Historical Catalogues

For information on works now lost, or to judge authenticity or completeness of an older work that is still extant, there are three main groups of sources:

A) bibliographical chapters in the standard 24 histories

B) bibliographies compiled to supplement dynastic histories

C) catalogs of imperial and private libraries.

A. Twenty of the first and second category are indexed in William Hong 洪業, et al., comp. Yiwenzhi ershizhong zonghe yinde 藝文志二十種總合引得 (Combined Indices to Twenty Historical Bibliographies). Harvard Yenching Institute Index Series no. 10. Beijing: Harvard Yenching Institute, 1933, various rpts.

Indices to authors and titles of all works included in the twenty bibliographies listed (and discussed) in the preface. The first two bibliographies, from the Hanshu and the Suishu are particularly important in tracing the history of editions.

1. "Yiwen zhi" 藝文志. Hanshu 漢書 juan 30.

This is the earliest extant catalog. and is based on the Qilve 七略 (Seven Summaries) of Liu Xin 劉歆 (ob.a.d. 23). In turn, the Qilve was based on a work compiled by Liu Xin掇 father, Liu Xiang 劉向 (79-8bc.) called Bielu 別錄 (Individuated List). In 26 bc, under commission from the emperor, Liu Xiang surveyed all of the books that had been collected in the imperial archives. Liu Xiang edited and collate the material, after which he presented summaries to the emperor; these reports included a table of contents and a brief description of the materials. Each description is usually followed by a biography of the author or a historical account of the work itself. Upon his father掇 death, Liu Xin assumed the task. He moved the books into a new library, the soon-to-be famous Tianlu ge 天祿閣. Liu collected the reports of his father, made a catalogue raisonne, and divided them into six classes, preceded by a general summary. The seven sections are:

editorial summary
The Six Summaries
liuyilve 六藝略 the six arts=the classics
zhuzilve 諸子略 the various masters=thinkers
shifulve 詩賦略 poetry
bingshulve 兵書略 works on warfare
shushulve 術數略 techniques and numerology=divination, cosmology, the occult, alchemy, etc.
fangjilve 方技略 medical therapies

This catalog was presented to the throne in 6 bc. When Ban Gu 班固( 32-92) abridged the Qilve and used it as his bibliographical monograph in the Documents of the Han 漢書. He added a few titles unknown to Liu Xin. It does, however, miss some of the materials produced in the decades between 6 bc and the time of the Hanshu掇 compilation in the second half of the first century A.D.

Editions and annotations:
Ban Gu, comp. Hanshu yiwen zhi
新校漢書藝文志. Ann. Yan Shigu 顏師古. Shanghai: Shangwu yinshu guan, 1957, rpt., Yang Jialuo 楊家駱, ed. Xinjiao Hanshu yiwen zhi 新校漢書藝文志. Zhongguo muluxue mingzhu 中國目錄學名著, ser. 3. Taibei: Shijie shuju, 1963. EAL 9532 1160.08 1957; 9532 1160.08 1963

------.Hanshu "Yiwen zhi" zhujie 漢書藝文志注解. Ann. Yao Minghui 姚明煇. Shanghai: Dadong shuju, 1933. EAL

------..Hanshu "Yiwen zhi" zhujshi huibian 漢書藝文志注釋彙編. Ann. Chen Guoqing 陳國慶. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1983. EAL Z3102 P295

Gu Shi 顧實. Hanshu "Yiwen zhi" jiangshu 漢書藝文志講疏. Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1925. EAL 9532 1600

Yao Zhenzong 姚振宗. Hanshu "Yiwen zhi" shibu 漢書藝文志拾補. 8 juan. ca. 1892. Kuaige shishi shanfang congshu 快閣師石山房叢書. EAL 9530 4153 1936; rpt. in Ershiwu shi bubian 二十五史補編.EAL 2455.25 7650 suppl., v. 2.

------. Hanshu "Yiwen zhi" tiaoli 漢書藝文志條理. 8 juan. ca. 1892. Kuaige shishi shanfang congshu . EAL 9530 4153 1936; rpt. in Ershiwu shi bubian .EAL 2455.25 7650 suppl., v. 2.

Translations and studies:

Suzuki Yoshijiro 鈴木由次郎. Kansho "Geimonshi" 漢書藝文志. Tokyo: Meitoku, 1968.

Koh Thong-ngee."The Beginning of Chinese Bibliography: A Study of the Record of Literature in the History of the Former Han Dynasty." Ts'e-fu, The Repository, no. 7/8 (1964):26-41; no. 9/10 (1964):1-26.

2. "Jingji zhi" 經籍志. Suishu 隋書. 4 juan.

