Science and Civilisation in China project, 1780 - 2004
Scope and Contents
In 1943, Dr. Needham was sent to Chongqing by the British Council to establish the Sino-British Scientific Cooperation Bureau, with the primary aim of facilitating the provision of laboratory equipment and scientific journals to Chinese scientists scattered across Western China. He traveled extensively throughout Sichuan, Yunnan, and other provinces of South, Southwest and Northwest China, visiting universities and laboratories, and meeting scientists and other academics. During this time he took every opportunity to discuss the history of Chinese science with the scholars he met, and to collect books and other materials on the subject.
On his return to Britain after World War II, he determined to write a history of Chinese science. The more he learned about the subject, the more he realised the magnitude of the task ahead of him, and so he built up around him a team of collaborators, most notably Wang Ling, Lu Gwei-Djen (one of the biochemists who had come to Cambridge in 1937), and later Ho Peng-Yoke. With the help of these scholars, the Science and Civilisation in China Project, as it came to be known, grew and grew.
The documents in this collection are those amassed by Joseph Needham in the course of this great project. At its core are 389 files of notes, correspondence and photographs covering every topic of the plan for 'Science and Civilisation in China', many with numerous sub-files. In addition there are important peripheral files relating to lectures given and conferences attended; travel; parallel publications; organisations; contacts etc., as well as files concerning the practicalities of publishing the work.
- 1780 - 2004
370 archive box(es) (370 boxes) : Paper
Language of Materials