RESOURCEFUL AND ENLIGHTENING
A Journey of Discovery: Qing Historical Sources in the Claremont Colleges Library
The episode known as the "Zhuang History case" (Zhuangshi shi'an 莊氏史案) was the first literary inquisition case (wenziyu 文字獄; literally: "imprisonment due to writings") which took place in China between 1661 and 1663 during the Qing dynasty. This case was about the publication of an unauthorized history of the Ming dynasty by Zhuang Tinglong (zhua莊廷鑨; died 1655). Pomona College Professor Alan Barr’s new book on this complicated and infamous case 江南一劫：清人笔下的莊氏史案 (Trauma in Jiangnan: Qing Writers on the Zhuang Family History Inquisition, Hangzhou: Zhejiang gu ji, 2016) utilizes a variety of primary sources. On display here are a few major primary sources from the Qing Dynasty that Prof. Barr used in his research. These resources include an anthology of the Qing dynasty imperial edicts, a massive compendium of biographies from the late 19th century, and a gazetteer printed in 1866 about a famous Daoist temple and mountain. Consistent with the tradition of woodblock printing, official dynastical historical records are seldom produced with illustrations. Geographical records of locality and regions, however, are richly illustrated with images of people, topographical features, natural sceneries, and architectural layouts of local government buildings and schools. More traditional historical sources are on display at the Asian Library reading area on the 3rd floor of The Claremont Colleges Library.