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313 results
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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Library of Congress
Maps of Shazhou in Jiangyin County
The land on which Shazhou, Jiangyin County, Jiangsu Province (present-day Zhangjiagang) is located was formed by alluvial deposits of the Yangtze River over a period of thousands of years. As the land grew and changed, local people made paintings of the area, which they petitioned the authorities to acquire. Measurements of the narrow strip of land formed by the river deposits differed, and those seeking to obtain land often conspired with officials, resulting in lawsuits and disorder. Two officials, Wu Heng and Xie Cunbin, together with the magistrate of Jiangyin ...
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National Central Library
Annotated Edition of “The Book of Documents”
Shang shu (The book of documents), also called Shu jing (The book of history), is one of the Five Classics of the Confucian canon that greatly influenced Chinese history and culture. Translations of its title into English vary and include Classic of History, Classic of Documents, Book of History, Book of Documents, or Book of Historical Documents. There are many copies and versions of Shang shu, ascribed to Confucius, but its history is obscure. The work is a compilation of speeches by major figures and records of events in ancient ...
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National Central Library
Annotated Edition of “The Book of Rites”
Li ji (The book of rites) is one of the Five Classics of the Confucian canon, which had significant influence on Chinese history and culture. The book was rewritten and edited by the disciples of Confucius and their students after the "Burning of the Books" during the rule of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, around 213 BC. The work describes the social forms, governmental system, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BC). Li literally means "rites," but it also can be used to refer ...
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National Central Library
History of the Five Dynasties
Wu dai shi ji (History of the Five Dynasties) was the original title of this work by Ouyang Xiu (1007–72), statesman, historian, essayist, calligrapher, and poet of the Song dynasty. It traditionally has been called Xin Wu dai shi (The new history of the Five Dynasties) to distinguish it from another work entitled Jiu Wu dai shi (The old history of the Five Dynasties), by Xue Juzheng (912–81). This was the only authorized history compiled privately after the Tang dynasty and before the publication of Xin Yuan shi ...
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National Central Library
Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government
Zi zhi tong jian (Comprehensive mirror to aid in government) was a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, first published in 1084 in the form of a chronicle. In 1065 Emperor Yingzong (reigned 1064–67) of the Song ordered the great historian Sima Guang (1019–86) to lead a group of scholars in compiling a universal history of China. The task took 19 years to complete and the finished work was presented in 1084 to the succeeding Emperor Shenzong (reigned 1068–85). Its subject is Chinese history from 403 BC ...
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National Central Library
The Veritable Records of the Song Emperor Taizong
Chinese court officials often recorded a reigning emperor’s daily activities and words spoken in court, especially those that affected the country. These records, such as Qi ju zhu (Diaries of activity and repose) and Ri li (Daily records), were sources for the compilation of shi lu (veritable records) by a committee. Other sources consisted of materials collected from provinces, ministerial papers, and other documents. The official histories were written based on these veritable records. Such records no longer exist from before the Tang dynasty (618–907). The only ...
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National Central Library
The Newly Compiled Overall Geographical Survey
The original work on which this compilation is based was completed in 1239, as indicated in its two prefaces, one by Lü Wu (1179–1255), and another at the end by the author Zhu Mu (died 1255). It was reprinted in 1267 by Zhu Mu’s son Zhu Zhu (jin shi 1256). The original work had two parts, part one in 43 juan and part two in seven juan, along with a 20-juan supplement and a one-juan appendix. This reprinted edition has 70 juan. According to Zhu Zhu’s postscript ...
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National Central Library
Supplement to the Local Gazetteer of Wu Prefecture
Wujun (Wu Prefecture) is an ancient name used during the Qin and Han (221 BCE–220 CE) for the seat of Guiji (situated in present-day Suzhou). The words tu jing in the title denote an older type of local gazetteer, which first appeared during the Eastern Han (25–220 CE). It was not until the Southern Song that such works were replaced by more formal gazetteers. This printed work is a very rare Song edition. The work goes back to 1099, the second year of Yuanfu era during the reign ...
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National Central Library
General Atlas of Xinjiang
This work is a hand-painted atlas of Xinjiang. The atlas is small, with frames of different sizes. There are no prefaces or postscripts, and the identity of the map maker is unknown. The atlas is executed in the traditional landscape-painting style and does not provide degrees of longitude and latitude, nor scales. Towns, rivers, lakes, and mountains are all depicted in their approximate locations. Each map covers one double-page spread. The four directions from the east to the north are marked, but the boundary lines of cities and towns are ...
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National Central Library
Illustrated Atlas of Shanhai, Yongping, Jizhou, Miyun, Gubeikou, Huanghua Zhen and Other Areas
This work is an illustrated military map dating from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) of the northeastern part of Jingshi (present-day Beijing), along the Great Wall. It is formatted in accordion pleat-like leaves, and is large, measuring 58.8 centimeters high by 21 centimeters wide. The edges of the atlas are broken and frayed. The original collector tied the atlas on a hard board and placed it in a case, taking great care. The map depicts Shanhaiguan (Shanhai Pass) from Bohai Sea in the east, winding westward through Funing Xian ...
