Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yang I-tsêng

YANG I-tsêng 楊以增 (T. 益之, 至堂, 冬樵), Oct. 26, 1787–1856, Jan. 25, official and bibliophile, Was a native of Liao-ch'êng, Shantung. His father, Yang Chao-yü 楊兆煜 (T. 炳南, H. 熙崖, 1768–1838), was a chü-jên of 1798 who served as director of schools at Chi-mo, Shantung (1808–12). Yang I-tsêng graduated as chü-jên in 1819 and as chin-shih in 1822. In 1823 he was made sub-prefect of Ch'ang-chai, Kweichow, and thereafter held successively the following posts in the same province: magistrate of Li-po (1824–28) and of Kuei-chu (1828–29), sub-prefect of Sung-t'ao (1829–32), prefect of Hsing-i (1832–33) and of Kuei-yang (1833–34). During his tenure as an official he gained distinction in judicial matters. In 1834 he was promoted to the intendancy of the Tso-Chiang Circuit, Kwangsi, and shortly afterwards (1834) was made intendant of the An-Hsiang-Yün-Ching Circuit, Hupeh. There he was busily engaged in clearing the area of bandits. In 1838 he returned to his native place to observe the customary period of mourning for the death of his father, and three years later was made intendant of the K'ai-Kuei-Ch'ên-Hsü Circuit, Honan.

During the summer of this year (1841) great floods in the Yellow River destroyed the dikes in K'ai-fêng, and Grand Secretary Wang Ting (see under Lin Tsê-hsü) was dispatched by the emperor to look after flood protection in that area. Under Wang, Yang I-tsêng was fully occupied in the construction of dikes which he completed several months later. In 1843 he was promoted to be judicial commissioner of Kansu where he suppressed remnants of the rebellious adherents of the White Lily Sect. In 1846 he was made financial commissioner of Shensi under Governor Lin Tsê-hsü [q. v.], and in the following year took the latter's place. Appointed director-general of the southern portion of the Grand Canal, he went to his post at Ch'ing-chiang-p'u (Huai-yin), Kiangsu, late in 1848. After 1853 he made strenuous efforts to protect the Grand Canal from the Taipings, and at the same time superintended the salt revenue in the Yangchow region with a view to increasing war funds. Falling ill after two years of excessive labor, he died in office. Emperor Wên-tsung, honoring him as one who had died for his country, promoted him posthumously to the title of junior president of the Censorate. He also canonized him as Tuan-ch'in 端勤.

Yang I-tsêng took an active interest in collecting books. In his native place he built a library named Hai-yuan ko VW, for which a eulogistic poem was written in 1842 by his friend Mei Tsêng-liang (see under Yao Nai). During his term in office as director-general of the Grand Canal, Yang obtained more than half the valuable books of the I-yün shu-shê (see under Huang P'ei-lieh), which he carried to the Hai-yuan ko by the official boats of the Grain Transport. These and other rare editions and manuscripts were preserved in a room of the Hai-yuan ko which he styled Sung-ts'un shu-shih 宋存書室. The treasures in his collection comprised rare editions of four of the Classics and of the first four Dynastic Histories. For that reason he styled his studio Ssŭ-ching ssŭ-shih chai 四經四史齋. In his declining years he printed at his office several rare items from his library, which he designated collectively Hai-yüan ko ts'ung-shu. In these undertakings he was assisted by several scholars, among them Mei Tsêng-liang and Pao Shih-ch'ên [q. v.].

