|Libraries of Western learning for China : circulation of Western books between Europe and China in the Jesuit Mission (ca. 1650 - ca. 1750) / Noël Golvers.|
Includes bibliographical references and index.
v.1. Logistics of book acquisition and circulation.
This is the first volume of a wide-ranging study of the spread and penetration of Western books in late-Ming, early-Qing China via Jesuit missionaries. The study is based mainly on archival sources (letters,manuscripts, treatises), supplemented with the extant books (‘Beitang collection’), especially those containing an inscription (ca. 2,500). This first volume focuses on the logistics of the book acquisiton: from the selection made in China, through the role of the book agents and donors in Europe, to the delivery routes. The prosopographical study of the names mentioned in the book inscriptions revealsnot only the identity of the original owners and the intentional donors - and by consequence the milieusof interest and participation in the Jesuit mission - but especially the roughly fifteen regional supportnetworks of the mission, ranging from Sicily and the Low Countries, on the one hand, and Mitteleuropa and Portugal, on the other. The next volume will focus on the formation of regional Western libraries inChina (in Peking and the other main cities, but also in ‘minor’ residences), the different ‘classes’ of booksrepresented (from Bible study through sciences to belles lettres), and the different ways these books were used by the Jesuit readers for their missionary goals, within the program of an ‘apostolate of the press’,leading to the transmission to, and reception by, the Chinese literati. As such, this study - when completed - will reveal a largely neglected chapter of European book and reading history, and at the same time a crucial chapter in the intercultural exchange between the late humanistic Western culture and Chinese culture, in which the printed book played a pivotal role.--Publisher webpage.