About the project

Editorial style
Explanation of each data field


The East Asian Library's collection of Chinese rubbings is second in number, outside of East Asia, only to that of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The nucleus of the collection, over 1,500 items, was acquired in 1950 from the estate of Mitsui Soken, a wealthy Japanese bibliophile, and includes albums of rubbings once owned by noted Chinese connoisseurs of the nineteenth century. Other important acquisitions were made through purchase from Chinese scholars and dealers and through the bequest of Professor Woodbridge Bingham's collection. The library's holdings are especially rich in albums of models of calligraphy (fa-tieh 法帖) and bronze inscriptions, but monumental inscriptions on stone are also well represented. About half of the inscriptions date from before the year 1000. A few of the rubbings range in size from one or two inches to up to forty feet in length. Among the many rare items, there are a number of rubbings that are not recorded in the catalogs of Chinese or Japanese libraries and museums and may, therefore, be unique.

At the end of the 1980's, Raymond Tang, the Head of EAL's Chinese collection, recognized the need to catalog the rubbings. With help from then director David Shively and Christa Chow, EAL secured funding and invited specialists in rubbings from Academia Sinica, Taipei, to come to Berkeley and catalog the rubbings. Under the direction of Professor Mao Han-kuang, a leading authority, two staff members, Ms. Keng Hui-ling and Mr. Kuo Chang-chen, completed the catalog records in 1992. Ms. Ju Yu-shiou, also of Academia Sinica, contributed to the cataloging during 1991. Preservation care was provided by Ms. Nancy Harris and assistants of the Library's Conservation Department, repairing tears and split seams, and enclosing most of the materials in acid-free boxes and portfolios. The cataloging and conservation care were made possible by two grants from the United States Department of Education under its program (Title IIC) for strengthening research library resources. The Library is most appreciative of this financial support, without which the cataloging and preservation care of the collection would not have been possible.

Deborah Rudolph of the UC Berkeley Department of East Asian Languages entered the catalog records into a Filemaker database, fixing errors and providing a consistent style. Ms. Rudolph also wrote the Description field in English to summarize the important information from the Chinese catalog record. Howie Lan of the UC Berkeley Instructional Technology Program and Mark Miller of the UC Berkeley Department of East Asian Languages later converted this database from Macintosh format to a Unicode spreadsheet, which was then imported into GENDB by John Hassan of the UC Berkeley Library Systems Office. After further editing to remove the errors of the conversion process, Lynne Grigsby-Standfill of the UC Berkeley Library Digital Publishing Group shephered the export of the database into the current web format.

Dan Johnston and his team at the UC Berkeley Library Digital Imaging Lab created all of the images of the rubbings seen on this site.

The project could not have been brought to its current state without the dedicated effort of the above-mentioned people as well as Jean Han, Bernie Hurley, Rick Beaubien, Yu-lan Chou, Peter Zhou, Xiuzhi Zhou, Sarah Grew, Jiro Marubayashi, Amy Yang, Brooke Dykman, and others.

Editorial style
(romanization, translations, abbreviations, numbers and dates, etc.)

Translation of official titles
Buddhist terminology
Chinese characters
Bibliographical references
Numbers and dates
Notation in the Edition field


Follow Websters Collegiate (10th ed.) and, for words not included in the Collegiate, Websters Third New International Dictionary.


  • Romanization of Chinese follows the modified Wade-Giles that appears in Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.), table 9.2.

  • Hyphens are not used, except in the romanization of proper nouns and compounds including proper nouns and, in the Description field, in the romanization of titles of sutras and scriptures.

  • When a woman is referred to by both her surname and her husband's, the two surnames and the word shih are separated by hyphens in romanization. For example: 羊孫氏 Yang-Sun-shih

  • Archaic characters whose readings are a matter of scholarly debate are not romanized, but rendered "X."

  • Characters missing from inscriptions and represented in Chinese text by (here hui, Unicode value 56D7, for lack of a "missing character" character) are similarly rendered in romanized Chinese and in English text.

  • Romanization of Japanese and Korean follow standard library practice, except that diacritics are used:, Bashō, Honshū, Yōkōkan-ban, etc. and Chŏlla-do, Koryŏ, Pongdŏksa, etc..

