Marking the First Anniversary of the Website

The Report on the Categorization of the Ancient Learning of China, a port of Annual China Studies 2009
Categorization of the Ancient Learning of China, Passing On Cultural Legacy
(Written by the Institute of Categorization of the Ancient Learning of China, College of Literature, the Northeast Normal University; published on Guangming Daily March 22, 2010, paragraphed by Beijing Budding Flower International Cultural Promotions Co., Ltd.)
Unprecedented and brilliant achievement has been attained in the categorization of the ancient learning in New China owing to the importance attached to it and policy support by the state. Encouraging results were gained in 2009 in the categorization of ancient learning in the broader background of high identification of the positive role of fine and traditional culture in building the harmonious socialist society. This report shall try to provide a general picture of the categorization of ancient learning in 2009 by focusing on publication of ancient books, research on ancient literature and research on unearthed ancient literature.
A. Publication of Ancient Books
2009 saw a bumper harvest in the publication of ancient books, which were richer in variety and higher in quality, and of important value for cultural inheriting and accumulation.
Firstly, the publication of important ancient books. 61 volumes in 127.33 million characters of “The Great Classics of China中华大典”, as the state’s most important cultural program have been published, among which 16 volumes in 31.19 million characters of “Philosophy Classics哲学典”, 23 volumes in 54 million characters of “Literature Classics文学典” were completely published; others like the three volumes in 6.04 million characters of “The Part of Historic Theory and History of Historic Studies, History Classics历史典•史学理论与史学史分典”, the two volumes in 3 million characters of “Sui, Tang and the Five Dynasties, the Chronicle Classics编年分典•隋唐五代总部”, the two volumes in 3.7 million characters of “Song, Liao, Xia and Jin, the Chronicle Classics 编年分典. 宋辽夏金总部”, the two volumes in 3.2 million characters of “The Part of Basic Theories, Medicine, the Medicine and Health Classics医药卫生典•医学分典•基础理论总部”, the voume in 2.5 million characters of “The Pandect of Medicine医学通论总部”, the volume in 2 million characters of “The Pandect of Diagnosis诊法总部”, the two volumes in 4 million characters of “The Pandect of Acupuncture and Massage针灸推拿总部”, the volume in 2.5 million characters of “The Pandect of Paediatrics儿科总部”, the five volumes in 9 million characters of “The Pandect of Drawings and Lists of Pharmacy, the Pharmacy Classics药学分典•药物图录总部” and the three volumes in 6.2 million characters of “The Part of Other Countries, Historic Geography Classics历史地理典•域外分典” came out one after another.
In 2009 132 projects benefitted from the “subsidies for publication and categorization of ancient books” program, which amounted to RMB 20 million, among them two were the most important projects, 12 were important key projects and 29 were key projects, and 89 were ordinary projects. The amount of subsidy was the highest in all the years. Those subsidized in 2009 were of higher edition value, used creative methods in categorization, and made a breakthrough in the results of categorization and of important cultural inheriting value. Attention was also paid to whether or not the projects were good for protection, to professions, and if the projects were done in planning manner. To strengthen work planning, further improve the quality and efficiency of the categorization of ancient books, the national leading group of publication and categorization of ancient books is tailoring up “The Planning of State Categorization and Publication of Ancient Books 2010-2020”. Projects contained in “The Planning of Key Projects of State Categorization and Publication of Ancient Books during the 11th Five Year Plan Period” have been finished smoothly, and the second phase of re-generation of “fine quality editions” has been launched off from the ground.
Secondly, the publications of categorized ancient books. Comparing with the years before, the ancient books categorized and published increased in quantity, among them many have the value for important academic research, cultural inheriting and can serve as literature editions.
