Monday, 26 August 2013

Bibliotheca Sinica 2.0

Bibliotheca Sinica 2.0 is a guide to digitized books on China published between 1477 and 1939. Each post provides a minimum of one hyperlink to a digitized book, the majority of the posts providing links to multiple digital copies and/or copies in various languages. 

Bibliotheca Sinica 2.0 explores Sino-Western encounters by ways of texts and images published before 1939 and is intended as an extension of the bibliography Western Books on China in Libraries in Vienna/Austria, 1477-1939. Bibliotheca Sinica 2.0 aims to provide information on digitized books on China (published up to 1939) freely available in digital repositories (see: references) all over the world. By this means our project wants to facilitate further research on the various aspects of the history of Western perceptions and Sino-Western relations. To maintain this, references to some major bibliographies are provided. At the very beginning of the project (in 2003) we started to compile lists of old and rare books in the holdings of the Austrian National Library (Vienna) and the Library of the University of Vienna. In spring 2004, a first version of this lists was published on-line (since October 2004 on the pages of the Department of History, University of Vienna), referring to about 2000 titles that have been retrieved in searching the various catalogs of the two major libraries of Vienna. In further developing these lists, we also included printed material available in the Library of the Austrian State Archives. Considering the numerous efforts of digitization that have been developed during the last years, the next stage of the project was to include information on digitized versions of old and rare books on China to be found in freely accessible digital repositories around the globe. In 2006-7, these lists were considerably augmented (now containing about 3000 titles of Western books on China published before 1939). The search for digital resources on the history of Sino-Western encounters was stimulated in summer/fall 2009 by the preparation of a course on the history of Sino-Western cultural relations held at the Department of History, University of Vienna. For most of the titles referring to some major bibliographies this site intends to facilitate further research on the vast field of the history of Western perceptions of China and Sino-Western relations. As mass digitization projects go on and our project is a kind of work in progress, we will continuously expand the lists of/links to digitized versions given in single entries. While we try to keep the links up to date and use permanent links whenever possible, we do not guarantee permanent accessibility. Reports of broken links, corrections, and suggestions are appreciated.

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