The research for this book was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (Grant No. 2014/15/D/HS2/00801).
I am very grateful to my co-investigator during the project, Anna Kołos, who offered advice and assistance and generously shared her expertise with me.
For the most part, I was based in China throughout the process of research and writing of this book. Back in Poland and Serbia, my family and friends often had to lend a helping hand with acquiring access to books and articles. I am very much indebted to them for this much needed help, without which the writing of this book would have been impossible.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the staff of the National Library of Serbia, the National Library of Poland, the Adam Mickiewicz University Library, and the University of Belgrade Library, all of whom provided invaluable assistance during my surveys of libraries. In all these institutions, I was always received as a warmly welcomed guest.
In addition, I wish to thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and to Brill Publishing, especially Masja Horn and Christa Stevens, for making this book a reality.
Last but not least, during the process of writing this book, my wife Shen Nan provided me with endless support and showed unflagging patience. As a small token of my heartfelt appreciation, this book is dedicated to her.