Ameliorations and a Community of Learning

Joseph P. McDermott

in A Social History of the Chinese Book

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9789622097810
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206557 | DOI:
Ameliorations and a Community of Learning

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This chapter concentrates on the variety of solutions that Chinese scholars devised to cope with the persistent obstacles they faced. It stresses the formation of small coteries among book collectors to share their books and on the partial fruition of certain late Ming improvements in access only during the eighteenth century. Although attention is paid primarily to the efforts of these scholars from the Song through to the Ming, a large part of the solution to their problems was achieved only outside their control, only in the Qing dynasty, and mainly in the realm of official and imperial policy towards elite culture and its artifacts. The problems of book access and borrowing were not fully solved during the eighteenth century, particularly in scholars' interactions with one another.

Keywords: community of learning; book access; book borrowing; Chinese scholars; book collectors; Qing dynasty; culture; policy

Chapter.  8990 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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