A conspectus of the pre-modern and "special collections" Chinese books in the Bodleian Library.

Serica blog updated 29 May 2023

Some notes on old Chinese books in the Bodleian Library's collections and on old Chinese books in general.


Collectors' seals on Chinese books in the Bodleian Library

Survey of Chinese "special collections" in the Bodleian Library updated 8 June 2023

This survey documents the provenance and current location of all the so-called "special collections" of Chinese books in the Bodleian Library. It was originally compiled in December 2012 for the benefit of the National Library of China, with which the Bodleian had an evanescent memorandum of understanding, and I update it from time to time.

Chinese books in Europe in the seventeenth century updated 23 April 2024

A list of books which came to Europe in the seventeenth century, under constant review as more examples are discovered.

Lists updated 19 April 2024

The pre-modern Chinese collections contain things that can be catalogued only with difficulty, and sometimes not at all. I'm trying to make lists of them, and have made a start here. I'm also making lists of things that can't be found easily in the current catalogues.

Stone Age thinking at the speed of light – AACR2, MARC, and other dinosaurs

Book Arts Press Lecture 116 (17 March 1983) by John Jolliffe, who was Bodley's Librarian from 1982 until his untimely death in 1985. His paper demonstrates the inadequacies of library automation orthodoxy, and together with my annotations introduces some of the principal personalities involved in its construction.

David Helliwell
21 November 2023