H-85. The History of the Book in China to 1368 - Advance Reading List

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  • Preliminary Advices

    Note: Updates to this reading list for the 2019 iteration of this course and the companion course, H-145, will be posted soon.

    In order to achieve the maximum benefit from this course it will be necessary to have some knowledge of East Asian history and of Chinese history in particular. There are many outlines and introductions to the subjects available, but the main thing to pay attention to is the historical chronology. It is desirable to be familiar with the dates and names of the major dynasties and historical periods.

    Since there are few complete, self-contained histories for the subjects comprised by this course, I have given page ranges for specific sections of most of the titles on the required reading list. In most cases, however, there will be added benefit to be had from reading the entire work. Some readings will be made available to admitted students via Dropbox. Problems and questions raised by the readings will be addressed in the course. If any works on this list are difficult to obtain or gain access to, please contact RBS.

  • Required Reading

    Edgren, J. S. “The History of the Book in China.” In The Oxford Companion to the Book, edited by Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H. R. Woudhuysen, 353–365. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

    Kornicki, P. F. “The History of the Book in Japan.” In The Oxford Companion to the Book, edited by Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H. R. Woudhuysen, 375–385. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

    McKillop, Beth. “The History of the Book in Korea.” In The Oxford Companion to the Book, edited by Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H. R. Woudhuysen, 366–373. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

    NB: The above three essays are conveniently available in: Michael F. Suarez, S.J. and H. R. Woudhuysen, eds. The Book: A Global History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013 (pp. 573–621).

    Edgren, J. S. “China.” In A Companion to the History of the Book, edited by Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose, 97–125. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

    Brokaw, Cynthia. “On the History of the Book in China.” In Printing and Book Culture in Late Imperial China, edited by Cynthia Brokaw and Kai-Wing Chow, 3–54. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

    Edgren, Sören, ed. Chinese Rare Books in American Collections. New York: China Institute, 1984. Read pp. 10–14 (Introduction); pp. 16–25 (“Technical Aspects of Chinese Printing” by Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien); pp. 26–30 (“Chinese Type Design and Calligraphy” by Wan-Go Weng); pp. 31–43 (“Book Illustration in Late Ming and Early Qing China” by Fang-yu Wang).

    Xiao, Dongfa, ed. From Oracle Bones to E-Publications. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2009. Read pp. 15–97.

    McDermott, Joseph. A Social History of the Chinese BookHong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006. Read pp. 43–81.

  • Recommended Reading

    Darnton, Robert. “What is the History of Books?” Daedalus 111:3 (1982): 65–83. Also published in Darnton’s The Kiss of Lamourette. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995. Excerpted in The Broadview Reader in Book History, edited by Michelle Levy and Tom Mole, 231–250. Tonawanda: Broadview Press, 2015.

    Carter, Thomas and L. C. Goodrich. The Invention of Printing in China and its Spread Westward. Revised edition. New York: Ronald Press, 1955.

    Twitchett, Denis. Printing and Publishing in Medieval China. London: Wynkyn de Worde Society and New York: Frederic Beil, 1983.

    Tsien, Tsuen-Hsuin. Paper and Printing. Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 5, pt. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985 (Third printing, revised 1987, and later printings).

    Tsien, Tsuen-Hsuin. Written on Bamboo and Silk. 2nd edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Read pp. 1–206.

    Reed, Christopher. Gutenberg in Shanghai: Chinese Print Capitalism, 1876–1937. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004.

    Kornicki, Peter. The Book in Japan. Leiden: Brill, 1998. Paperback edition, University of Hawaii Press, 2000.

    Chibbett, David. The History of Japanese Printing and Book Illustration. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1977.

    Munn, Jesse. “Side-stitched books of China, Korea and Japan in Western Collections.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32:1 (2009): 103–127.

    Hioki, Kazuko. “Japanese Printed Books of the Edo Period (1603–1867): History and Characteristics of Block-printed Books.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32:1 (2009): 79–101.

    Song, Minah. “The History and Characteristics of Traditional Korean Books and Bookbinding.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32:1 (2009): 53–78.