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EAST MEETS WEST

Original Records of Western Traders, Travellers, Missionaries and Diplomats to 1852
Part 3: Papers of John Scattergood (1681-1723), Isaac Titsingh (1740?-1812), Heinrich Julius Klaproth (1783-1835) and other early materials from the British Library, London

Three figures dominate this collection:

  • Isaac Titsingh (1740?-1812), Dutch explorer, diplomat and administrator, who went to Japan as the Dutch Envoy in 1778 and served as Director of the Dutch East India Company factory at Nagasaki (Deshima Island) for three periods between 1779 and 1784. His annual pilgrimage to Edo and his everyday contacts allowed him to record the sights and customs that he observed. These range from wedding ceremonies to the Edo court, and from the cultivation of Bonsai trees to the suicide of a prominent Japanese scholar of the West.  In addition to 9 volumes of notebooks, we include his letters to W Marsden, 1806-1811, and other correspondence.
  • Heinrich Julius Klaproth (1783-1835), a German orientalist scholar who led expeditions to Asia in 1805 and 1807. His Historischer Atlas von China, in ein und zwanzig Karten was a landmark work. The autograph manuscript of his explanatory text to this work is included, together with further geographical records concerning Asia and other papers.
  • John Scattergood (1681-1723) was a merchant in Madras who had extensive trading interests in the East Indies, Persia and China. We include four large volumes of transcripts of his papers which stress the interconnected trading patterns in this region (Add Mss 43730-43733).

In addition there are records of other European voyages to China and Japan, trading records of merchants in Canton and Macau, and records of missionaries in China.



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