Ancient books in the category of the history of thinking have special features among all published ancient books, the most representative of them are “Assorted Journal of Data and Literature in the History of Chinese Thinking中国思想史资料丛刊” and “Assorted Journal of Rational Principles理学丛刊” compiled by Zhonghua Book Company (中华书局). “Assorted Journal of Data and Literature in the History of Chinese Thinking中国思想史资料丛刊” collected a broad range of material, is rich in content and spans a longer period, it could satisfy the need of researchers of the history of thinking in different periods; “Assorted Journal of Rational Principles理学丛刊” included important works of masters of the New-Confucianism in the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. Other publications such as “Selected Journals of Classics on the Book of Change易学典籍选刊” [published by Zhonghua Book Company (中华书局)] and “Complete Disciplines in Buddhist Temples in Various Dynasties历代禅林清规集成(全8册)” [published by the Publishing House of the China Book Store中国书店出版社] are quite influential.
The representative results of the publications and categorizations of historical and geographical ancient books in 2009 are “Collected Material about the History of Economy (Two Volumes) 食货志汇编(全二册)” [Compiled by Matsuzaki Zuruto (Japanese) and published by the Publishing House of the State Library] in the field of historic data; “Concentrated Connotations of the History of the Three Kingdoms (Eight Volumes) 三国志集解(全八册)” published by Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House in the field of history, “The History of the Capital Area during the Reign of Emperor Kāngxī康熙顺天府志” proof-read and notes given by Yán Chǒngnián (阎崇年) and published by Zhōnghuá Book Company and “Húnán Literary Treasures湖湘文库” published by Yuèlù Book Company and Húnán People’s Publishing House in the field of local literature.
In 2009, several kinds of literary ancient books were published, among them the following are quite influential and special: “A Series of Research of Classics on Chinese Literature中国文学研究典籍丛刊” and “A Series of Basic Books of Chinese Classic Literature中国古典文学基本丛书” published by Zhōnghuá Book Company, “A Series of Chinese Classic Literature中国古典文学丛书z” and “A Series of Chinese Modern Literature中国近代文学丛书” published by Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House. In addition, the following ancient books should be noted: “A Series of Critiques on Poetry in Various Dynasties历代诗话丛书” published by the Phoenix Publishing House in the field of literary critics, “A Corpus of Singing Verses in Various Dynasties (The Part of the Ming Dynasty) 历代曲话汇编(明代篇)” complied by Yú Mínwéi and Sún Róngróng (俞民为、孙蓉蓉编), published by the Yellow Mountain Book Company in the field of verses for singing in dynasties and “Concentrated Proof-Reading of Sentences in the Songs of Chǔ楚辞章句集校” written by Huáng Línggēn (黄灵庚) published by Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House in the field of studies of the songs of Chǔ.
In the field of bibliography, the categorized existing ones include “Notes on Reading in the Hall of Zhèng郑堂读书记” written by Zhōu Zhōngfú of the Qing Dynasty and punctuation collating by Huáng Shǔhūi and Yìn Xiǎofēng (黄曙辉、印晓峰) and published by Shanghai Book Company, “A Corpus of Inscriptions and Postscripts on the Bibliography of the Yígù Hall仪顾堂书目题跋汇编” written by Lù Xīnyuán (陆心源) of the Qing Dynasty, categorized by Féng Huìmīn (冯惠民) and published by Zhōnghuá Book Company. The newly compiled ones include “Lists of Local Historic Books Collected by the Institute of China Cultural Legacy中国文化遗产研究院藏地方志书目”, which recorded the vast collection of local histories and is a precious archive of legacy of ancient books, published by Zhōnghuá Book Company. “Bibliographical Index of Fine Copies of Ancient Books (Two Volumes) 中国古籍善本书目索引(全两册)” published by Shanghai Ancient Books Publishing House and compiled by Nánjíng Library is divided into five parts, namely classic, history, masters, collections and series, which recorded sixty thousand kinds ancient books in one hundred thirty thousand volumes.
Besides, those intended for popularization include “Collections of Chinese Classics中华经典藏书”, “The Literary Treasury of Chinese Classics for Popularization中华经典普及文库” and “Handed Down Classics in both Ancient and Vernacular Languages传世经典文白对照” published by Zhōnghuá Book Company; those intended for distribution overseas are mainly “The Great Literary Treasury of China大中华文库”[1] with both Chinese and English versions.
