Special collections: KNAG collection

May 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

KNAG Collection

TThe KNAG Collection is a collection of works in Chinese, originally belonging to the Royal Dutch Geographical Society (Koninklijk Nederlands Aardrijkskundig Genootschap). This society, established in 1873, became an active scientific society during the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, stimulating organized geographic research on the Dutch Colonies.

The collection consists of 250 works in these main categories: Chinese Classics and philosophers (25), history (5), geography (4), Imperial edicts (6), Buddhism and Taoism (13), Christianity (54), law (15), language and writing (9), schoolbooks (16), novels (33), medicine (9), encyclopedias (9) and journals (6). The number of novels is rather large (33), and there is only one book of Chinese poetry.

The collection reflects the interests of 19th century Dutch sinologists who acted as Chinese interpreters (mainly of Minnanhua) in the Dutch East Indies from 1862 to 1896, and afterwards as officials for Chinese affairs. Most books were acquired during their studies in Amoy (Xiamen).

Further reading and links:

The East Asian Library has several special collections. For access to these special collections, please contact the reference desk. Here’s our complete list of special collections on China:


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this blog is set up by Alice de Jong, former subject librarian of sinology at the East Asian Library, part of the Asian Library
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