An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Lu Xinyuan 陸心源

Jul 18, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Lu Xinyuan 陸心源 (1834-1894), courtesy name Gangfu 陸剛甫 (also written 剛夫) or Qianyuan 潛園, style Cunzhai 存齋 or Qianyuan laoren 潛園老人, was book collector of the late Qing period 清 (1644-1911). He hailed from Gui'an 歸安 (modern Wuxing 吳興, Zhejiang) and was salt distribution commissioner (yanyunshi 鹽運使) of Fujian. His income allowed him to purchase a large amount of book that he collected from all over the country.

One of his acquirements was the library of the Yijia Hall 宜稼堂 in Shanghai, and he also bought a lot of book from the collection of Zhou Xingyi 周星貽. In the end he owned more than 150,000 thread-bound volumes (juan 卷) of books. He called his own library Yigu Gall 儀顧堂 "Deportment like that of Gu (Yanwu)", the name of which was invented when Lu read the book Tinglin yishu 亭林遺書 by the early Qing philosophre Gu Yanwu 顧炎武 (1613-1682).

Much more famous is his building Bisong Hall 皕宋樓 in which he stories precious manuscripts and books from the Song 宋 (960-1279) and Yuan 元 (1279-1368) periods. Two hundred of his books were original Song period prints. Lu Xinyuan had also constructed the Baiwanjuan Hall 十萬卷樓 "of the Hundred Thousand Volumes", where he stored extraordinary copies from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) and later. The Shouxian Hall 守先閣 in his Qianyuan Garden was reserved for average books. In a letter to the governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Gui'an he offered to open this part of his library to the public.

His Bisong Hall was one of the four famous libraries of the late Qing period, along with the Tieqin tongjian Hall 鐵琴銅劍樓 of the family Qu 瞿 in Changshu 常熟, Jiangsu, the Haiyuan Library 海源閣 of the Family Yang 楊 in Liaocheng 聊城, Shandong, and the Baqianlou Hall 八千卷樓 that was owned by the family Ding 丁 in Hangzhou杭州, Zhejiang.

Lu Xinyuan published the series Shiwanjuanlou congshu 十萬卷樓叢書 in three parts, where he provided facsimiles of 53 rare ancient prints from the Tang 唐 (618-907), Song and Yuan periods. This collection is arranged according to the four traditional categories of writings, and included a considerable amount of books on medicine, and short stories.

Another publication of Lu Xinyuan is the catalogue Bisonglou cangshu zhi 皕宋樓藏書志 that imitates the structure of Zhang Jinwu's 張金吾 catalogue Cangshuzhi 藏書志. It is 120 juan "scrolls" or 40 volumes long, is arranged in four parts (han 函) and is a commented catalogue on his collection of rare and precious Song and Yuan period prints. Lu Xinyuan also published the two books Yigutang tiba 儀顧堂題跋 and Yigutang xuba 儀顧堂續跋 that are descriptions of his library in the Yigu Hall. After Lu Xinyuan's death his son Lu Shufan 陸樹藩 (1868-1926) was unable to financially support the library and in 1907 sold 40,000 volumes of it for 118,000 Yuan to the Japanese collector Yiwasaki Yanosuke 岩崎弥之助 (1851-1908), who owned the library Seikadō bunko 靜嘉堂文庫.

Lu Xinyuan's scholarly writing were Jinshixue bulu 金石學補錄, a book on bronze and stone inscriptions, the history Songshiyi 宋史翼 and the Tangwen shiyi 唐文拾遺, a supplement to the collection Quantangwen 全唐文. His private writings are Rangliguan guoyan lu 穰梨館過眼錄, Yigutang ji 儀顧堂集 and Qianyuan zongji 潛園總集.

Pang Pu 龐樸, ed. (1997). Zhongguo ruxue 中國儒學 (Shanghai: Dongfang chuban zhongxin), Vol. 2, 283.