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CLIR Hidden Collection Project

Discovering Modern China: UW & UBC Collections



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.


Presentation Documents

Online Exhibition

Chinese Rare Book Sample Pages 古籍书目展示

To visit more titles from the collection, visit our Chinese Rare Book Sample Pages website.
点击进入Chinese Rare Book Sample Pages主页 查看更多古籍书目展示

            隸韻                           周易解                            詩經                               書經集傳                            戰國策                            貞觀政要


       太史華句                      左國腴詞                       兩漢雋言                           杜氏通典                           小學史斷                            菉竹堂書目


          朱文正公小學               陽明先生則言                       管子                                   妝史                            草韻辨體                          鑑古齋墨藪


 莊子 南華真經                 六家文選                       六臣註文選                        梁昭明文選                      文選集釋                     文選錦字錄


                才調集                          唐詩紀事                       唐詩鼓吹                           唐詩鼓吹                  箋註唐賢三體詩法              禦選宋詩


                禦選金詩                     禦選元詩                        禦選明詩                            楚騷綺語                   類箋唐王右丞詩集         杜工部分類詩


                             杜工部集      朱文公校昌黎先生文集        昌黎先生詩集註               唐陸宣公翰苑集            宋濂溪周元公先生集      宋乾道永州本柳柳州外集


           蘇文忠公詩集               王荊公詩箋注               漁洋山人精華錄             漁洋山人精華錄訓纂                 飴山詩集                    馮舍人遺詩


             伏敔堂詩錄                    談龍錄                           聲調譜                       新刻旁注四六類函                  盛世新聲                      王羲之法帖


     董其昌臨諸本蘭亭序       星鳳樓帖蘭亭序二種     蘭亭序六種附黃庭經      唐臨絹本蘭亭序黃庭經         摹定武本蘭亭序                 舊搨稧帖八種


                 蘭亭序                        蘭亭序                             鄭周碑          史晨饗孔廟碑與史晨祀孔廟奏銘           曹全碑







Project Team

Project Pictures


(From left to right) Pro.Yao, Yamin,Yanting and Weiyan                                           Professor Yao and Yamin

Project Presentation: The Chinese Rare Materials in UBC Library: Pang Jingtang Collection. Presented by Professor Boyue Yao, Professor Bruce Rusk, Mr. Yamin Wu and Ms. Jing Liu on May 19, 2015.

CLIR Principal Investigator

Ms. LIU, Jing

She joined UBC in 2000 as the Chinese Language Librarian and Technical Services Supervisor. She has led or coordinated international collaborative virtual reference, international resource sharing, flexible learning, rare book research and digitization projects.  Jing received a MLS from University of Washington and Master of Asia Pacific Policy Studies from UBC. Prior to coming to UBC, she worked for academic, public, and special libraries in major cities worldwide including Beijing, New York, Chicago and Seattle. Jing has authored dozens of publications and her current research projects include cultural exchange among Chinese Canadians and Canadian missionaries in China.

CLIR Project Cataloger

Mr. WU, Yamin

He has very rich experience in cataloging various materials, particularly Chinese rare items. After graduating from Peking University with a Bachelor of Arts in Library Science, he started working as a cataloguer in  Liaoning Provincial Library (LPL) in China and was later promoted as Senior Librarian, Assistant Director. Working effectively in the capacity of Librarian, he has been pursuing his interest in Chinese rare collections. In order to keep his knowledge and skills updated, he furthered his study in the Graduate Program in Philosophy of Science and Technology in Northeastern University in China. In addition, Yamin has a great number of articles published in various scholarly journals.

Yamin joined the CLIR project as Project Cataloguer in December 2014, and he was happy to keep exploring in various Chinese rare collections.


UBC Library Principal Cataloguer, Project Technical Advisor

Ms. ANDREWS, Susan

She is the Principal Cataloguer of the UBC Library and an authority in the field in Canada. Sue provides guidelines and technical recommendations relating to cataloguing, and helps to reconcile Chinese rare book cataloguing practices with both western rare book cataloguing practices and the Library’s current use of RDA, the new international cataloguing rules. She has helped to train the project cataloguers and graduate student assistants and provides quality evaluation.