B. A Summary of Research on Ancient Literature and Classics
In the background of consistent warming up of China Studies, the research of ancient literature and classics in 2009 received more attention; importance was attached to philology in various traditional disciplines, the quantity of research works increased, there were fresh opinions and cross-discipline studies with multiple triangles were common.
1. The comprehensive research of philology. Ancient philology is a traditional discipline re-structured in the framework of modern sciences, its system and contemporary significance are issues people have been thinking about. “Some Thoughts on the Building of the Discipline of China’s Ancient Philology中国古典文献学学科建设的若干思考” by Dù Zéxùn (杜泽逊) carried in the 12th issue of “Research of Ancient Literature” and “My Shallow Views on the Contemporary Significance of Studies of Chinese Ancient Philology中国古典文献学研究的当代价值谫论” by Yú Jùnróng (于峻嵘) carried in the 4th issue of “Social Science Forum” delved deeper into the issues.The role of method used in philology has been widely recognized and applied by more scholars. To encourage this development, the 1st issue of “Academic Journal of Qinghua University (Philosophy and Social Science Edition)” opened a column entitled: “Literature, Survey and Distinction”, in which articles on ancient books and literature and related research methods by Fù Xuánzōng (傅璇琮), Yáng Mùzhī (杨牧之), Liú Yuèjìn (刘跃进), Liào Míngchūn (廖名春) and so on. These articles explained the importance of philology by way of verification, interpretation and correction of literature, dealt with the new connotations of ancient philology at the present and gave introductions to research projects that combined old documents with modern literature, and explored the relationship between categorization and inheriting traditional culture. 郑杰文在《也谈古
Zhèng Jiéwēn (郑杰文) , in his “On Verification, Distinction and Utilization of Ancient Literature in Ancient Literary Research也谈古代文学研究中的考证、辨伪和古典文献的利用” (the 4th issue of “Literary Critique”), put forward that in building a new system for the research method of China’s ancient literature, and further re-structuring orient academic research, the research of China’s ancient literature should be based, first of all, on “distinction”, “solid verification, thorough understanding of the original” and “solid evidence in literature”, applicable parts in western methods should also be absorbed. Qián Zhìxí (钱志熙) included inscriptions on mirrors into the study of Han Dynasty verses in his “Categorization of Inscriptions on Mirrors of the Two Han Dynasties and Related Literary Analysis两汉镜铭文本整理及文学分析” (the 1st issue of “Collection of Literary and Historic Thesis of China). The article was written from a special triangle. Bāo Hépíng’s “Study of the Philology of Minorities of China中国少数民族文献学研究” published by the publishing house of the State Library carried a multi-triangle research on the literature of minorities, the philology and related management issue; it touched on the basic theory and basic method of the philology of minorities.
2. The history of philology. Zhāng Táo (张涛) held, in his “The Survey and Distinction of the Study of ‘The Book of Changes’ in the Song Dynasty amidst the Ideological Trend of Doubting the Classics疑经变古思潮中的宋代易学考辨” (the 2nd issue of “Academic Journal of Research on Categorization of Ancient Books”), the verification and distinction of the study of “The Book of Changes” started from the Song Dynasty effected a far reaching influence on the traditional history of classics, the history of the study of “The Book of Changes” and the history of distinction; Wáng Lìzhóu held in his “The Cultural Significance of ‘Guicang’ in the Han and Wei Dynasties 〈归藏〉在汉、魏两代的文化史意义” (the 12th volume of “Research on Classic Literature”) the unearth of the Qin Dynasty bamboo slips “Guicang” at Wángjiātái (王家台) that the book was handed down from the Qin to the Han and Wei dynasties without stops; in his “On the Contribution of the People of the Qing Dynasty in Sorting Out the Anthologies of the Song Writers论清人整理宋人别集的贡献” (the 3rd issue of Collection of Literary and Historic Thesis of China), Gōng Běndòng (巩本栋) held that book collection and book copying in the Ming Dynasty provided necessary conditions for the spreading of Song anthologies and the sorting of these anthologies by the people of the Qing; Miáo Huáimīng (苗怀明) gave a summary to the development of the philology of novels in the 20th century, surveyed and analyzed the development process, the status and features of the research in “An Outline of the Philology of Novels in the 20th Century in China二十世纪中国小说文献学述略” (published by Zhōnghuá Book Company).
