650 West 35th Street , Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | 4:00PM-5:00PM | Ahmanson Lab (LVL 301)


Woodblock printing, or xylography, the dominant textual print technology in East Asia, is fundamentally different from Western letterpress printing, or typography, and it presents particular challenges to the identification and authentication of editions of books published in China over the thousand-year history of traditional printing there. Based on decades of experience authenticating and cataloguing Chinese rare books, the speaker will introduce a wide variety of bibliographical problems and their interesting, and sometimes complex, solutions. The lecture will provide a comprehensive background to the history of printing in China and East Asia, and it will open up avenues of inquiry for Western historians of the book.

All are welcome. Light refreshments will be provided.

James Sören Edgren received his Ph.D. in Sinology from the University of Stockholm. He has worked in the Swedish Royal Library (National Library of Sweden) and has been employed in the antiquarian book trade. Dr. Edgren was Editorial Director of the Chinese Rare Books Project at Princeton University from 1991 to 2011. His publications include Catalogue of the Nordenskiöld Collection of Japanese Books in the Royal Library (1980), Chinese Rare Books in American Collections (1984), and numerous articles. He delivered the inaugural Delisle lectures on the history of the book at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 1997 and recently served as Associate Editor for The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010). He regularly teaches the History of the Book in China at Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia, and he teaches the same subject as a graduate seminar at Princeton University.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the USC Libraries Dean’s Challenge Grant, East Asian Studies Center, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and East Asian Library.

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  • Ling Luo

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