Translation of official titles

Translation of official titles follows Charles O. Hucker, A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1985). Titles not found in Hucker are translated following Michael C. Rogers, The Chronicle of Fu Chien: A Case of Exemplar History, Chinese Dynastic Histories Translations, no. 10 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968). Translations of titles not found in either source are enclosed in quotation marks followed by the original title in romanization and Chinese characters.

Buddhist terminology

Chinese Buddhist terms and titles are translated following William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous, A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms (London, 1937).

Please note that romanized Sanskrit words that have entered English scholarly vocabulary as common nouns—sutra, stupa, gatha—or as commonly used proper nouns—Tripitaka—appear in the catalog in roman font and without diacritical marks. The following list comprises the Buddhist terms in the database that require diacritics.

Note: The following list contains uncommonly used Unicode values. If you see a question mark—?—inside a word, your browser is having difficulty recognizing Unicode characters. If you see a square (for example, the sixth character of the fourth item—Avataṁsaka-sūtra—is an uncommon character), then the font your browser is using does not have a glyph for that character. You can read the Unicode Consortium's webpage for an explanation of this difference, or just try another Unicode font. The font Arial Unicode MS has glyphs for all of the characters in the list below. It was formerly available for free from Microsoft, but they have since removed the free download from their website.












Om maṇi padme hūṃ











Chinese characters

If the Chinese characters for a personal name, place-name, word or phrase cited in the English description occur in any of the fields except the Notes field, the characters are not supplied in the English Description field.

Bibliographical references


In the References field, book titles are cited in full and are not enclosed in brackets. Roman-font numbers and punctuation are used to cite pages, volumes, and juan: colons separate volume and page numbers; slashes separate juan and page numbers. and indicate the front and back sides of a folded page in a traditionally bound woodblock book or in a reprint of one. (or ) may be used for item numbers or figure and plate numbers. In records of bronze inscriptions, the title by which a particular inscription or vessel is referred to in the reference source may also be cited. When more than one reference work is cited, the individual references are separated by semicolons. For example:
石刻題跋索引 241
秦漢瓦當文字 4/8
瓦當匯編 246
北京圖書館藏中國歷代石刻史料匯編 3:12
歷代著錄吉金目 767, 子父舉鼎; 三代秦漢金文著錄表1/2, 子父癸鼎; 商周金文集成釋文稿 7766 , 魯原鐘


In the Notes field, titles are enclosed in brackets and citations are written out in Chinese characters. For example:

No punctuation separates authors' names from book titles in the Notes:
王壯弘 《增補校碑隨筆》

Subsequent citations of a title in the Notes of a given cataloging record are abbreviated unless the title is comprised of four or fewer characters. For example:


Chinese Text:

  • Seal legends and individual characters are enclosed in quotation marks in the Notes field. Logically, some of the archaic characters that have yet to be entered should also be enclosed in quotation marks, but have not been marked as enclosed on the printoutsthe characters themselves will stand out and will not need setting off by punctuation.

  • Names of bronze vessels are not set off by punctuation.

  • Book titles are set off by double angular brackets; titles of sections of books, such as chapters, and shorter works, such as essays and poems, are set off by single angular brackets.

English Text:

  • Book titles are set off by pound signs (#), to be italicized. Titles of shorter works are set off by quotation marks.

  • Titles of inscriptions are set off by quotation marks if romanized, and not set off if anglicized.

  • Titles of scriptures and sutras are not set off by quotation marks or pound signs; they are set in roman type, with hyphens connecting each syllable of the title. For example: The Ta-cheng-yü-chia-chin-kang-hsing-hai-man-shu-shih-li-chien-pei-chien-po-tao-chiao-wang-ching

  • Names of bronze vessels are set in roman type, each syllable capitalized, with the vessel type, romanized, in italics.

Numbers and dates

Inclusive numbers:

  • Follow Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.), 8.69.

Western Calendar Equivalents of Chinese Dates:

  • Western calendar equivalents are always provided in the Western Date field. A western calendar equivalent is not repeated in the Description, Edition, or Notes fields unless the Chinese date to which it corresponds appears in one of those fields in a different form. For example, if the Date field reads 清宣統三年 and the Notes include the date 宣統辛亥, the western equivalent will be repeated in the Notes.