3. Examination of ancient literature. Given the complexity of the year a book came out, its author, whether the record of year and author is true, and the evolution of versions, there have been a big quantity of articles examining all these questions.For instance, Liáng Wěixián (梁韦弦), in his “A Different Definition of “Jī Zǐ” in the Caption of the Fifth and Sixth Lines in the Hexagram of ‘Advance While Wounded’ in the Book of Changes关于〈易•明夷〉六五爻辞之“箕子”的异说” (published in the 3rd issue of “Academic Journal of Research on Categorization of Ancient Books”), proofed, with the interpretation by Shàng Bǐnghé (尚秉和 a Qing Dynasty sinologist) that “Jī Zǐ” meant a “child” referring to King Zhòu, and Huìdòng’s (惠栋a Qing Dynasty sinologist) quotation of Zhào Bīn of the Han: “Jī Zǐ” should be taken as “a straw mattress”, that the theory of Mèng Xǐ (孟喜, a Han Dynasty scholar) on the relations between hexagrams and climate was wrong. Xīn Déyǒng (辛德勇) held, after his verifications in “The Mistakes in Saying Zhāo Tuó Stayed in Guǎngdōng for 49 Years in ‘The Book of Han’ 〈汉书〉赵佗“处粤四十九年”说订讹” (carried in the 4th issue of “Literature and History”), that the years should be 36. Yáng Lián (杨镰) broadened the vision for studies of the Yuán Dynasty literature, and thus bearing some actual significance by his discriminations of over ten anthologies of Yuán writers that have been regarded as fine copies in “Discrimination of Literature of Yuán Poetry元诗文献辨伪” (carried in the 3rd issue of “Literary Legacy”).
4. Researches on bibliography, editions and collating. Since these three are traditional areas of study in philology, the number of thesis is great. In bibliography, there are thesis about bibliographers, related history, official and privately compiled bibliographies; there are also individual case studies, such as “Examination of ‘From the Continued Compilation by the General Administration of Publications to the Bibliography of the Four Treasures’ 〈秘书省续编到四库阙书目〉考” by Zhāng Gùyě, Wáng Xīnhuá and others (张固也、王新华等) and “Huáng Kǎn and Bibliography黄侃与目录学” by Xú Yǒufù (徐有富) (carried in the 12 volume of “Research on Ancient Literature”), and “’Book Lists of Chījìng Building’ by Mò Yǒuzhī and Dīng Rìchāng莫友芝与丁日昌的〈持静斋书目〉” (carried in the 6th issue of “Academic Journal of Research on Categorization of Ancient Books”) by Zhāng Yànyīng (张燕婴). The articles about research on editions are quite great in number as well, some of them compared similarities among different editions, some sorted out systems of editions and some explored features of editions. The most representative articles are “The Editions of ‘Tián Jiān and His Poems’ and Lost Poems by Qián Chéngzhī钱澄之〈田间诗集〉版本及佚诗” written by Zhāng Huí (张晖) (carried on the 6th issue of “Literary Legacy”) and Guō Jìngyūn’s (郭静云) “Different Editions of ‘The Criminal Laws of Duke Lǚ’and Studies of Related Thoughts 〈尚书•吕刑〉不同版本及其思想研究” (carried in the 2nd issue of “Studies of History of Historic Studies”). As far as collating of ancient books is concerned, the most influential is the article by An Píngqiū and Zhāng Xīngjí (安平秋、张兴吉) entitled “On the History of Collating ‘Records of the Grand Historian’ 〈史记〉校勘史述论”(carried in the 2nd issue of “Literature”), from which you can see a clear path from the ancient edition to the present edition. Such collating can also examine the theory and practice of collation studies. As before, articles on the collating and interpreting of the contents in historic and literary books are numerous.