This is the first extant catalogto be arranged by the "Four Categories" (sibu 四部) system and was intended to be a comprehensive list of all works written prior to the Tang--including the titles of works that were lost. The work is important because it contains the title of works that vanished before the Tang period. Marred by excessively orthodox criteria for selection (i.e., their moral worth), the bibliography is divided into four sections:

jingbu 經部 classics
shibu 史部 history
zibu 子部 philosophy section
jibu 集部 belles lettres

It was originally written for a History of the Five Dynasties which was to include the dynasties of Liang, Chen, Qi, Zhou, and Sui. Submitted to the emperor in 656.

Editions and annotations:
Yang Jialuo
楊家駱, ed. Xinjiao Suishu "Jingji zhi" 新校隋書經籍志. Zhongguo muluxue mingzhu 中國目錄學名著, ser. 3. Taibei: Shijie shuju, 1963.

Yao Zhenzong 姚振宗. Suishu "Jingji zhi" tiaoli 隋書經籍志條理. 52 juan. ca. 1897. Kuaige shishi shanfang congshu 快閣師石山房叢書.

Zhang Zongyuan 章宗源. Suishu "Jingji zhi" kaozheng 隋書經籍志考 . 13 juan. ca. 1790. In Ershiwu shi bubian 二十五史補編.EAL 2455.25 7650 suppl., v. 4.

3. The Index also covers the following bibliographies. Note that some are compiled as parts of the standard histories of the periods involved; others are Qing or later compilations meant as supplements to the incomplete bibliographies of the histories. The index by William Hung lists some 40,000 titles from the earliest period through the Qing; authors are also indexed. In addition to the two works listed above, which are important for their coverage of the early period, the index covers:

Hou Han shu yiwen zhi 後漢書藝文志 by Yao Zhenzong 姚振宗
Sanguo zhi yiwen zhi
三國志藝文志 by Yao Zhenzong 姚振宗
Bu Jinshi yiwen zhi
補晉史藝文志 by Wen Tingwu 文廷武
Jiu Tang shu jingji zhi
舊唐書經籍志 by Liu Shang 劉晌
Tang shu yiwen zhi
唐書藝文志 by Ouyang Xiu 歐陽修
Bu Wudaishi yiwen zhi
補五代史藝文志 by Gu Huaisan 顧懷三
Songshi yiwen zhi
宋史藝文志 by Toqto 托克托
Bu Songshi yiwen zhi
補宋史藝文志 by Ni Can 倪燦
Bu Liao Jin Yuan yiwen zhi
補遼金元藝文志 by Ni Can 倪燦
Bu san shi yiwen zhi
補三史藝文志 by Jinmen Zhao 金門詔
Bu Yuan yiwen zhi
補元史藝文志 by Qian Daxin 錢大昕
Mingshi yiwen zhi
明史藝文志 by Zhang Tingyu 張逛玉
Qingshi gao yiwen zhi
清史稿藝文志 by Zhu Shizhe 朱師轍

as well as the following bibliographical references:

Jinshu zongmu 禁書總目 Comprehensive Index to Banned Books
Quan hui shumu
全燬書目 Index to Works Completely Destroyed
Chou hui shumu
抽燬書目 Index to Works Partially Destroyed
Wei ai shumu
違礙書目 Index to Works Against Custom or Law
Weifang Mingji yishumu
徵訪明季遺書目 Index to Works Handed Down from the Ming Period.

During the 1950's Shanghai's Commercial Press brought out a uniform edition of the dynastic bibliographies with their Qing supplements; each volume is also accompanied by a four-corner index.

Hanshu yiwen zhi 1955
Suishu jingjizhi 1955-57
Tang shu jingji yiwen hezhi 1956
Songshi yiwen zhi 1957
Liao Jin Yuan shi yiwen zhi 1959
Ming shi yiwen zhi 1959

These were all reprinted without permission by Shijie shuju in the 1960's in Taipei. These bibliographies usually do not give more than a brief account of a work---by so-and-so, in so many juan, etc.

You can, of course, sometimes find out what primary sources are available by looking at an outstanding secondary work and observing what authors have used. This is not, however, a substitute for looking yourself. Some secondary sources are now available that flesh out the information you can find from above:

Ma Xianxing 馬先星. Hanshi cailiao yu Hanshi lunzhu zonghe mulu 漢史材料與漢史論著總合目錄. Taibei: Zhonghua xueshu yuan, 1970. EAL 2545.9 7221

Wan Man 萬曼. Tang ji xu lu 唐集敘錄. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1980. EAL; UCLA Oriental Z3108 L5W25 1980

Hervout, Yves. A Sung Bibliography. Hong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1978. EAL Z3102.S77

Wolfgang Franke. An Introduction to the Sources of Ming History. Kuala Lumpur and Singapore: University of Malaya Press, 1968. EAL 2720.9 5708 1968

Zhang Shunhui 張舜徽. Qingren wenji bielu 清人文集別錄. 2 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua xueshu yuan, 1963. EAL

These are excellent (but not much emulated) works. Franke掇 work, in particular, begun in Chengdu in the 40's, is useful for its general and section introductions. You will also find that there have been many significant individual works that have appeared in the past few years with increasing rapidity. Two excellent examples are:

Zhou Caiquan 周采泉. Du ji shulu 杜集書錄. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1986, over a 1,000 pages with a four-corner index.