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National Central Library
Illustrations of Guarding the Yellow River
This work is bound in accordion pleat-like leaves, in 15 folded sheets. The illustrations show the locations of flood prevention works along the Yellow River in Henan Province. Included are dykes and raised riverbanks in different areas, beginning in the west with Wushe Xian, crossing Yingze Marsh, and in Zhengzhou, Yuanwu, Zhongmou, Yangwu, Fengqiu, Kaifeng Fu, Chenliu, Xiangfu, and other towns. A number of paper slips are attached to 18 locations, with explanations of the challenges of river work at these locations and descriptions of accidents that occurred during this ...
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National Central Library
Illustrated Work on the Storage and Drainage Activities at the Lakes and Rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal
This work was originally in the Qing imperial collection. The painting of the work was executed in an exquisite manner. A title at head of the work reads: Huang Yun hu he zong tu (The overall map of the lakes and rivers of the Yellow River and the Grand Canal). The work depicts Dajiang (the Yangtze River) in the south up to the borders of Shandong, Henan, and Jiangnan in the north. It has detailed scenes of the tributaries, harbors, and bridges of the lakes and rivers, followed by two ...
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National Central Library
Collected Songs and Verses of Li He
Li He (790–816), courtesy name Changji, was a Chinese poet of the late-Tang dynasty, known for his unconventional and imaginative style. A native of Changgu, Henan Province, Li was unsuccessful in the imperial examination. He died at age 27, having worked, despite his distant royal ancestry, as a poor minor official. About 240 of his poems survive. Although his works were admired by the late-Tang poets, none of his poems made their way into the popular anthologies, such as Tang shi san bai shou (300 Tang poems). As indicated ...
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National Central Library
General Atlas Depicting the Conditions of the Yellow River Dykes in Henan Province
This Qing-dynasty atlas painted in color is formatted in accordion pleat-like leaves, in 21 folded sheets. The directions used in the maps are the exact opposite of those commonly used, that is, the south is on the top, the north at the bottom, the west is on the right side, and the east on the left. The maps illustrate the distribution of dykes along the Yellow River within the territory of Henan Province. The atlas starts from the west with Huayin Xian, which borders Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, and continues ...
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National Central Library
Romance of the Three Kingdoms in Illustrations
Sanguo yan yi (Romance of the Three Kingdoms), written by Luo Guanzhong (circa 1330–1400), a late-Yuan and early-Ming author, is a historical novel set in the third century, in the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history. The part-historical, part-legendary, and part-mythical story chronicles the lives of feudal lords and their retainers, who vied with each other to restore or replace the declining Han Dynasty. The novel follows literally hundreds of characters, with plots, personal and army battles, intrigues ...
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National Central Library
Romance of the West Chamber with Chen Meigong’s Critical Comments
Ding juan Chen Meigong xian sheng pi ping Xi xiang ji (Romance of the West Chamber with Chen Meigong’s critical comments) is a work by Wang Shifu (circa 1250–1307), a successful playwright of the Yuan dynasty, with commentary by Chen Jiru (also called Chen Meigong, circa 1558–1639), a painter-calligrapher and man of letters. This is a late-Ming edition in two juan, with two juan of explanatory text, one juan of Pudong shi (Poems of Pudong), and one juan of Qiantang meng (Dream of Qiantang). It was printed ...
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National Central Library
The Story of the Secluded Chamber, with Li Zhuowu’s Critical Comments
You gui ji (Story of the secluded chamber), also entitled Bai yue ting ji (Story of the Moon-Worshipping Pavilion), is one of the five greatest Ming-dynasty long poetic dramas, called chuan qi. Attributed by some to Guan Hanqing (1220–1300), the Yuan playwright, and by others to Shi Hui (born 1295 or 1296), a native of Hangzhou and a Southern-style playwright at the end of the Yuan and the beginning of the Ming dynasty, the play has 40 scenes in two juan. The story takes place at the end of ...
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National Central Library
The Four Cries of the Gibbon
This drama is by Xu Wei (1521–93), a literary writer, painter-calligrapher, and playwright. A native of Shanyin, Zhejiang, Xu Wei used various pseudonyms, among them Qingteng Jushi (Resident of the Green Vine House). Despite his talents and early achievements in painting, poetry, and essay writing, he failed in eight attempts to pass the civil examinations and never achieved a jin shi degree. He served under General Hu Zongxian, the supreme commander of the Jiangsu–Zhejiang–Fujian coastal defense against the Japanese pirates, but lost his post after the general ...
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National Central Library
The Four Dreams of Linchuan
Linchuan si meng, also called Yumingtang si meng (The four dreams of the Jade Tea Hall), is a collection of four major dramas by the famed Ming-dynasty dramatist Tang Xianzu (1550–1616): Zi chai ji (The story of the purple hairpin), Nan ke ji (Record of southern bough), Handan meng (Record of Handan), and most famously Mu dan ting (The peony pavilion). These dramas are called dreams, because dreams play a large role in the plot of each. Various editions of this collection appeared during the Ming and Qing dynasties ...
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National Central Library
Ten Misidentifications, or Riddles of the Spring Lantern Festival, a New Yonghuaitang Edition
Ruan Dacheng (circa 1587–1646) was a well-known late-Ming poet and dramatist from an influential family in Huaining, Anhui Province, and also a corrupt politician of unsavory reputation. He received his jin shi degree in 1616. While in office, he allied with Wei Zhongxian (1568–1627), a powerful eunuch, and was dismissed after the eunuch’s downfall. He retired to his native town, and later to Nanjing, and began writing poetry and drama. In 1644 he joined the court of the Ming loyalist Southern Ming (1644–62) regime, and rose ...
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National Central Library