Presentation on theme: "The Development of Books in China: Then and Now Ping Situ University of Arizona Library April 2006."— Presentation transcript:
The Development of Books in China: Then and Now Ping Situ University of Arizona Library April 2006
Outline Historical development of Chinese characters. Historical evolution of books in China. Introduction of paper-making and printing. Traditional publishing and e-publishing. Progress and challenges Copyright related issues in China.
Historical Publishing Statistics 206 B.C. – 960 A.D. 270,000 volumes were published. 960 – 1279 124,000 volumes were published. 1260 – 1911 1,973,000 volumes were published. 1911 – 1949 About 10,000 titles were published. 1949 – 1993 Over 131,000 titles were published. 2000 – Over 100, 000 titles published every year.
Chinese Words Now Part of the English Examples of common English words with Chinese roots:. Ginseng 人参 (ren shen) Oolong 乌龙 (u long) Tofu 豆腐 (dou fu) Yin-yang 阴阳 (yin yang) Typhoon 台风 (tai feng) Feng-shui 风水 (feng shui)
The “Writing” of Chinese Characters Before the Invention of Paper B.C. (Shang Dynasty) Letters were carved on oracle bones or bronze wares. B.C. (Spring and Autumn Period) Silk was used only by the rich; bamboo/wood strips were used by the general public.
Jiaguwen (inscriptions carved in animal bone or tortoise shells) Dated from over 3000 years ago. Are the earliest Chinese characters. Every character is like a picture. 3000 characters were discovered. Over 1000 of them can still be found in today’s vocabulary. Are invaluable resources on the social, economic and cultural development of the prehistoric period. 貝 treasure
Jinwen (Chinese characters inscribed on ancient bronze ware ) Earliest known bronze vessel inscriptions were made during the Western Zhou Dynasty ( B.C.) The longest text is the Maogongding which contains 497 characters. Compared to oracle bone inscriptions, Jinwen appears more organized and is simpler and less pictographic.
Writing on Bamboo Slips (Began over 2,700 years ago) One written document needed to be carried by two strong men. A few books would fill up a big cart. The daily official documents read by Emperor Qin (259 B.C B.C.) weighed over one hundred pounds.
Writing on Silk Silk first was produced in China (3000 B.C.) It was more convenient to carry around and much easier to be organized than bamboo “books”. High cost limited use for writing to a small group of aristocrats.
Evolution of Chinese Script from Pictographs to Characters
Paper Inventing and Printing In 105 A.D. Cai Lun introduced paper making using bamboo fiber, old fishnet, linen rags, remnants of hemp and tree bark. Knowledge of papermaking skills passed to other Asian countries, Europe and then rest of the world. With the invention of paper, Chinese began to create books. Before printing was invented, all books were copied by hand. The earliest known book was printed using block printing in 636. By the end of the Tang Dynasty ( ), China had bookstores in almost every city. Movable type printing was invented by Bi Sheng in 1040; 400 years before Gutenberg invented the printing press in Europe.
Block Printing Started in the early Tang Dynasty ( AD) N ü Ze, compiled and edited by the Empress, was the first block-printed book (636 A.D.). First use was by officials, but then extended to the public and eventually printing became a business. Chiefly were religious and philosophical documents (mostly Buddhist sutras and Confucian literature)
Movable Type Technology Clay movable type print. Wood movable type print. Metal movable type print. Tin Lead Copper Iron.
The Chinese Invention of Movable Type The Chinese invention of movable type, credited to Bi Sheng in the year 1045 AD, did not significantly impact Chinese society. Four hundred years later in Europe, Gutenberg's development of movable type revolutionized the Western world. Why? The Chinese language uses at least 5000 characters in an average book. The English language, in comparison, uses 26 letters. Clearly, manipulating 5000 characters on a printing press took much longer than moving 26.
Traditional Chinese Books Vertical texts. Read from right to left. Pages turn from left to right. Thread bound.
The Two Giant Hand-copied Encyclopedic Titles Hand copying was more practical because of the vast quantity of texts. Yongle Dadian (The Great Classic of Yongle reign) A huge compilation of everything considered worth knowing by at the time of compilation in 1547, consisting of over 11,000 volumes. Only about 300 survive in original manuscript form today. Siku Quanshu (Complete Library in Four Branches of Literature) Containing more than 36,000 volumes. It is the most comprehensive collection from earliest known Chinese scholarship until the date of publication in It covers a wide variety of subjects in the humanities, science, and social sciences.
An Overview of E-Publishing in China The Internet was introduced in China in 120 million Internet users in 2005; the number expected to surpass 200 million by The e-publishing industry in China started with floppy disks in the mid 1980s. By 1994 more than 1,000 titles had been published on disks. Government support and rapid technology development. CD-ROM publishing in China started in By 1997 there were 22 CD-ROM reproduction factories in China. E-publishing activities by libraries: the National Library of China is developing online indexes to current Chinese yearbooks as well as Chinese rare books down to article level. E-government project: Since1999 more than 1000 ministries and departments, including the provincial and city level, have established their own web sites.
Electronic Publishing in China E-books: Super Star. Founder/Apabi. Scholar’s Home. Renda Fu yin bao kan zi liao (index and full-text of journals and newspaper articles). A few examples with a special focus on Chinese classics: Guo xue bao dian Gu jin tu shu ji cheng. Si ku quan shu. E-journals: CAJ (Qinghua TongFang): full-text academic journal articles, dissertations, selected newspaper articles, conference proceedings, patents, etc. COJ (Wangfand Data): a fulltext journal database with its emphasis on science and technology. Weipu Journal Co. (Congqing Scientific Information Center): focuses on science and technology. DragonSource - (Chinese language E-Magazines from the Netlibrary).
Challenges for E-Book Industry in China Lack of a win-win-win solution to the copyright issues for the writers, publishers and readers. Lack of e-book display standards. Library users have to learn multiple software of the different e-book databases. Lack of capabilities to limit duplicate/multiple copies from different vendors to save money. Lack of selectivity when choosing what to add to the e- book collection. Lack of standardization in pricing. Lack of standardization in Chinese character encoding.
Chinese Language Computing Dilemma for E-Publishing Three major computer encoding systems are used for Chinese: Big5 It encodes traditional characters and is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. It is one or two byte coding. GuoBiao (GB) It encodes simplified characters and is used in People’s Republic of China and Singapore. The latest version is GB18030 which is a one, two or four byte encoding. Unicode Unicode includes all the characters from GB and Big5 and more. It is supported by both Netscape and Internet Explorer and is growing in popularity. Putting all characters up as pictures so that they can be viewed on all browsers. challenges: hard to make changes and long time to load. Three main types of keyboard input methods: by encoding by pronunciation by structure of the characters.
Copyright Issues in China Publishers own the copyright for journals while authors hold copyright for individual articles. Starting in the late 1990s publishers asked authors to sign over their copyright for both print and electronic. For articles earlier than the nineties, retrospective contracts need to be signed with individual authors to obtain e-copyright. Some journals may “disappear” someday from the databases when the Chinese copyright becomes more explicit. Different options of economic incentives for authors: Free membership (free access to the entire e-book database). Pay per download. Pay per check-out.