Liu Shangrong 劉尚榮.Su Shi zhuzuo banben luncong 蘇軾著作版本論叢. Chengdu: Ba Shu shushe, 1988

Nagasawa Kikuya 長澤規矩也's work, Shina shoseki kaidai, shomoku, shoshi no bu 支那書籍解題書目書誌之部. Tokyo: Bunkyud, 1940, rpt. 1952. EAL 9523 7358

This last work introduces 450 library catalogs under four headings:

1. the treatises on bibliography from the standard histories,

2. catalogs of official collections,

3. catalogs of libraries to 1940, and

4. catalogs of private collections. Liang Zihan's work:

Liang Zihan 梁子涵. Zhongguo lidai shumu zonglu 中國歷代書目總錄. Taibei: Zhonghua wenhua shiye weiyuanhui, 1953. EAL 9523 3913

This is the most comprehensive list of Chinese bibliographies available. It is not an annotated bibliography, as is Nagasawa's, but has references to hundreds of works not mentioned elsewhere.

V. Catalogs of private libraries.
Catalogs of important private libraries are an excellent way to find out what editions were available at certain periods in time. These private collections are valuable supplements to official bibliographies.

Wang Yaochen 王堯臣 et al., comp. Chongwen zongmu 崇文總目. Recommended edition: Hou Zhibuzu zhai congshu 後知不足齋叢書. 1884 ed.

A catalogue, completed in 1038 of the Song imperial library. Described in Teng and Biggerstaff, pp. 18-19.

Chao Gongwu 晁公武, comp. Junzhai dushu zhi 崇文總目. Recommended edition: Junzhai dushu zhi jiaozheng 崇文總目校證, coll. and annot., Sun Meng 孫猛, four-corner index by Wang Lixiang 王立翔. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1990.

A wonderful work of nearly 1,500 pages. Includes appendices on Chao掇 life, on historical treatment of his work, on works mentioned in the bibliography that are still extant, and a final appendix that compares all extant editions of the Junzhai dushu lu. A masterpiece of bibliographical research. A catalogue, completed in 1151 of the Chao掇 personal library. Described in Teng and Biggerstaff, pp. 19-21.

Chen Zhensun 陳振孫, comp. Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題. Recommended edition: Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題, coll. and annot., Xu Xiaoman 徐小螿 and Gu Meihua 顧美華. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987.

A catalogue, completed in the mid 13th century of the author掇 personal library. This work has a good four-corner index.

Ma Duanlin 馬端臨, comp. "Wenxian tongkao jingji kao" 文獻通考經籍考, in Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考.

A substantial list of works extant in the Song, drawing on the preceding two bibliographies, but also including many supplementary materials. Generously annotated. Also indexed by the four-corner system.

Huang Yuji 黃虞稷, comp. Qianqing tang shumu 千頃堂書目. Best edition: Taibei: Shang wu yin shu guan, 1983. EAL: UCLA Oriental AC 149 S699 1983 v.676

The most complete bibliography of Ming works; also the most reliable. Completed in the late 17th century, it has supplements to Song, Liao, Jin, and Yuan at the end of each of its categories.

There are, of course, many other personal libraries in the period from Song to modern times. You can check any of the standard works on publishing to find their names (including T. H. Tsien's massive work for Science and Civilization in China). Important texts dealing with traditional libraries can be found in:

Li Xibi 李希泌 and Zhang Shuhua 張椒華, comp. and annot. Zhongguo gudai cangshu yu jindai tushuguan shiliao (Chunqiu zhi wu-si qianhou) 中國古代藏書與近代圖書館史料春秋至五四前後. Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982.

This is a set of historical documents, letters, rescripts, etc., about the establishment of libraries and book collections. A useful tool for learning about the rise of libraries in China.

Information on collectors can also be found in the following two dictionaries:

Jin Buying 金步瀛 and Yang Licheng 楊立誠, ed. Zhongguo cangshu jia kaolue 中國藏書家考略, supp. and annot. Yu Yunzhi 運之. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987.

Wang He 王河, ed. Zhongguo lidai cangshu jia cidian 中國歷代藏書家辭典. Shanghai: Tongji daxue chubanshe, 1991.