Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Ting Ping

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TING Ping 丁丙 (T. 嘉魚, 松生, 松存), Aug. 15, 1832–1899, Apr. 18, bibliophile, publisher and philanthropist, was a native of Ch'ien-t'ang (Hangchow). An ancestor of the Ting family, named Ting K'ai 丁顗, accumulated a collection of books comprising 8,000 chüan. Ting Ping's grandfather, Ting Kuo-tien 丁國典 (T. 掌六), built in memory of Ting K'ai's collection a library called Pa-ch'ien-chüan lou 八千卷樓. Ting Ping's father, Ting Ying 丁英 (T. 洛耆, d. 1855), was also a bibliophile who in the course of wide travels over China added many more volumes to the family library. But this collection was destroyed in 1861 when the Taipings besieged Hangchow. Thereupon Ting Ping and his elder brother, Ting Shên 丁申 (T. 竹舟, d. 1887), began another collection which grew to larger proportions and became better known than the earlier one.

At the age of twenty-two (1854) Ting Ping became a licentiate of the first class but failed to obtain a higher degree. When the Taiping forces laid siege to Hangchow, early in 1860, the Ting brothers assisted in the defense of the city. After the fall of the city (March 19) they retired to Sungkiang and then to Ch'ing-p'u—both in Kiangsu. Although Hangchow was recovered by the government forces (March 24) it again fell to the Taipings late in the following year (1861, see under Tso Tsung-t'ang). Early in 1862 Ting Ping went to Liu-hsia-chên, a town located several miles northwest of Hangchow. While making certain purchases he noticed that the articles were wrapped in paper that had been taken from a set of the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu (see under Chi Yün). He rightly concluded that the Wên Lan Ko (which housed in Hangchow a duplicate set of the Ssŭ-k'u) must either have been destroyed or in part dispersed. With great difficulty he and his brother rescued many volumes of the set and stored them in a safe place. After moving to Hsiao-shan, to Shaohsing, and then to Ningpo (all in Chekiang), they finally went to Shanghai in the summer of 1862, temporarily settling their families there in 1863. While in Shanghai Ting Ping persuaded a bookdealer by the name of Chou Hui-hsi 周匯西 to go to Hangchow to save what remnants he could from the Wên Lan Ko. The dealer gained entrance to the city (then in the hands of the Taipings) and, on the pretense of collecting paper with characters on it to save it from being put to base uses a pious custom, known in Chinese as 敬惜字紙), he brought back to Ting some two hundred bundles of which about ten per cent were in the form of bound volumes. Later Ting had a painting made of this rescue of books from the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu which he entitled 書庫抱殘圖 Shu-k'u pao-ts'an t'u. With reference to the same event he took as his sobriquet, or hao, the words "Shu-k'u pao-ts'an shêng" (生).

The Ting family returned to Hangchow in 1864, after Tso Tsung-t'ang [q. v.] had recovered that city. Throughout their lives the members of the family were active in local rehabilitation and in philanthropic service. The scattered remnants from the Wên Lan Ko, which they had gathered, were placed in the prefectural school (府學). During the years 1866–71, the two brothers searched for and bought some three hundred more items of the Ssŭ-k'u collection, bringing the total to some 9,060 volumes (册). Although the building known as the Wên Lan Ko was not completely destroyed, it was badly damaged and in no condition to house books. When T'an Chung-lin 譚鍾麟 (T. 雲覲, H. 文卿, chin-shih of 1856, d. 1905) became governor of Chekiang in 1879, plans for restoring it were discussed and construction began in 1880 with Ting Ping as one of the two superintendents. The work was completed in 1881 and the volumes that had been recovered were deposited in it. Since a large percentage of the original Ssŭ-k'u collection was still missing, Ting Ping began in 1882 to assemble more by purchase and by borrowing, with a view to transcription. These labors continued until 1889 and during that time 891 incomplete works were assembled and 2,174 works were copied. These, together with the 331 original works that were not molested, comprised 34,769 volumes (ts'ê).

