Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Pao T'ing-po

PAO T'ing-po 鮑廷博 (T. 以文, H. 淥飲, 通介叟), 1728–1814, Sept. 26, bibliophile, was born in a merchant family of Shê-hsien, Anhwei. His grandfather and his father conducted a salt business in Chekiang and established homes both in Hangchow and in a small town named Ch'ing-chên 青鎮 in the northwestern part of the district of T'ung-hsiang, also in Chekiang. Although Pao T'ing-po lived most of his life at the latter place, he is variously listed as a native of all three districts, particularly Shê-hsien where in 1750 he registered as a hsiu-ts'ai. After failing twice in provincial examinations, he gave up hope of entering officialdom and enjoyed a long life of book-collecting and private study. His library, the well-known Chih-pu-tsu chai 知不足齋, in his home in Hangchow, was noted for its numerous rare books printed during the Sung and Yüan dynasties. The name, Chih-pu-tsu chai (Know-your-deficiencies Studio), was derived from a sentence in the Record of Rites (Li-chi XVI, 3) which reads: Hsüeh jan-hou chih-pu-tsu 學然後知不足 "After studying, one knows one's deficiencies".

In 1773 when the project for compiling the Imperial Manuscript Library known as the Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu began (see under Chi Yün), Pao submitted, in the name of his elder son, Pao Shih-kung 鮑士恭 (T. 清溪), a hsiu-ts'ai of Jên-ho (Hangchow), 626 items of printed books and manuscripts-only three other families rivaling him in submitting more than five hundred items each (see under Ma Yüeh-kuan, Fan Mou-chu and Wang Ch'i-shu). In recognition of their liberality the Emperor gave to each of these four families a set of the encyclopaedia, Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'êng (see under Ch'ên Mêng-lei). Those bibliophiles (nine in number) who offered between one hundred and five hundred works were each given a set of the dictionary, P'ei-wên yün-fu (see under Ts'ao Yin). The books were all returned to their respective owners, but before this was done the Emperor wrote personally one or two eulogistic poems about the best editions submitted. As a further compliment to Pao's discrimination as a collector the Emperor named one of his own studios "Chih-pu-tsu chai".

Meanwhile Pao began to edit and print the rarest editions and manuscripts in his possession under the collective title, Chih-pu-tsu chai ts'ung-shu (叢書). The first series of this collectanea appeared in 1776, the first volume containing a commendatory poem written by Emperor Kao-tsung in 1774. As Pao advanced in years he printed series after series of this collection noted for its well-chosen titles, for its carefully collated texts, and for its fine printing. In 1813 Emperor Jên-tsung made inquiry as to how many series Pao had printed, and in response was given the twenty-sixth series, then just off the press. So pleased was the Emperor that he conferred upon Pao, then eighty-six (sui), the degree of chü-jên. Pao died the following year, after the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth series of his collectanea were printed. His elder son, Pao Shih-kung, continued to print two more series, bringing the total up to thirty. The last series was printed in 1823. Later, a continuation entitled Hsü (續) Chih-pu-tsu chai ts'ung-shu, was compiled and printed by Kao Ch'êng-hsün 高承勳 (T. 松三), and in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, a Hou Chih-pu-tsu chai ts'ung-shu was compiled and printed at Hangchow by Pao T'ing-chüeh 鮑廷爵 (T. 叔衡).

Pao T'ing-po's second son died young, leaving two sons who were registered as natives of Hangchow and who shared in the local literary movements of their generation. During the Taiping Rebellion (see under Hung Hsiu-ch'üan) many collections of books in South China were destroyed or dispersed, but the Pao family, living in the rural district of T'ung-hsiang, managed to preserve the books given to them by Emperor Kao-tsung, and in 1880 presented them for safekeeping to the recently restored library, Wên Lan Ko, at Hangchow (see under Ting Ping).

Pao T'ing-po is said to have written a number of works, some of which were destroyed by fire. Two collections of his poems are recorded: one, entitled 花韻軒小稿 Hua-yüan hsüan hsiao-kao, 2 chüan; the other, entitled Hua-yün hsüan yung-wu shih (詠物詩),1 chüan. Only a manuscript copy of the latter is known to exist. Pao wrote a poem of 30 stanzas on the setting sun, entitled 夕陽 Hsi-yang, and in reference to this was called Pao Hsi-yang.


[2/72/31b; 3/441/32; 嘉興府志 Chia-hsing fu chih (1878) map 1/2a, shih-chên 4/46a, liu-yü 61/86b; T'ung-hsiang hsien-chih (1882) 15 yü-hsien 12a; Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih (see under P'an Tsu-yin) ed. of 1897, 5/31a; Pan-li Ssŭ-k'u ch'üan-shu tang-an (see bibl. under Chi Yün); Nanking Kuo-haüeh Library Catalogue, 36/16b; Wu-lin ts'ang-shu lu (see under Ting Ping); Swann, Nancy Lee, "Seven Intimate Library Owners", Harvard Jour. Asiatic Studies, vol. 1 (1936) p. 363–390.]

Nancy Lee Swann