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 volumes are selected important names and portraits from Li dai ming yi tu (Illustrated records of famous medical men of the dynasties) by Xiong Zongli. In addition to the compiler’s own preface, there are three additional prefaces by Liu Kongdun (dated 1628), Xu Guo (1564), and Xiong Zongli (1476).

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 prints, these illustrations are important examples of Chinese woodblock printing. The date of publication probably was after the eighth year of the Wanli reign (1580). The scripts, which consist of four horizontal characters, are written on two sides of each block. Both the inscription and the preface indicate that the work was illustrated and printed by Zhou Jinquan, one of the famous printers of Nanjing, in his workshop Da you tang. During the Ming dynasty, especially during the Wanli period (1573-1620), there were a number of book publishers with the surname of Zhou in Nanjing. They specialized in fiction with wood block printed illustrations.

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 masterpieces of Anhui woodblock printing. There are three prefaces -- by Zou Yuanbiao (not dated), Yu Yongning (1615), and Cheng Yuting (1622) -- and a post-script by Wu Zhihe (1615).

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.

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 region. This is a manuscript copy, based on his travel and survey notes. It contains information on history, geography, religions and social customs of these places and neighboring countries, such as India, Nepal, and Sikkim, as well as provides historical and geographical information on England, France and Russia. The book was illustrated by Ye Tang, an astronomer from the same town as the author, who also wrote a post-script.

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 Zhixian and Wu Shu, added a volume dealing with pregnancy and child birth and cold-induced diseases in children, added a supplement of recipes (i.e., prescriptions), and had the entire work printed. This edition has two labels, one at the end of the table of contents indicating that this was a new edition printed in the winter of the second year of the Zhengde reign (1507) in the workshop of Cun de shu tang (Book hall of preserved virtue), and the other indicating that it was reprinted in 1508 in the workshop of De xin shu tang (Book hall of new virtue). The discrepancies in the dates, the fact that the work is not characteristic of books published in the Zhengde period (1506-21), and the fact that Xiong Zongli was no longer living at the time of publication all suggest that the work was printed by Xiong’s descendants, using the blocks created for the original edition.

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 bureaus issued decrees ordering the building of dams and dikes. Shi Duchen was assigned to supervise the construction. This work contains annotated illustrations of each of the dams and dikes built. The author's preface is dated 1568.

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 work by Jiang Yikui, entitled Shan hai jing shi yi (Annotated classic of the mountains and seas), contains 75 illustrations that are almost identical to the 74 images in this work. It has been assumed that Shan hai jing shi yi, printed in the 25th year of the Wanli reign (1597), was based on an edition of You tu Shan hai jing issued at an earlier date.

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 the 24 illustrations may have originated from renowned Anhui engravers.

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 retained the original title, which reads: "By Xiao Yuncong of Quhu." This rebound edition has two original prefaces, one by Li Kai (not dated) and the other by Xiao Yuncong, the painter (dated 1645).