Cambridge History of China
In Memory ~ Denis C. Twitchett, 1925-2006
Former General Editor
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FAX: (609) 258-1087
The Cambridge History of China and a separate companion volume recently commissioned, the Cambridge History of Ancient China, when completed, will present the largest collaborative scholarly history of China in any language. The Cambridge History of China itself covers the history of China from the 3rd century B.C. to the death of Mao Tse-tung in fifteen volumes of which two are in two parts, making a total of seventeen books in the set. Each of these works is from 800 to 1200 pages in length. Eleven of the seventeen books in the set have been published, and work on the other six continues to proceed apace. The volumes have been well received in China. Chinese translations are being published in Beijing and Taiwan, six having been completed to date, with the history now being cited in China as a standard reference.
The project office, a part of Princeton’s East Asian Studies Program, receives chapters for the history as their authors complete them. These individual components are then edited, checked, compared, collated, and related to others in its respective volume. Complete editorial work is carried out to collate and unify all material prior to the final submission of a completed volume to the press for publication. This process of preparation of a volume is done with much collegial input from the authors themselves and their colleagues in the field in order to provide readers a lucid, comprehensive, and cohesive presentation of the events and issues involved in the era covered by the volume.
Contributors to the history number well over 200, each of whom is a talented international scholarly authority in his or her specific field and era. The history itself is broad ranging, covering events, politics, sociological issues, philosophy and thought, religion, and economics. The chapters themselves, by the very nature of the content addressed, and the status of scholarship on the material, often contain much original research not previously published. The only matters not directly and specifically addressed by the history are those of Chinese art and literature, the histories of which are, in and of themselves, massive fields with concerns warranting their own full and separate treatment.
The Cambridge History of China is published by the Cambridge University Press. The editorial work of the project prior to submission of volumes to the press is supported by East Asian Studies at Princeton University, which provides the faculty support, staff, facilities, infrastructure, equipment, and communications to carry on the work necessary to such an endeavor. Financial support has been graciously provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for Information and Scholarly Exchange (USA), among others. The project has also benefitted over the years from the fine help of numerous Princeton Students, graduate and undergraduate, who have been involved in its editorial research, bibliographic, and secretarial activities.
Planned preliminarily in 1966 and approved by the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press in 1968, the project has grown from an initially intended production of 6 volumes at that early date to its present size of 15. This has been the consequence of vast expansion of the field of Chinese History, and the opening of many formerly closed avenues of research. The Cambridge History Project has expanded in scope in conjunction with these advances, and continues to seek to incorporate the best and latest of available scholarship in its volumes as they are produced.