Available online! ‘China: The Fragrance of Books’

A selection of books on China

The great civilisation of China has fascinated Europeans ever since the first trade encounters took place in the Middle Ages. In this exhibition, we see China through some European books of the 16th and 17th centuries. They are a small selection from the rare books and maps collected by the founder of our library, Narcissus Marsh (1643–1713).
Many of the books and maps on display were produced by Jesuit missionaries who were resident in China. These men were greatly impressed by the sophistication of Chinese civilisation, culture and science. The survival of these books in a small library in inner-city Dublin speaks to Ireland’s interest — then and now — in the wider world.

This online exhibition at https://www.marshlibrary.ie/digi/exhibits/show/china is available in both simplified and traditional Chinese which can be chosen from a drop-down menu, and the case notes in the library are also available in translation. Two interns from different Masters’ programmes in University College Dublin collaborated on this exhibition: we are very grateful to Yitao Qian and James Dunleavy for their contributions.



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