhihe. The woodblocks later were acquired by the Di Xuan Ge workshop. The content suggests that it is a Ming work, possibly by Tang Xin’an himself. Wu Zhihe was a native of She Xian, Anhui province, who hired the famed engraver Huang Bofu of Xin’an. These vividly executed illustrations are considered ...
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Illustrated Primer to the Materia Medica
This book, compiled by Chen Jiamo in 12 juan, edited by Ye Fei and Hu Yiguan, and supplemented by Liu Kongdun, was published in the first year of the Chongzheng reign (1628). The title on the cover, A New Expanded Edition of Primer to the Materia Medica, with illustrations, printed by Zhou Ruquan in his workshop, Wan juan lou (the Ten-Thousand-Volume Pavilion), indicates that the original work, published in 1565, did not have illustrations. In this new edition, each entry is illustrated. Also included and placed in front of the ...
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Customs of the Tribes in Taiwan
This album of twelve paintings is a record of the land and people of the island of Taiwan more than a hundred years ago. The surfaces of the paintings are somewhat rough and unfinished, but they show people farming, hunting, and going about their everyday lives and are thus an important resource for the study of the history of Taiwan. The album contains a preface in English by Arthur William Hummel (1884-1975), an American missionary to China and Sinologist who from 1928 to 1954 was the first head of the ...
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Illustrated Poem of Li Sao
This work is an illustrated edition of the Qing dynasty of the poem Li sao (Departing sorrow) by Qu Yuan, who lived circa 343-277 BCE. It was illustrated by Xiao Yuncong (1596-1673), a famed early Qing painter, and was engraved by Tang Yongxian. According to Wang Zhongmin in A descriptive catalog of rare Chinese books in the Library of Congress (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1957) Pan Zuyin (1830-90), a late Qing man of letters and linguist and Qing official, reissued the work and rebound it in four volumes, but ...
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Illustrated Treatise, Arranged By Subject, On Cold-Induced Febrile Diseases and Guide to Treatments
According to the original title, this work was compiled by Li Zhixian and illustrated by Wu Shu (both of the Yuan dynasty, (1271-1368)), and arranged by Xiong Zongli (1409-1482). It was published in 11 juan during the Zhengde reign (1506-1521). Xiong Zongli was knowledgeable in medicine, and many of his medical books were included in book catalogs, such as Shu lin qing hua (Idle talks on books). To create this work, which experts regard as far superior to his other books, Xiong Zongli presumably combined two earlier works by Li ...
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Ten Thousand Tales Selected From Ancient and Present Times
This work contains stories, collected since the Tang dynasty, illustrated with Chinese woodblock prints that are highly valued by experts. The work has four juan, in six volumes. The first two juan contain 31 tales; the third and fourth an additional 36. The tales are all supernatural and fantasy short stories dating from the time of the Tang dynasty onwards. The book also includes explanations and commentaries, and poems that can be chanted. Each tale is accompanied by an illustration. Though not as refined as the renowned Anhui wood block ...
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Illustrated Travel Notes on the Journey to Kangyou
The work was compiled by Yao Ying (1785-1853) of Tongcheng, Anhui Province, who successfully passed the highest imperial examination and received the title of jin shi (doctoral degree) in the 13th year of the Jiaqing reign (1808) and assumed various official posts. In 1843 he was banished by the imperial court to Sichuan. While there he was dispatched twice to Chad Ya (present-day Chaya Xian, Changdu Diqu, Tibet) in order to resolve disputes among the Tibetan monks. He also conducted surveys of Xikang, Tibet and various places in the southwestern ...
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Memorials to the Throne of Our Glorious Dynasty
This work was one of the banned books in the Qing dynasty. Book banning and destruction have a long history in China and became especially prevalent under Emperor Qianlong (reigned 1736–95) of the Qing dynasty, when the encyclopedia of the Si ku quan shu (The complete library of the four treasuries) was in progress. Some 3,100 works, about 150,000 copies of books, were either burnt or banned. Books on Ming history, biography, philosophy, literature, and even some works on science, technology, and economics that were regarded as ...
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Genealogy of Ma Family
This manuscript is a collection of records documenting the deeds and actions of four members of Ma family, prominent in Liaoyang, northeast China. They are Ma Mingpei (1600–1666), his son Ma Xiongzhen (1634–77), his grandson Ma Shiji (1650–1714), and his great-grandson Ma Guozhen (1666–1720). Ma Mingpei rose in his official career to the presidency of the Board of War and to the military governorship of Jiangnan and Jiangxi, and took part in the suppression of the Southern Ming forces in the sixth year of the Chongzhen ...
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Geographic Surveys by the Imperial Order
This work is an incomplete manuscript in three volumes, probably one of the earliest official atlases of the Qing dynasty, which began in 1644. The title, Qin ding fang yu lu cheng kao lue (Geographic surveys by the imperial order), on the cover of volume three, was crossed out at a later date and replaced in red ink with Qin ding huang yu quan lan (Complete atlas by the imperial order). A label on the same cover reads, “these are the draft copies for the compilation at Wu ying dian ...
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Zhang Xianghe's Memorials to the Throne
This work contains memorials written by Zhang Xianghe (1785–1862), dating from January–December 1853, the third year of the Xianfeng reign, with those of the month of January incomplete. According to the biography of Zhang Xianghe in chapter seven of Qing shi gao (History of the Qing dynasty), Zhang achieved his jin shi (doctoral degree) in 1820 and assumed a number of posts, eventually rising to the post of president of the Board of Works in 1859–61. In 1853, when these memorials were written, Zhang was recalled to ...
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Festering Cancer Spreads Evil Influence
This work is a manuscript copy with a table of contents, but without a preface, which takes its title from the cover of the first volume. The work has six juan in six volumes and contains memorials written by Qing official Huang Juezi (1793–1853), who played an important role during the First Opium War (1839–42). In the first memorial, dated the 18th year of the Daoguang reign (1838), he recommended the enactment of drastic laws to prohibit opium. The memorial was sent to all high administrative officials in ...
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Jing Xin Collection of Poems by Chen Zi
This manuscript collection contains poems by Chen Zi (1683–1759), a native of Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, and a famed poet and calligrapher during the Kangxi and Qianlong periods of the Qing dynasty. Though twice recommended for official positions, Chen declined to serve the Qing court. The poems in the work were copied and preserved by his friends during the Qing literary inquisition. Literary inquisition in China had a long history, but during the Qing dynasty such official persecution of intellectuals, commonly called wen zi yu (imprisonment for writing), was particularly ...
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Collected Works on the Northern Peak Temple
The Northern Peak Temple was the official temple dedicated to Hengshan in northeast China, one of the Five Sacred Peaks, worshipped for generations. It is located in Quyang, central Hebei Province. Originally a shrine from 98 B.C., the temple took shape in A.D. 500–512. The relics that now remain date back to 1270, when the temple was renovated. They consist of a main hall, the foundations of another hall, a pavilion, and three gates. The murals in the central hall depict sacred peak deities; three officials of ...
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A New Treatise on Self-Admonishment
This is a three-volume manuscript written in Chinese in the early 18th century by the Korean statesman Kim Ch’ang-jip (1648–1722). He was from a powerful branch of the Kim clan based at Andong, North Kyongsang Province, and was later accused of treason and executed in 1722. He was known to have visited the Chinese imperial capital regularly. A preface written by Li Yi indicates that Kim learned from Chinese men of virtue and high officials by reading the stele inscriptions that extolled their lives and deeds, unofficial histories ...
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