Category Archives: History of scholarship

Aurel Stein – Flowers to Lajos Lóczy

Last summer we were at Lake Balaton in western Hungary and decided to take a day trip to the Balatonarács cemetery to visit the grave of the famous Hungarian explorer and geologist Lajos Lóczy (1849-1920). In the West, he is … Continue reading

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Denison Ross and the Tibetan monks in London

While in Shanghai, I also visited the Xujiahui branch of the Shanghai Library, where they have old western books and newspapers. This is the old Bibliotheca Zi-Ka-Wei with an amazing architecture and equally impressive holdings of books. I spent some … Continue reading

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Impossible dates in manuscripts

Every now and then we come across impossible dates in Chinese manuscripts and inscriptions, which refer to years in reign periods that never existed. The common explanation for these is that the place where the manuscript was written was remote … Continue reading

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A mysterious manuscript about the discovery of Dunhuang manuscripts

The mysterious manuscript referred to in the title is a little notebook written in a cursive caoshu hand and is currently located at the Gansu Provincial Library. The title Dunhuang xianhua 敦煌闲话 (Idle Chat about Dunhuang) is included in the notebook so … Continue reading

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Chinese books, starting at the end

William B. Langdon’s catalogue of Nathan Dunn’s Chinese collection (A Descriptive Catalogue of the Chinese Collection, Now Exhibiting at St. George’s Place, Hyde Park Corner, London 1843) has been one of the best-sellers of its time, selling about a 100,000 copies. … Continue reading

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Criticism of Chen Mengjia by fellow scholars

Reading on the history of simplified characters I came across a small book called 1957年文字改革辩论选辑 (Shanghai: Xin zhishi, 1958) which contains a series of articles from contemporary periodicals about the writing reform. I was surprised to find two vicious articles … Continue reading

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Chinese seals found in Ireland

A while ago I published an article called “The story of the Chinese seals found in Ireland” (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2008, 18: 465-479) about a group of Chinese porcelain seals discovered in different locations throughout Ireland during the … Continue reading

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