University of Virginia Collection of Ancient Chinese Books

University of Virginia Collection of Ancient Chinese Books

22 June 2022, 16:00
A source: © news.virginia.edu
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The University of Virginia, one of the largest and best public research universities in the United States, invites its students to work with the original ancient texts that are stored in its library. An important part is made up of ancient Chinese books, collected in part by Soren Edgren, a specialist in rare oriental editions. He collected his collection for decades, now unique copies are in a new home - the Library of Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections at the university.

The collection contains more than 500 unique books, prints, scrolls and other valuable items. Each copy carries a separate fascinating story. For example, one book is a cross between a collection of recipes and a memoir, and was published in the 18th century. On the pages of another book, you can see seals and information about previous owners. The oldest copies of this collection are about one thousand years old, and the newest are books from the 19th century. Thanks to this collection, scientists have been able to look into the past for several centuries and analyze the culture of writing, the history of printing and the distribution of printed publications in China, Korea and Japan.

Soren Edgren became interested in the history of the development of the Chinese book during his studies at Stockholm University. Then he made his first acquisitions, which became the basis of the library. The roots of the history of typography go back to the distant past, much further than Gutenberg with his invention. For example, in 868, a copy of the Buddhist text "Diamond Sutra" was made using the woodcut method. In the 10th century, some sutras and paintings were published in mass circulation in China, but books in their present form were still far away.

The collection of books, once included in the university library, was immediately cataloged and distributed. We also recommend that you do not forget about books, especially rare editions that are growing in price with their gradual disappearance from the used market. You can search for the lots you are interested in at any time on Violity.

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Photo © news.virginia.edu

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Photo © news.virginia.edu

Photo © news.virginia.edu

Photo © news.virginia.edu

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