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-101BOOK REVIEW Chung-kuo fa-chih-shih shu-mu F gl -J^ j^ij JUt-R (An Annotated Bibliography of Chinese Legal History) Compiled by Wejen Chang $/\% 1— Taipei, Taiwan: Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 1976. Three volumes, 1,558 pages. Author and Title Indices. NT$700=US$17.50* Historians and sinologists have very little reference works to rely on when they try to understand traditional China's legal system and its contribution to the world's civilization. The books dealing with law in the dynastic histories are mentioned only fleetingly. For the twentieth century there are three major Chinese bibliographies that touch upon Chinese legal history.1 The first is Sun Tsu-chi's £*}, ífl.^. Chung-kuo 11-tai fa-chla chu-shu k'ao ftglffi-tf vfr% %jj·..^- (A Study on the Publications of Legalists of Various Dynasties in China), published in 1934 which covers 572 books over a three thousand year period that bear on law, such as codes, regulations, trial practices, handbooks for officials and clerks, and the like. Some of the books Sun listed are no longer available. The second is Ma Feng-ch'en'sJ^.i|>· ^ Ch'ing-tai hsing-cheng chih-tu yen-chiu ts'an-k'ao shu-mu i^i^Ir.if tyFfJtifl/?:%-·%^"g (Annotated Bibliography for Research into the Administrative Institutions of the Ch'ing Dynasty), published in 1935. It deals with only one dynasty but, unlike Sun's book, includes many works that go beyond law. The third one is Chung-kuo fa-chih-shih ts'an-k'ao shu-mu chlen-chieh tpgj:,£$>J %.&¦%% B ft 4f~(A Brlef Introduction to Reference Books on Chinese Legal History), compiled by Li Tsu-yin^fc-;fg_[>i and others and published in Mainland China in 1957. This bibliography collected 932 books throughout Chinese history that are -102currently available in the People's Republic of China and which treat law in a restricted sense. Obviously, all three of these bibliographies are inadequate for a scholar making an inquiry of China's legal past. To remedy this shortcoming Chang Wejen, now associated with the Academia Sinica on Taiwan, and rigorously trained in contemporary law schools of Taiwan and the United States, has taken up the challenge to compile a satisfactory working tool for students of Chinese legal history. Chang's major thrust is to treat law in its broadest sense, thus accommodationg works not covered by the three previous bibliographies. What he has finally produced is an impressive three volume annotated bibliography (hereafter referred to as Bibliography) , spanning more than three thousand years of Chinese history and covering 2,352 titles found in fourteen major libraries in Taiwan. Each title lists a brief biography of the author, information on the edition (publisher, original and current publishing dates, author and date of preface and colophon, if any), the contents, the compiler's research notes, and call numbers of that book in libraries of Taiwan. Author and title indices are appended at the end. In addition, there are three articles (for the total of 47 pages) by the compiler placed at the beginning of the Bibliography explaining his work method and criteria of classification. These articles are entitled "Preface", "Principles of Compilations", and "Standard and Methods of Classification." All have been published in the Shlh-huo Monthly, the earliest of which appeared in June of 1973. In these articles Chang recounted the trying experiences he had endured while directing Che bibliography project, how he painstakingly searched in major libraries throughout the world for possible books to include in the Bibliography. -103how he screened and trained over twenty law graduates from the National Taiwan University as associate editors, and how he made numerous adjustments in production over the course of the project. Chang and his associates worked day and night to complete the Bibliography in seven or eitht years. I dare say that nowadays very few scholars have the perseverence of Mr. Chang to produce a work of such magnitude. The final product is truly a gem of scholarship on Chinese legal history and a very useful reference tool for beginning students who are interested in China's legal tradition. We are all...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3257
Print ISSN
0884-3236
Pages
pp. 101-108
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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