In the years 1888–89 Ting Ping built at Hangchow a library for himself, consisting of a series of three two-storey buildings. In the front structure he deposited some five thousand works whose titles appear in the Ssŭ-k'u Catalogue (see under Chi Yün), together with a set of the Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'êng (see under Ch'ên Mêng-lei), and a set of the Ch'üan T'ang-wên (see under Tung Kao). The first floor of this building he named Chia-hui t'ang 嘉惠堂, and the second he named in memory of the earlier ancestral library, Pa-ch'ien-chüan lou. The name Chia-hui t'ang he derived from a phrase, "Chia-hui shih-lin" (嘉惠士林, "benefiting the scholastic world"), which appeared in the imperial edict issued to the Ting brothers in 1881 in praise of their efforts to restore the Wên Lan Ko. The building erected to the rear of this one bore on the lower floor a tablet reading, "Ch'i-shu man-chia" 其書滿家 and on the upper floor one reading "Hou (後) pa-ch'ien-chüan lou". This building housed some eight thousand works which are not given notice in the Ssŭ-k'u Catalogue. On the west side of the building a smaller one was erected to house rare editions, consisting of some two hundred Sung and Yüan printed books and some two thousand manuscripts and other rare items. The lower floor of this smaller structure was named "Shan-pên-shu shih" 善本書室 and the upper floor "Hsiao (小) pa-ch'ien-chüan lou".

In 1896 Ting Ping began to work on a descriptive catalogue of his rare items, entitled Shan-pên shu-shih ts'ang-shu chih (藏書志), which was completed in 1899 in 40 chüan and was first printed in 1901. Ten years after his decease financial difficulties made it necessary to transfer the library to the Kiangsu provincial government at Nanking. It thus became the most valuable part of the Chiang-nan t'u-shu-kuan 江南圖書館, the name of which was later changed to Kiangsu shêng-li ti-i (江蘇省立第一) t'u-shu-kuan, and finally to Kuo-hsüeh (國學) t'u-shu-kuan, or Kuo-hsüeh Library. The transfer took place in 1909 when Tuan-fang [q. v.] was governor-general of Liang-Kiang. Miao Ch'üan-sun (see under Chang Chih-tung) was the chief agent in the transfer and also the first librarian in the new quarters. In recognition of the services of Tuan-fang and Miao, one of the buildings of the Kuo-hsüeh Library was named T'ao-fêng lou 陶風樓—being composed of parts of the two hao, T'ao-chai 陶齋 and I-fêng 藝風 of Tuan-fang and Miao respectively. In 1923 the catalogue of the Ting library, entitled Pa-ch'ien-chüan lou shu-mu, was printed in 20 chüan.

Ting Ping was one of the most prolific publishers of his day, having printed during the years 1854–99 some 250 items, most of them incorporated in collectanea. He was particularly interested in printing works by authors of, or dealing with, his native place, Hangchow; and of such works the collectanea, 武林掌故叢編 Wu-lin chang-ku ts'ung-pien, comprising 187 items printed in 26 series, is a good example. Most of these items were printed during the years 1854 to 1898, a few being added as late as 1900. In this category belong also the following: Wu-lin wang-chê 1-chu (往哲遺著); 西湖集覽 Hsi-hu chi-lan; 西冷詞萃 Hsi-lêng tz'ŭ-ts'ui; and Hsi-lêng wu pu-i i-chu (五布衣遺著). He also printed the 當歸草堂醫學叢書 Tang-kuei ts'ao-t'ang i-hsüeh ts'ung-shu (1878) comprising ten medical works; the Tang-kuei ts'ao-tang ts'ung-shu; and the Pa-ch'ien-chüan lou ts'ung-k'o (刻) which includes the literary works, 翠螺閣遺稿 T's-ui-lo ko i-kao (printed in 1854), of his second wife, Ling Chih-yüan 凌祉媛 (T. 芷沅, 1831–1852). The Wu-lin chang-ku ts'ung-pien includes, among others, seven short items by Ting Ping; one work on private libraries in the Hangchow area, Wu-lin ts'ang-shu lu (藏書錄), 5 chüan (printed in 1900), from the pen of his elder brother, Ting Shên; and five short works by a younger brother, Ting Wu 丁午 (T. 奚生, 1852–1880).

A son of Ting Ping, named Ting Li-chung 丁立中 (T. 和甫, chü-jên of 1891); and a son of Ting Shên, named Ting Li-ch'êng 丁立誠 (T. 修甫, chü-jên of 1875), were both bibliophiles.


[5/81/1a; 丁松生先生百年紀今集 Ting Sung-shêng hsien-shêng pai-nien chi-nien chi (1932, with portraits and photographs); Hangchow fu-chih (1922) 143/22b, 23b; Yeh Ch'ang-ch'ih, Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih, (see under P'an Tsu-yin) 7/4; Wên-lan hsüeh-pao (see under Sun I-jang) vol. 2, nos. 3 and 4.]

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