H-85. The History of the Book in China - Advance Reading List
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 is to pay attention to 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 reading lists. In most cases, however, there will be added benefit to be had from reading the entire work. Required and recommended readings will be made available to admitted students as PDFs via Dropbox. Problems and questions raised by the readings will be addressed in the class. If any works on this list are difficult to obtain or gain access to, please contact RBS.
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, 353–65. 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, 375–85. 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, 366–73. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Note: 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, 97–110. 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. 10–15 (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 Wang Fang-yu).
Xiao, Dongfa, ed. From Oracle Bones to E-Publications. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2009. Read pp. 15–97.
Dai, Lianbin. “China’s Bibliographic Tradition and the History of the Book.” Book History 17 (2014): 1–50.
Darnton, Robert. “What is the History of Books?” Daedalus 111, no. 3 (1982): 65–83. Also published in Darnton’s The Kiss of Lamourette. New York: W.W. Norton, 1995, pp. 107–135.
Edgren, Sören. The Traditional Chinese Book: Form & Function. Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, 1995.
Edgren, Sören, ed. Chinese Rare Books in American Collections. New York: China Institute, 1984. Read pp. 46–59 (Early printing); pp. 60–87 (Song-Yuan printing); pp. 88–125 (Ming-Qing printing).
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). Read pp. 23–84; 194–291.
McDermott, Joseph. A Social History of the Chinese Book. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2006. Read pp. 43–81.
Munn, Jesse. “Side-stitched books of China, Korea and Japan in Western Collections.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32, no. 1 (2009): 103–27.
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, no. 1 (2009): 79–101.
Song, Minah. “The History and Characteristics of Traditional Korean Books and Bookbinding.” Journal of the Institute of Conservation 32, no. 1 (2009): 53–78.
Carter, Thomas and L. C. Goodrich. The Invention of Printing in China and its Spread Westward. Rev ed. New York: Ronald Press, 1955.
Houston, Keith. The Book. New York: W.W. Norton, 2016.
Kornicki, Peter. The Book in Japan. Leiden, NL: Brill, 1998. Paperback edition, University of Hawaii Press, 2000.
Mote, F. W. Imperial China, 900–1800. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. Read pp. 1–513.
Tsien, Tsuen-Hsuin. Written on Bamboo and Silk. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. Read pp. 1–206.
Twitchett, Denis. Printing and Publishing in Medieval China. London: Wynkyn de Worde Society; New York: Frederic Beil, 1983.