Library materials


Those interested in studying the society and economy of premodern China on the local level may have difficulty in finding suitable source materials. The information in standard published sources is often not detailed or precise enough to answer all important questions about the livelihood and social relationships of ordinary people. Three types of sources which may help to answer such questions and which may be found in Taiwan today are private documents and papers, popular editions of books from the Ch'ing period, and local government archives. Although discussion here will concentrate on introducing the private papers to be found in Taiwan, it will be helpful to comment briefly on the other two categories of sources.