Yang I-tsêng's second son, Yang Shao-ho 楊紹和 (T. 彥合, H. 勰卿, Feb. 4, 1831–1876, Jan. 18), inherited his father's interest as a collector of books. He graduated as chü-jên in 1852 and, after observing the period of mourning for the death of his father, was made a department director in the Board of Revenue. During several years, ending in 1861, he was engaged in pacifying local bandits in Shantung. For his military service he was appointed an intendant in Shensi, a position he declined. He took his chin-shih degree in 1865, and thereafter rose from a bachelor to a reader in the Hanlin Academy. He was one of the most opulent men of his time in Shantung, and although he is said to have been miserly, he purchased books regardless of expense. In March 1861, when the Nien bandits attacked the western region of Fei-ch'êng, Shantung, his rare books were housed in that area in a villa known as T'ao-nan shan-kuan 陶南山館. Consequently a part of the collection was destroyed by the bandits. During the ensuing years, however, he acquired the greater part of the Ming-shan t'ang collection (see under Yin-hsiang) in Peking. In the years 1862–63, when he was at his home, he compiled a catalogue in 5 chüan with bibliographical notes on about 170 rare items in his library. Later he compiled a supplement of 4 chüan which analyzed about 100 items. These two catalogues he published with prefaces dated 1869 and 1871, respectively, under the title 楹書隅錄 Ying-shu yü-lu. They were reprinted in 1912 with brief notes by his son, Yang Pao-i (see below). In these catalogues there are listed three Ming editions printed from movable copper type. Another brief catalogue of about 360 rare items from the Hai-yuan ko, was compiled by Yang Shao-ho, and published by Chiang Piao (see under Huang P'ei-lieh) in 1888 under the title Liao-ch'êng Yang-shih Hai-yüan ko ts'ang-shu mu (藏書目).

As one of the best private collections at the close of the Ch'ing period, the Hai-yuan ko ranked with the T'ieh-ch'in t'ung-chien lou of the Ch'ü family (see under Chang Chin-wu). They were referred to, after the names of the owners, as "Ch'ü in the South and Yang in the North" (南瞿北楊). The Hai-yuan ko was carefully preserved by Yang Shao-ho's son, Yang Pao-i 楊保彝 (T. 奭齡, 鳳阿, 1854–1910). He became a chü-jên in 1870, but remained at home for a number of years to mourn the death of his parents and his grandmother. Later he served in the Office of Foreign Affairs, and rose to a nominal second rank. Soon after the Boxer uprising he retired to his villa, Mei-yüan 眉園, in Fei-ch'êng, Shantung. Several years later he served temporarily as a compiler of the history of his native province, Shantung t'ung-chih, which was completed in 200 chüan in 1911 and published in 1915. Yang Pao-i, being without heirs, and fearful that his collection might be dispersed after his death, presented complete catalogues of all his items to the district office of Liao-ch'êng (November 11, 1909), and moved to Tientsin, taking with him his most valuable books. According to these catalogues, the Hai-yüan ko contained about 3,700 items (some 219,000 chüan), among which were about 470 Sung and Yüan editions in some 11,300 chüan. A catalogue of these Sung and Yüan editions, compiled by Yang Pao-i, was re-edited in 4 chüan and published in 1931 by the Shantung Provincial Library under the title Hai-yüan ko Sung Yüan pi-pên shu-mu (祕本書目). When the army of Wang Chin-fa 王金發 occupied Liao-ch'êng in 1929–30, the building of the Hai-yuan ko was used as military headquarters, and consequently most of what was there deposited was stolen or destroyed. A number of items from the collection later appeared in book-shops.


[5/33/20b; Pai-hsien shan-fang wên-chi, collected works of Mei Tsêng-liang 11/5b, 13/10a, supplement 10b; Liao-ch'êng hsien-chih (1910) 8/20b, 50a, appendix; Chin-shih jên-wu chih (see under Wêng T'ung-ho) p. 221; Liu Chieh-p'ing, "The Hai Yüan Ko and its Vicissitudes" (in Chinese), Eastern Miscellany (Tung-fang tsa-chih), vol. 28, no. 10 (1931); Library Science Quart. (T'u-shu-kuan hsüeh chi-k'an), vol. 4, no. 2 photograph of Hai-yüan ko; Ch'ên Têng-yüan 陳登原, 古今典籍聚散考 Ku-chin tien-chi chi-san k'ao (1936) pp. 236, 275–95, 354–59.]

Hiromu Momose