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History of UniversitiesVolume XXIX / 1$
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Mordechai Feingold

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779919

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779919.001.0001

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Noël Golvers, Libraries of Western Learning for China. Circulation of Western Books between Europe and China in the Jesuit Mission (ca.1650–1750), ii: Formation of Jesuit Libraries. (Louvain: Ferdinand Verbiest Institute K.U. Leuven, 2013), 559 pp. ISBN: 9789082090901

Noël Golvers, Libraries of Western Learning for China. Circulation of Western Books between Europe and China in the Jesuit Mission (ca.1650–1750), ii: Formation of Jesuit Libraries. (Louvain: Ferdinand Verbiest Institute K.U. Leuven, 2013), 559 pp. ISBN: 9789082090901

Chapter:
(p.222) Noël Golvers, Libraries of Western Learning for China. Circulation of Western Books between Europe and China in the Jesuit Mission (ca.1650–1750), ii: Formation of Jesuit Libraries. (Louvain: Ferdinand Verbiest Institute K.U. Leuven, 2013), 559 pp. ISBN: 9789082090901
Source:
History of Universities
Author(s):

Alexander Statman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198779919.003.0014

The chapter discusses Western book collecting in China during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It draws from Noël Golvers' Libraries of Western Learning for China and its volume Formation of Jesuit Libraries (2013), which contains accounts of Jesuit missions during the period and how the Jesuit-run libraries were built, maintained, and dismantled. Golvers relies almost entirely on archival documents, with lengthy quotations throughout the text in at least six European languages and many supplemental graphs, tables, and lists. The main argument is that in the early seventeenth century, the missionaries Nicolas Trigault and Niccolò Longobardo formulated a centralised program for procuring European books and organizing them in China, but it comes off largely as an afterthought. What Golvers actually shows is just how diverse the Jesuit libraries really were. He addresses themes, such as the division between communal and private libraries, the circulation of books, and the continuity of collections.

Keywords:   book collecting, China, seventeenth century, eighteenth century, Noël Golvers, Jesuit mission, Jesuit libraries, Nicolas Trigault, Niccolò Longobardo

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