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Chinese Studies: Special Collections

A research guide for online resources related to Chinese studies at the Yale University Library.

Chinese Rare Books at Yale

The Yale University Library has been collecting Chinese language materials for almost 170 years. Six sets of traditional stitch-bound books, including Five Classics with Selected Comments 五經體註, were deposited to Yale in 1849, when the College Library became the first academic institution in the United States to collect Chinese books. The early acquisitions of Chinese books were mainly arranged for the Yale Library by missionary printer, scholar, and diplomat Samuel Wells Williams (1812-1884), who was Yale’s inaugural professor of Chinese language and literature. Yung Wing 容閎 (1828-1912), Yale Class of 1854 and the first Chinese student to graduate from an American college, gave his personal library to his alma mater. Yung Wing’s major donations in 1878 and 1911 laid the foundation of the Chinese collection.

The Chinese Rare Books at Yale database brings together information about Chinese rare books and manuscripts held in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. There are 439 works represented in the database and each record contains extensive bibliographic data and notes with a link to the catalog record in Orbis, Yale’s online catalog. 

For more information about Yale pre-1912 Chinese-language books, please consult Pre-Republican Chinese books and manuscripts at the Yale University Library 美國耶魯大學圖書館中文古籍目錄.

***Please refer to Guide to Using Special Collections at the Yale University Library to access Chinese rare books at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

***For ordering reproductions

Selected Chinese Rare Books at Yale

大方廣佛華嚴經. 卷第二十一

北宋間[960–1127]寫本

法苑珠林. 卷四十七

北宋宣和六年[1124]福州開元寺刻毗盧大藏本

大般若波羅蜜多經. 卷第五百八十二

宋元間[1127-1368]刻本

阿毗曇論. 卷第二十四

宋元間[1127-1368]刻本

阿毗曇毗婆沙論. 卷第六十二

宋元間[1127-1368]刻本

續高僧傳. 卷第二

宋元間[1127-1368]刻本

新訂京本增和釋義魁字千家詩選二卷

明萬曆間[1573-1619]書林鄭氏宗文堂刻本

新刻屠儀部編集皇明捷錄一卷

明萬曆三十一年[1603]書林鄭聚垣刻本

新刊校正古本大字音釋三國志通俗演義十二卷附三國志宗寮

明萬曆十九年[1591]金陵萬卷樓周曰校刻本

紅樓夢一百二十回

清乾隆五十七年[1792]北京程偉元木活字印本

大義覺迷錄

清雍正八年[1730]內府刻本

親征平定朔漠方略四十八卷 附御製親征朔漠紀略

清康熙四十七年[1708]北京內府刻初印本

新刋增補古今名家韻學淵海大成十二卷

明萬曆間[1573-1620]刻本

二如亭羣芳譜二十八卷 卷首

清康熙間[1662-1722]翻刻明末[1628-1644]刻本

三才圖會

明萬曆三十七年[1609]刻本

御製天元玉曆祥異賦

明末[1621-1644]蘭格抄本

滇省夷人圖說

清嘉慶十八年後[1813-1911]彩繪本

蘇省輿地營伍全圖

清光緒間[1875-1908]彩繪本

Bookplates from Yale Chinese Collection

Samuel Wells Williams (Hon. M.A. 1877)

Frederick Wells Williams (B.A. 1879)

Samuel Wells Williams (Hon. M.A. 1877)

Francis Eben Woodruff (B.A. 1864)

William Alexander Parsons Martin

Yung Wing

容閎

(B.A. 1854, Hon. LL.D. 1876)

Yung Wing

容閎

(B.A. 1854, Hon. L.L.D. 1876)

Edward Hicks Hume (B.A. 1897)

Yale in China

Henry Fletcher (B.A. 1898)

Edwin J. Beinecke (B.A. 1907)

Elisha Francis Riggs (B.A. 1909)

Thomas Lawrason Riggs (B.A. 1910)

Hsiang-Hsi Kung

孔祥熙

(M.A. 1907, Hon. L.L.D. 1937)

George Alexander Kennedy

Mary Clabaugh Wright

Arthur Frederick Wright

Arthur Frederick Wright

Hua-Fen Yeh 葉華芬