Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Huang Yü-chi

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HUANG Yü-chi 黃虞稷 (T. 俞邰 and 楮園), 1629–1691, scholar and bibliophile, was a native of Shang-yüan (Nanking). His family came originally from Chin-chiang, Fukien, but moved to Kiangsu when his father, Huang Chü-chung 黃居中 (T. 明立, H. 海鶴, chü-jên of 1585), became proctor of the Imperial Academy at Nanking. In 1678 Huang Yü-chi was summoned to compete in the special examination known as po-hsüeh hung-tz'ŭ (see under P'êng Sun-yü) which was held in Peking in the following year. But being in mourning for the death of his mother, he declined. He participated in the compilation of the official Ming History (Ming-shih) on the specific recommendation of the chief director, Hsü Yüan-wên [q. v.]. In 1684 he was appointed to assist in drafting the Ta Ch'ing i-t'ung chih, or "Comprehensive Geography of the Empire" (see under Hsü Ch'ien-hsüeh), with special responsibility for the geography of Fukien province from which his ancestors had come. This topographical project was first carried on in Peking, but when the chief director, Hsü Ch'ien-hsüeh [q. v.] retired from official life and moved south to continue the project in his own home, Huang Yü-chi went with him. In the summer of 1691 he went to his home in Nanking and died soon thereafter.

His poetry was regarded favorably by contemporary critics, but it is as bibliophiles that both Huang Yü-chi and his father are best known. His father assembled a library of more than 60,000 chüan, and he himself added to it some 20,000 chüan. The library was first known as Ch'ien-ch'ing chai 千頃齋 and was so designated by contemporaries such as Ch'ien Ch'ien-i and Huang Tsung-hsi [qq. v.], the latter having occasion to consult it frequently between the years 1630 and 1641. But it was also called Ch'ien-ch'ing t'ang, as indicated by the title of the famous catalogue of Ming literature, 千頃堂書目 Ch'ien-ch'ing t'ang shu-mu, compiled by Huang Yü-chi. This catalogue, in 32 chüan, was doubtless consulted by the compilers of the bibliographical section of the official Ming History. The descriptive notice of it in the Ssŭ-k'u Catalogue (see under Chi Yün) says, "For the investigation of the literature of the Ming period this book is most dependable." Other bibliographies of the same nature were Chiao Hung's [q. v.] Kuo-shih ching-chi chih, the bibliographical section in Fu Wei-lin's [q. v.] Ming-shu, and Yu T'ung's [q. v.] Ming-shih i-wên chih. The Ch'ien-ch'ing-t'ang shu-mu circulated for more than two centuries solely in manuscript form, appearing in print for the first time in 1916 in the Shih-yüan ts'ung-shu, compiled by Chang Chün-hêng (see under Cha Chi-tso). This fact accounts for the existence, in older libraries, of variant transcripts of the catalogue—some showing differences of considerable importance.


[1/489/26a; 3/427/27a; 30/3/17a; 32/4/12b; 泉州府志 Ch'üan-chou fu-chih (1763) 55/7b; Yeh Ch'ang-ch'ih, Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih (see under P'an Tsu-yin); Ch'ien Ch'ien-i [q. v.], 黃氏千頃齋藏書記 in Mu-chai yu-hsüeh chi (Ssŭ-pu ts'ung-k'an ed.) 26/2b; Ssŭ-k'u 85/4b.]

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