Jingshi, An Anatomy of Lenses

This project shares Jingshi (鏡史, prefatory material from 1681) by Sun Yunqiu (孫雲球).  This text, mentioned in local gazetteers and the object of some speculation by historians of science, including Joseph Needham, was recently rediscovered in the Shanghai Library.  Jingshi contains substantial paratextual materials written by contemporary elite men, brief descriptions of lenses whose originating technology was European, and  woodblock illustrations.  This project transcribes and translates these materials as well as providing a forum for analytical commentary.

Project Texts: 
Jingshi (鏡史)

The only copy of this document publicly available outside the Shanghai Library (which holds the only original) is held in the Washington University in St. Louis collection. It was acquired in 2014; the library made the decision to bind the document and make it available for Interlibrary Loan.  

 Professor S. E. Kile (Michigan) and Kristina Kleutghen and published the entire content of the lens descriptions and illustration texts in a peer-reviewed article, "Seeing Through Pictures and Poetry: A History of Lenses (1681)." 



These translations resolve many of the questions and gaps in the annotations, e.g., https://tenthousandrooms.yale.edu/node/106/mirador?canvas=3026&annotation=http://annotations.ten-thousand-rooms.yale.edu/annotations/8221b291-febe-4317-935c-19bef4c2889335c1af2c-1871-4ce2-b60c-03d69eead3fd