London Missionary Society Chinese Collection

London Missionary Society Chinese Collection.

The following description was first sent around H-Asia on April 18, 2009by Ryan Dunch (U. Alberta): “I was excited to learn this week that the London Missionary Society collection of Chinese books at the National Library of Australia is now digitized and accessible on the web through the Library’s catalogue.  See http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Search/Home?filter[]=pi%3Anla.gen*&lookfor=London+Missionary+Society&type=all . There are 539 items listed — most or all of that collection.

The collection is mostly of printed books collected by the LMS missionaries in China in the late Qing period, including Christian tracts and mission publications on scientific topics, but also many non-mission books, some manuscript items, Taiping editions, and Japanese editions of missionary publications in Chinese.  Some of these are very rare or possibly unique copies of the work in question. Examples include the first edition of Hobson’s _Quanti xinlun_ (Anatomy, 1851), which contains a different set of diagrams than the version subsequently printed in Shanghai; the first edition of Alexander Wylie and Li Shanlan’s _Tan tian_ (Astronomy, 1859), also with different content and illustrations than the better-known second edition, and many other examples.”

In addition, Di Pin Ouyang at the National Library of Australia sent the following description via email in July, 2009:
“The London Missionary society (LMS) collection of Chinese books at the National Library of Australia is now accessible. The collection consists of over 550 digitised fulltext works collected by the London Missionary society missionaries in China in the late Qing period. The National Library of Australia acquired the LMS collection of Chinese language works in 1961. The majority of these works were the history of Christianity and religion in China; the political history and government of China during the period 1644-1912. The most valuable items in the collection are the pamphlets relating to the Taiping rebellion, which include the twenty-four pamphlets published by the Taiping rebels and three original proclamations from leaders of the movement. The LMS collection also contains valuable resources on Western influences in China and Chinese responses to the foreign impact. We invite you to discover all items digitised to date through LMS Digitised Collection.”

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