Spatial Distribution of Historical Personal Libraries in China, 960-1945, charted by Chen Xi, 2017. The Background map comes from CHGIS, Institute of Historical Geography, Fudan University

Project (2017)

Spatial Analysis of Historical Private Libraries in China, 960-1945

The private library was an important element of culture in ancient China, and can be used as an alternative indicator of knowledge distribution. By analyzing the spatial distribution of private libraries, we can know the distribution rule and changes of ancient knowledge. By mining data from local gazetteers and other historical documents, the objectives of this study are: 1) to establish a database of China’s historical private libraries, including information such as a library’s name, time, collection, location, building structure, and information about a library’s owner; 2) to explore the spatial distribution and evolutionary characteristics of private libraries through use of GIS; 3) to find out which key factors determined the distribution of libraries through the use of spatial statistics.

By now, information on 1,508 private libraries has been collected. The author wishes to gather more information, including on other types of libraries, by using the MPIWG’s local gazetteer database in the future.