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CLIR Hidden Collection Project: Home

Discovering Modern China: UW & UBC Collections


For general research resources regarding Chinese studies, please refer to Chinese Studies Resources.

Project Highlights

  • The project has entered the last stage of assessment, final report and future planning.

  • The CLIR project officials came to UBC for the site visit on October 29. 項目相關負責人於10月29日抵達UBC參觀和會晤

  • The Project PIs' presentation has been positively received and commented at the the 2015 PRRLA Meeting.

  • Ya Min Wu and Jing Liu presented the Project at the Third Sino-American Academic Library Forum for Cooperation and Development. 110  academic librarians from 56 libraries attended the forum. 24 presentations were selected among 80 proposed ones.

  • Professor Boyue Yao, Rare Book Librarian from Beijing U. Library, Consultant for both UBC and UW, finished his work on May 29 at UBC. He has completed authenticating Pang Jingtang books and made recommendations for future development. 北大圖書館古籍專家姚伯岳教授擔任該項目的顧問,並圓滿完成鑑定龐氏藏書。他對未來中文古籍工作提出發展建議。

  • Mr. Ya Min Wu, the Rare Book Cataloguer, has completed cataloging over 1200 rare books. 武亞民老師已經完成1200多條編目記錄。


Support for this project was provided by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources  (CLIR).


九州分野輿圖古今人物事跡  季名臺 1643

UBC Library holds a large volume of Chinese language rare materials that have never been adequately described. These hidden collections' were donated by community members or purchased from Hong Kong or Macau with donated funds. Their research value are mostly unknown and inaccessible to scholars.

CLIR seeks to address the hidden collection problem by awarding grants for supporting innovative, efficient description of large volumes of material of high value to scholars. UBC Library is honoured to be a supporting partner in a collaboration led by the University of Washington that has won a grant from the CLIR. The Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant, worth $183,500, is for a project entitled “Discovering Modern China: University of Washington (UW) & University of British Columbia (UBC) Collections.” This project involves the cataloging of special colections held at both libraries, starting from June 1, 2014 and wrap up within 18 months.

This marks one of only two international collaborative efforts funded by CLIR and the first involving a Canadian university.This guide is providing the project related information for the team members, international partner institutions and scholars.


Principal Investigator: Jing Liu

Chinese Language Librarian, UBC Asian Library

Scholarly Engagement

  • Prof. Tim Brook's international collaborative research on Chinese statecraft focus on the Ming dynasty. This great 15th-century compilation of statecraft writings, Da xue yan yi bu 《大學衍義補》 in Puban Collection, was examined by Brook's team member, Dr. Dai Lianbin. Although the UBC holding was not catalogued with the accurate imprint, it was among the earliest existing copy, and the same edition has not been found any where else in the world. Dr. Dai presented his paper on The Genealogy of the Ming Editions of the Full Text of "Daxue yanyi bu" at an international conference, and it will be published soon.
  • Prof. Li Duanduan presented the research "The construction of Chinese identities and ideologies in textbooks for Chinese heritage-language (CHL) learners" on behalf of Dr.Patricia Duff, Hong Jiang, and Lorita Chiu in the 2014 World Congress of Applied Linguistics in Brisbane, Australia. The research was largely based on the special collection of old Chinese textbooks at UBC Asian Library.
  • Dr. Alan Thrasher's upcoming new book: "Qupai in Chinese Music: Melodic Models in Form and Practice" will be published by Routledge in 2016 with the contributions of three other scholars including Professor Chen Yingshi (陳應時), an expert on Tang dynasty music, Dr. François Picard from Université Paris-Sorbonne, and Dr. Yu Hui (喻輝) from Ningbo University. The book presents the latest research on the fundamental concept of qupai, melodic models upon which most traditional Chinese instrumental music is based. The research has benefited from the project materials, including Hui tu jing xuan kun qu da quan 《繪圖精選昆曲大全》and Baishidaoren ge qu : si juan 《白石道人歌曲 : 四卷》 from the collection have been cited in this book.