  • Dates of dynasties are provided only in the Western Date field, never in the Description, Edition, or Notes fields.

  • Dates of reign eras are provided only once in a given record, in this order of preference: Western Date, Edition, Description, Notes.

  • Please note: Calculation of western calendar equivalents in the Western Date field takes into account the entire date, so that while 北宋元豐三年 will be calculated to be 1080, 北宋元豐三年十月廿一日 will be calculated to be 1801, since the twenty-first day of the twelfth month of the third year of Yuanfeng falls in February of the succeeding western calendar year.

Birth and Death and Floruit dates:

  • Dynasties that are divided into Northern and Southern, Former and Later, are specified as such, unless the entire era is what is being referred to.

  • Emperor's names are not included in dates except to clear up ambiguity. For example, because there are two 上元 reign eras in the Tang, the date is rendered 唐高宗上元二年十二月十五日.

Notation in the Edition field

Western equivalents of specific years and reign eras or combined reign eras are provided in parentheses; dates of dynasties are not.

Explanation of each data field

Field Name
Field Name



Locally defined subject heading. Eight possibilities: Records of persons , Records of events 記事, Public announcements 公告, Belles letters , Confucian texts and inscriptions , Buddhist texts and inscriptions , Taoist texts and inscriptions , Miscellaneous .

Call No.


Call number assigned each rubbing either by original collector (especially Mitsui and Bingham) or EAL staff.



Working title, a truncated form of the original title if it is lengthy, or popular name for a rubbing.

Original Title


Full title, sometimes the title that appears at the top of the text or the first line of the text



Title written by professional dealer or collector on the case or wrapper.


Created from Title.


A description of the rubbing, in English, created using the information in the other fields.

Script style


The calligraphic style in which a textual inscription is written. Thirteen possibilities: clerical , seal , standard , running , grass or cursive , mixed styles 諸體備陳, oracle bone 甲骨, bird and insect 鳥蟲書, Khitan 契丹文, Sanskrit , Mongol , Japanese 日文 and none specified.



Mode of engraving of the inscription, intaglio or relievo.



Direction of text



The date the rubbing was made, the qualitative age of the rubbing, or the name of the version of the inscription from which the rubbing was made. Three possibilities created problems later.



The edition of the engraving. A judgment on the part of the cataloger about whether the inscription is the original, a direct copy of the text and style of a previous inscription, a copy of the text but not the style, a forgery, etc.



The material in which the original inscription or relief is cut. Material of inscribed object. Eight possibilities: Stone , marble 大理石, ceramic , brick , bronze/metal , wood , jade , and paper .



Format of the material (mounted and unmounted sheets, albums, etc.)



The numbers of lines in a textual inscription



The numbers of characters per line of textual inscription. For circular inscriptions, this might refer to total number of characters.

Original Dimensions


Both refer to the dimensions of the inscription as revealed by the ink of the rubbing on the page. If a rubbing had been cut up for mounting (in an album, for example), then remounted dimensions were indicated. Note that the Chinese text adds to the confusion by indicating "height and width" vs. "length and width." Luckily, the catalogers ignored this discrepancy.

Remounted Dimensions




The author the text of the inscription.



The calligrapher in whose hand the text is written.



The engraver of the inscription.

Text date


The date recorded in the inscription itself. Conjectured dates are given in parenthesis.

Western date

The above date converted into the Western calendar.



The original location of the inscription or the current location of the inscribed object. Note that the English term "provenance" implies



The immediately previous owner of the rubbing.



A reference to one or more of 250 standard catalogs of Chinese inscriptional material. See bibliography.


A general note field that captured data on the collectors seals, manuscript autographs or marginalia, engraved colophons or postscripts, the avoidance of taboo characters (to help with dating of the inscription), evidence of censorship, the legibility of the engraving, arguments about authenticity and any tracing of the history of the object or rubbing, if ascertainable.

UC Berkeley East Asian Library, Phone: 510 642-2556, Address: 208 Durant Hall, Berkeley CA 94720-6000
Copyright © 2004 The Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved
URL http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/EAL/stone/about.html, last updated  September 23, 2004