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Western Books on China Published up to 1850

A collection of 654 books on microfiche based on the impressive bibliography by John Lust of all early western books on China to be found in the library of the SOAS.

As John Lust says in his introduction to his book Western Books on China published up to 1850, the material in this collection is becoming harder to find the further the period in which it was produced recedes from us. This literature covers the first great period of Western contact with China, and ranges from accounts by medieval travellers and delegations to the first stages of the European attempts to bring China into the world market and to gain, if necessary by force, a foothold in the south and ultimately in the capital.
The material contains, in the first place, an abundance of observations and hearsay, running the gamut from the valuable and the credible to sheer fantasy and invention. The enthusiastic exaggerations of foreign visitors often have to be tempered by comparison with sober reports in Chinese sources, such as local gazetteers and memoires.
Secondly, there is material testifying to the formidable difficulties encountered by Westerners attempting to impose on Chinese matters their own familiar historical, linguistic, religious, and other categories, which themselves were undergoing transformations in this period.
Thirdly, there is the material arising from the activities of Westerners in direct contact with China, the embassies and so on, and by the unofficial intermediaries between China and the West, the traders and missionaries. This group has much in common with the second one, because a great deal of the interpretation of China is even more important as an interpretation of the Western scene itself. A striking general example of this kind of case is the remarkable shift in attitude to China that occurred in the 1830s and 1840s. In many items in this collection, one can observe the notions of benevolent and philosophical despotism and the illusory idylls of eighteenth century Chinoiserie being replaced by contempt for things Chinese and by strident attitudes of superiority in military, ethical, political, and other respects.

John Lust
• Number of titles: 654 • Languages used: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Russian, Dutch, German and Portuguese • Title list and printed guide are available • Location of originals: Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London This new online collection comprises a descriptive, annotated bibliography of 654 early Western books on Imperial China up to 1850, all to be found in the Library of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. The collection is based on the book Western Books on China published up to 1850 by John Lust. The material is of unique historical interest, containing a scrutiny of China by Western societies.. The books, in a variety of Western languages, testify to the formidable difficulties encountered by Westerners, who attempted to extend their own familiar historical, linguistic and religious perceptions to the Chinese context.
A unique collection of 36 chapters on the history of Chinese medical illustrations, this volume will take the reader on a remarkable journey from the imaging of a classical medicine to instructional manuals for bone-setting, to advertising and comic books of the Yellow Emperor. In putting images, their power and their travels at the centre of the analysis, this volume reveals many new and exciting dimensions to the history of medicine and embodiment, and challenges eurocentric histories. At a broader philosophical level, it challenges historians of science to rethink the epistemologies and materialities of knowledge transmission. There are studies by senior scholars from Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as emerging scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.

Thanks to generous support of the Wellcome Trust, this volume is available in Open Access.
A Facsimile-Edition of the Unique Copy Preserved in the Austrian National Library, Vienna. Volumes 35-45
This facsimile edition of the volumes of the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem relating to Africa, America & Asia is the most prestigious and unique facsimile atlas ever made. The original Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem is preserved in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library) in Vienna. We have worked in the past years to prepare an exclusive facsimile edition of the volumes of this incredibly beautiful atlas that pertain to Africa, America & Asia, including the “secret” atlas of the Dutch East-India Company (VOC).

This fascimile includes nearly 500 views, maps, charts and drawings, bound in eight folio volumes:
• Volume 35: Africa
• Volume 36: Atlantic Coast of Africa & Volume 37: Morocco
• Volume 38: The "Secret" Atlas of the Dutch East-India Company (V.O.C. Part 1)
• Volume 39: The "Secret" Atlas of the Dutch East-India Company (V.O.C. Part 2)
• Volume 40: The "Secret" Atlas of the Dutch East-India Company (V.O.C. Part 3)
• Volume 41: The "Secret" Atlas of the Dutch East-India Company (V.O.C. Part 4)
• Volume 42: Martini's Atlas of China & Volume 43: Asia
• Volume 44: America & Volume 45: Dutch Brazil
Van Gulik Collection
Chinese books: Folk Novels
The Van Gulik collection of Chinese books includes three groups. The first group contains a total of 117 titles, including almost all rare folk novels. The second group, including about 132 titles, are mainly books on literature, painting, calligraphy, and history. The third group has 53 music books for the ancient Chinese musical instrument, the ku-ch'in.

This collection is also included in the Van Gulik Collection collection.
Van Gulik Collection
Chinese books: Literature and Fine Arts
The Van Gulik collection of Chinese books includes three groups. The first group contains a total of 117 titles, including almost all rare folk novels. The second group, including about 132 titles, are mainly books on literature, painting, calligraphy, and history. The third group has 53 music books for the ancient Chinese musical instrument, the ku-ch'in.

This collection is also included in the Van Gulik Collection collection.
Van Gulik Collection
Chinese books: Music Scores and Music Books
The Van Gulik collection of Chinese books includes three groups. The first group contains a total of 117 titles, including almost all rare folk novels. The second group, including about 132 titles, are mainly books on literature, painting, calligraphy, and history. The third group has 53 music books for the ancient Chinese musical instrument, the ku-ch'in.

This collection is also included in the Van Gulik Collection collection.
Early Western Books, 1500-1599
The Ottoman empire and the Mediterranean

Titles from the collection of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. A majority of the titles concern the history of the Eastern Mediterranean and relations between the European Christians and the Ottoman Turks, including a number of works inspired by the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Other topics include the East Indies and China, South America, a Japanese embassy to Rome and the history of several Italian cities. Also includes treatises and grammars by humanist scholars, such as Guillaume Postel.
East-West Collaboration in the Mapping of Qing China (c. 1685-1735)
Author: Mario Cams
In Companions in Geography Mario Cams revisits the early 18th century mapping of Qing China, without doubt one of the largest cartographic endeavours of the early modern world. Commonly seen as a Jesuit initiative, the project appears here as the result of a convergence of interests among the French Academy of Sciences, the Jesuit order, and the Kangxi emperor (r. 1661-1722). These connections inspired the gradual integration of European and East Asian scientific practices and led to a period of intense land surveying, executed by large teams of Qing officials and European missionaries. The resulting maps and atlases, all widely circulated across Eurasia, remained the most authoritative cartographic representations of continental East Asia for over a century.

This book is based on Dr. Mario Cams' dissertation, which has been awarded the "2017 DHST Prize for Young Scholars" from the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Division of History of Science and Technology (IUHPST/DHST).
The Blaeu-Atlases.