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Needham/NRI2 contains:
10 Photographs
1 Lectures and conferences
2 Parallel publications
3 Organisations
4 Contacts
5 Travel
6 Language learning
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Papers of Joseph Needham as a historian of Chinese science, technology and medicine

Title Language learning
Reference NRI2/6
Covering Dates 1889–1964
Extent and Medium 2 boxes; Paper
Content and context

This section contains materials relating to Joseph Needham's study of the Chinese language. Of course Needham knew that without a high level of knowledge of Chinese, he had would never fully understand the original sources for the history of science and technology. He embarked on his Chinese studies in the late 1930s, with the help of Prof. Gustav Haloun of the University of Cambridge and Lu Gwei-Djen. The documents in this section include notebooks and annotated reference books.

Needham/NRI2/6 contains:
1 'Cantab' Loose leaf note book used by Joseph Needham for learning Chinese. Needham has entered Chinese characters by radical, with translation. These appear to be character-elements rather than strict radicals. Characters are grouped under these character elements. There is a homemade chart at the beginning showing an index to his own radical system (116 radicals). Also in the beginning (and on separate sheets) is an alphabetical index of English words to his radical number. Loose inserts include notes relating to dinner invitation, food words, translation of Lu Gwei-Djen's 1937 Christmas card.
1 bundle; Paper.
1936–1959
2 'Guildhall series of stock rulings' accounts book used as a Chinese dictionary by Joseph Needham. The book has been labelled ?????????. Needham has made romanised entries only. There are some loose practice notes at back.
1 volume, 43 sheets; Paper.
1936–1949
3 Address book used - Dictionary of compounds with English, Romanisation and Chinese. Needham has labelled the book ' ??? , 1964, JN'. He is using his ownsystem of Romanisation.
1 volume; Paper.
1964
4 Address book containing Joseph Needham's 'Notes on Chinese Grammar' ?????. The notes are made following Wieger, 'Chinois écrit, Précis, Grammaire, Phraseologie', (Tientsin, 1929).
1 volume; Paper.
1940
5 Pack of filing cards tied together, with hand-written Chinese characters arranged by radicals. There is no English or romanisation.
1 bundle; Paper.
1940–1949
6 Collection of Chinese practice notes made by Joseph Needham on a trip to California, U.S.A., 1940. Needham was accompanied by Lu Gwei-Djen. Some of the notes are marked 'Johnson's Landg notice board'.
23 pieces; Paper.
1940
7 Series of eight Chinese learning books entitled «???????» 'Up-to Date Series, National Readers for Lower Primary Schools', (The Commercial Press, Ltd.).
8 pieces; Paper.
1925–1939
8 Joseph Needham's annotated copy of H.A. Giles, 'How to begin Chinese: the hundred best characters', (2nd ed., Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1925).
1 volume; Paper.
1925–1949
9 Joseph Needham's annotated copy of H. A. Giles, 'How to begin Chinese: the second hundred best characters', (2nd ed., Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1925).
1 volume; Paper.
1925–1949
10 Joseph Needham's annotated copy of H. A. Giles, 'Chinese without a teacher', (7th ed, Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, 1916). The book has Giles' signature on the cover.
1 document; Paper.
1916–1949
11 Joseph Needham's annotated copy of W. E. Soothill, 'The student's four thousand ? and general pocket dictionary', (1st Edition, Shanghai: Presbyterian Mission Press, 1899). The book previously belonged to 'M [?] Duncan, 1900'. Needham notes the places where he used the book in Europe and China, from 1938 to 1944.
1 volume; Paper.
1899–1957
12 Joseph Needham's bound together copies of 'Manuel du Sinologie', (Paris: J. Maisonneuve editeur, 1889) and Theodore Wong, 'Chronological tables of the Chinese dynasties', 1902. Needham notes that he bought the books with Lu Gwei-Djen in Paris, France, 1948 and that he had them bound together in 1956.
1 volume; Paper.
1889–1956

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