CLIR Project Consultant

Professor. YAO, Boyue

He spent April and May of 2015 at UBC focusing on Pang Jingtang Collection. Prof. Yao is a well-known rare-book expert in China. He served as head of the rare-book department of Beijing University Library for many years and also taught on Chinese rare-book identification and cataloging, textual bibliography, and copyright. In the past decade, he has worked at Harvard, Princeton and Berkeley on similar rare book projects. Professor Yao is an award-winning author and a heavy weight presenter at international conferences. His current research projects include “Atlas making in Qing Dynasty,” “Chinese Rubbings,” among others.  Prof. Yao graduated from Beijing University.  He has worked there as a teaching faculty member and librarian for 30 years.



Ms. FU, Rong  (June 2014 - July 2015)

She graduated from Beijing Normal University with a M.A. in Linguistics and Language Teaching. Before furthering her library and information studies at iSchool, UBC, she had got a Lib-tech Diploma from Langara College. Her current Student Librarian position at Education Library of UBC has given her a great opportunity to expose herself to an authentic library environment. She joined the CLIR project in June 2014 and found it intriguing to be involved in investigating different subjects of Chinese rare collections.


Ms. HU, Zhenye ( June 2015- August 2015) 

She graduated from Central China Normal University with a bachelor degree in Translation. She is currently pursuing her master program in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. She is multilingual and can speak Chinese, English and Japanese. The undergraduate study equipped her with excellent  translation skills which could be contributed to the CLIR project. As an education major now, she is actively  involved in many educational  practices such as being the teaching assistant in Magee Secondary School and Van Horne Elementary School. She is very interested in ancient Chinese culture and looks forward to exploring more about it in this project. 


Mr. MA, Zoudan (September 2014 - April 2015)

He graduated from Peking University with two degrees in History and Sociology. He is now pursing his Master of Arts in History at UBC. Besides working on this project, he is a teaching and research assistant and working with Prof. Tim Brook, Leo Shin and Namlin Hur. He has presented his research in some international conferences, and studied in Korea and Taiwan as an exchange student.

Zoudan is impressed by the size and rarity of the Chinese rare books collection at UBC.


Ms. QIU, Yanting

She received her M.A. from Asian Studies at UBC with Dr. Catherine Swatek and her M.A. thesis is on drama and theatre in late imperial China. She is now a PhD student of Theatre and Film Studies at UBC, working with Dr. Liu, Siyuan on traditional Asian theatre in contemporary period. She works as teaching assistant of several modern and classical Chinese language courses, and is now a research assistant of Dr. Liu and Dr. Swatek. She has presented her researches at ATHE (Association of Theatre in High Education) 2013 and ASPAC (Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast) 2014.

Yanting was very impressed by the richness of the hidden collections and their donors. She has been learning a lot of the Chinese migration history in BC, Canada since her first day of working.  She feels not just lucky but also proud of being a member of the CLIR project. 


Mr. WEI, Yinzong

He graduated from Peking University in 2011 with two degrees, B.A. in Chinese Classics and Classical Bibliography and B.S. in Psychology. He received his M.A. in Ancient Chinese Texts at Peking University in 2014. He is now a PhD student of Textual Culture and Intellectual History in Late Imperial China at UBC. He worked as a teaching assistant in several Chinese language and literature classes. He also studied in Taiwan as an exchange student and presented his research in some international conferences.  Yinzong is currently doing some study on the marginalia in ancient Chinese books and is amazed by the richness of books with marginalia “hidden” at the UBC Asian Library. 


Ms. YIN, Yangyue

She graduated from University of Victoria with a BA in 2009. She is now in the second year to finish her Master’s program in Library and Information Studies at iSchool, UBC. Her current position at UBC Digital Initiative has trained her on skills of rare book digitization and preservation. She has also been worked as a GAA at UBC Asian Library for almost two years and participated in various library projects. Yangyue is more than excited to join the CLIR project and is amazed by the huge hidden rare book collections.

Ms. ZHANG, Isabel
She has been working with the UBC library for about 10 years, starting at the Asian Library as public services assistant and now as European and Chinese language cataloguer in the Central Technical Services.

She felt extremely honoured and privileged to be part of the CLIR project.