An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Jiguge zhencang miben shumu 汲古閣珍藏秘本書目

Jan 8, 2020 © Ulrich Theobald

Jiguge zhencang miben shumu 汲古閣珍藏秘本書目 is a brief book catalogue of the holdings of Mao Yi 毛扆 (1640-1713), courtesy name Fuji 斧季, from Changshu 常熟, Jiangsu. The library of the Mao family, founded by Mao Jin 毛晉 (1599-1659), was called Hall of Drawing from the Ancient [Knowledge or Texts] 汲古閣.

The catalogue was compiled when the family had to sell their library to Pan Lei 潘耒 (1646-1708), who in turn sold it to Ji Zhenyi 季振宜 (b. 1630). Ji compiled a catalogue of his holdings, Ji Cangwei cang shumu 季滄葦藏書目.

Mao's bibliography lists 481 books and is arranged according to the traditional four categories, of which that of the Masters and that of belles-lettres are most detailed. For each book, the compiler informs about the name of the text, its author, the size in juan, the edition, and whether it was a print or a manuscript. In the latter case, some entries provide details on the origin of the manuscript. For all books, a price is given, which is based not only on the rarity of the edition, but also on the quality of text and paper. This is a unique feature among Chinese book catalogues.

Figure 1. Example from the Jiguge zhencang miben shumu 汲古閣珍藏秘本書目
Mao owned ten volumes of a manuscript copy of a Song-period print of Li Dingzuo's 李鼎祚 commentary on the "Book of Changes" (Yijie 易解), at a price of 5 liang 兩 (Tael) in total, eight volumes of a Yuan-period print of a commentary called Zhouyi jianyi 周易兼義 at a price of 4 liang, two volumes of the commentary Yishuo 易說 in an "ancient" manuscript version written on white pliant paper (mianzhi 綿紙) with a red grid pattern (zhusha ge 硃砂格), at a price of 6 qian 錢 (0.6 liang), etc. Shiliju congshu 士禮居叢書 edition.

The catalogue was first printed in 1800 in the series Shiliju congshu 士禮居叢書, and is also found as an appendix to the catalogue Xingsutang mudu shulu 行素堂目睹書錄 of Zhu Jirong 朱記榮 (1836-1905). It is included in the series Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Ding Yanfeng 丁延峰 (2009). "Jiguge zhencang biben shumu de zhulu tili ji qi jiazhi shulun 《 汲古閣珍藏秘本書目》的著錄體例及其價值述論", Tushuguan lilun yu shijian 圖書館理論與實踐, 2009 (6).
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1468.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 361.