This is the first comprehensive and in-depth study of the Chinese collection in the Library of Congress, the largest collection of its kind in the Western world. Started in 1869 with some 950 books received in the first exhange of publications between the United States and China, the collection has grown so steadily that in 1977 it numbered more than 430,000 volumes, including 2,000 rare Chinese items, some of which were printed in A.D. 975. In this primarily historical study, Professor Hu examines the social, cultural, and political forces that led to the development and growth of the collection, the acquisitions policies followed, and the sources of personal and financial support found within and outside the Library of Congress. He also explores the methods by which the library has built up several strong areas in the collection, particularly those of Chinese gazetteers, or local histories; ts’ung-shu, or collections of reprints; and rare works.
Table of Contents
Westview Replica Editions -- Preface -- Introduction -- Initiating Forces -- Systematic Acquisitions, 1913–1949 -- Later Developments, 1950–1975 -- Conclusions -- Chronology -- Appendices -- Circular Letter of the Librarian of Congress to U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Representatives -- Herbert Putnam’s Letter to the Secretary of State Concerning the Ku-Chin T’u-shu Chi-ch’eng -- List of Acquisitions Policy Statements