Permanent Collection

Rare Texts

This area demonstrates rare books and periodicals collected by the Institute of History and Philology. Many of them are extremely rare ones, such as exemplary copies printed in the Sung dynasty. Besides, there is a great amount of folk literature in the form of “song compendiums,” as well as manuscripts and copies with handwritten commentaries by famous scholars. One of the most significant archival materials is Veritable Records of the Ming Dynasty.

Ch'un-ch'iu chi-chuan pien-i with Handwritten Preface by Chu I-tsun

According to Chu I-tsun (Ch'ing Dynasty), this work is an early version of the final manuscript of Li Chi-fêng's Ch'un-ch'iu chi-chuan pien-i. Li Chi-fêng's style name was Hui-shêng and he was originally from Shan-hai-wei. According to Chi-fu t'ung-chih (A Record of Ancient Cities Near the Capital), Li Chi-fêng: " fully understood the classics and was especially knowledgeable of the Spring and Autumn Annals. He collected early Confucianist annotations, deciphering them and performing careful examinations. In a thirty year period, he completed four different draft revisions and finally finished his work: Ch'un-ch'iu chi-chuan pien-i.”

Shih-san-ching chu-shu with Handwritten Preface by Chiao Hsün

This work includes the handwritten corrections and comments of Chiao Hsün. Chiao Hsün's preface describes how he “failed the official examinations,” but, due to this could instead “retreat to his place of residence and read.” He said: “If I had passed the official examinations, I would have become extremely busy. If I had to leave for the capital next spring, when would I have the time to read? If I devote one year of my life to reading, what can I not learn? Whenever I am at a crossroads between failure and success or glory and humiliation, I try to think in this way. Consequently, when I am successful, I don not loaf about and loose my way, and when I fail, I do not become angry or unsatisfied.” This is a most positive outlook on Chiao's part.

Wu-tai-shih tsuan-wu with Handwritten Postscript by Wang Ming-shêng

This book takes Ou-yang Hsiu's Wu-tai-shih (History of the Five Dynasties) as its base, picking out its errors, and compiling a book based upon these mistakes. By the Ch'ing Dynasty this book had already been lost, and the Ssu-k'u ch'üan-shu Bureau recreated it by copying from the Ming Dynasty Yung-le ta-tien (The Canon of the Yung-le Period). Wang Ming-shêng's postscript states: "I heard it once said that Shao Chin-han searched for and found Hsüeh Chü-chêng's (Sung Dynasty) Chiu-wu-tai-shih (Old History of the Five Dynasties) in the Ssu-k'u ch'üan-shu Bureau. When he had finished the rough draft based on Chiu-wu-tai-shih, he wanted to present it to the emperor, but first he had to show it to the official Yü Min-chung. After Yü Min-chung died, Shao's book was lost. This truly is a regretful situation." At present all copies of this work are taken from Yung-le ta-tien.

Hsiao-hsüeh chü-tou with Handwritten Preface by Têng Pang-shu

An indigo ink edition is also better known as a blue ink edition. After a block print book was completed in the Ming Dynasty, printing would be tried several times using blue ink, and after corrections had been made, only then would black ink be used. Therefore, Têng Pang-shu’s preface states that this is an: “indigo ink edition of proofs created from the initial block print.” Têng Pang-shu had a particularly special interest in block print books from the Ming Dynasty Chia-ching Imperial period, and even used the title “the home of a hundred Ching books” to refer to himself and the building in which he kept his many books. This work is a Ming Dynasty Chia-ching edition.

Hsüan-mi t'a-pei with Handwritten Prefaces by Fu Ssu-nien

In 1948 Fu Ssu-nien bought this book of Ming Dynasty rubbings—Hsüan-mi t'a-pei—in Nan-ching. After he compared the rubbings with the Shang-hai Commercial Publishing Company's copied version, he began to believe that this work actually originated in the middle of the Ch'ing Dynasty. He additionally reported that the writers of prefaces and comments about stele rubbings often excelled in the use of over-embellishment, and that even books of rubbings from the Ming or Ch'ing Dynasty, were commonly claimed as works from the Sung.

The Veritable Records of the Yung-le Emperor (T'ai-tsung Wen)

The Veritable Records of the T'ien-ch'i Emperor (Hsi-tsung Chê)

The Veritable Records of the Ch'ung-chên Emperor (Huai-tsung Tuan)