5. Research on the recovered ancient books. Such efforts were concentrated first of all in the addenda of “The Complete Song Poetry”, “The Complete Ming Ci-Poetry”,“The Complete Qing Ci-Poetry” and other huge size pandects being compiled presently, for instance, “Addenda to the Complete Ming Ci-Poetry—the Part in Anthologies of Ming Poets Collected as Precious Copies in Taiwan 〈全明词〉续补——台湾所藏珍稀本明人别集所辑明词” by Zhōu Míngchū and Yè Yè (周明初、叶晔) (carried in the 2nd and 3rd issues of “Academic Journal of Research on Categorization of Ancient Books”). There were also addenda to a certain book or a certain anthology, for instance, “Verification of the Once Lost Writings in ‘Title Explanation of the Books Recorded at the Zhīqī Building’ 〈直齐书录解题〉佚文辨正” written by Wǔ Xiùchēng (武秀成) (carried in the 12th volume of “Research on Ancient Literature”). Besides, there were some results in researches on individual cases and types of studying re-gained literature.
C. Categorization and Research on Unearthed
Literature in Brief
Unearthed literature is newly discovered ancient data and material. Just as Wáng Guówéi said, “since the ancient times, start of any new learning is caused by new discoveries.” With the continued development of archaeology, a great number of buried ancient literature has been unearthed, therefore, the corresponding categorization and research have gained remarkable achievement, which exerted far-reaching influential on the studies of history, palaeography, philology and ancient literature and other disciplines.
1. Categorization and research on literature on bamboo slips and silk. Bamboo slips collected by Qinghua University were an academic focus in 2009. The nine titles of the first volume of “Qinghua Bamboo Slips” have been decided for the most probable publication in 2010, among them, “Allocution保训” was the first to be sorted out. The “China Studies Page” on the “Guangming Daily” opened a column “Understanding Qinghua Bamboo Slips”, which carried such articles to discuss “Allocution” as “Last Words of King Wēn of Zhōu周文王遗言“ by Lǐ Xuéqīn (李学勤), “The Nature and Structure of ‘Allocution’ 〈保训〉的性质和结构” by Zhào Píngān (赵平安), “The Doctrine of Mean in the Last Words of King Wēn of Zhōu周文王遗训之中道观“ by Lǐ Jūnmīng (李均明), “The Historic Traces and Legend about Wáng Hài Contained in ‘Allocution’ 〈保训〉所见王亥史迹传说” by Shěn Jiànhuá (沈建华). These articles caused a big sensation in the academic circle.
2. Categorization and research on inscriptions on oracle bones. Main achievements in this respect include “Chinese Studies of Inscriptions on Oracle Bones中国甲骨学” by Wáng Yǔxìn (王宇信) (published by Shanghai People’s Publishing House), which gave a systematic summary of the studies of inscriptions on oracle bones over the last 110 years; “Zháng Shìfàng’s Collection of Oracle Bones from the Ruins of the Yīn Dynasty张世放所藏殷墟甲骨集” compiled by Sòng Zhènháo (宋镇豪) (published by the thread binding book company). The book sorted out the 400 pieces of oracle bones collected by Zháng Shìfàng and kept at the “Sìtáng Book Building” at Anyáng (安阳“四堂书屋”) Related essays touched on the nature of records of divination on oracle bones, interpretation of these records, grammar samples in these records, and historic culture, political economy and religious habits reflected in the inscriptions on oracle bones.
3. Categorization and research on inscriptions on metal. Main achievements in this respect include: “Bronze Wares Unearthed from Northern Shaanxi陕北出土青铜器(全五册)” compiled by Cáo Wěi (曹玮) (published by Bāshǔ Book Company), which recorded 870 bronze wares unearthed from northern Shaanxi; “Study of Clan Inscriptions on Bronze Wares of Sháng and Zhóu Dynasties商周青铜器族氏铭文研究” by Hé Jǐngchéng (published by Qīlǔ Publishing House), which systematically categorized these inscriptions; “Studies of Bronze Wares of the State of Zēng曾国青铜器研究” by Zhāng Chāngpíng (张昌平) (published by Cultural Relics Publishing House), which gave a summary features, position and role of bronze wares of the State of Zēng in the background of cultures of Zhóu and Chǔ.
4. Categorization and research on Dūnhuáng literature. Main achievements in this respect include: “Volume 8, 9, 10 of Dūnhuáng Literature Collected by France法藏敦煌藏文文献(八)(九)(十)” jointly compiled by the Northwest University of Nationalities and the State Library of France (published by Shanghai Publishing House of Ancient Books), which are of varieties and rich in content; ”Material for Dūnhuáng Studies in the Categorization of Data and Material in the Journals during the Nationalist Period民国期刊资料分类汇编•敦煌学研究资料(全四册)” selected and compiled by Sàrén Gáowā (萨仁高娃) and others, (published by the Publishing House of the State Library), which collected over 220 articles of high research value. There were also “Study of the Taoist Literature of Dūnhuáng敦煌道教文学研究” by Lǐ Xiǎoróng (李小荣) (Bāshǔ Publishing House), “Discrimination and Authenticity: the Anthology of Dūnhuáng Studies辨伪与存真:敦煌学论集” by Róng Xínjiāng (荣新江) (Shanghai Publishing House of Ancient Books), and “Index with Numbers of Studies of Posthumous Papers on Dūnhuáng Collected by the UK and France英藏法藏敦煌遗书研究按号索引” compiled by Shēn Guóměi and Lǐ Défàn (申国美、李德范) (Publishing House of the State Library), which collected over 8000 posthumous papers referring to over ten thousand works on Dūnhuáng studies now being kept in the UK and France.
Besides, “Continued Selections of Research Material on Inscriptions on Potteries in Various Dynasties (3 volumes) 历代陶文研究资料选刊续编(全三册)” compiled by Jiǎ Guìróng and Zháng Aifáng (贾贵荣、张爱芳) (Publishing House of the State Library) included famous works by famous writers that have not been collected before, the book also printed colorful drawings and is useful for researchers.
D. Conclusions
It should be pointed out that despite the great number of publications in the categorization of ancient books in 2009, there were quite a number of repetitions, and not all of them were of good quality; there were not so many major achievement in new connotations or compilations; spreading of ancient books to foreign countries is to be organized and planned. In research alone, there wasn’t any breakthrough in traditional bibliography, edition studies, collation, compilation on basis of ancient books, and discrimination, even though importance has been attached to ancient literature and philology and there were individual new works on specific ancient literature. Categorization and research on unearthed literature were a focus, yet difference was obvious and deep and systematic research is called for.    
Writing by Cáo Shújié, Yáng Dòng曹书杰 杨栋;
Data Collection: Zhū Xiānlín, Liú Shúhuì, Wáng Ruòxī, Niú Qìngguó and Gáo Lěi (朱仙林 刘书慧 王若希 牛庆国 高磊)

[1] This is the greatest state publication program started in 1995 to introduce to the world China’s cultural classics in a systematic way in both Chinese and English versions. 100 most representative works have been selected in the fields of culture, history, philosophy, economics, military, science and technology from pre-Qin period to modern times. These works have been translated into English. They include “Analects of Confucius”, Mencius, Lao Zi, Zhuang Zi (2 volumes), Xun Zi (2 volumes), The Confucian Scholars (3 volumes), The Peony Pavilion (2 volumes), Stories of the West Chamber, Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor (3 volumes) and so on.
To mark the first anniversary of our website:, we are please to provide to our readers and supporters the following report: