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Anthony François Paulus Hulsewé collection

Identifier: ubl114

Scope and Contents

The majority of these works represents the special interests of Prof. Hulsewé: Ancient Chinese law (at first Tang law, later Han law and Qin law), the history and archaeology of the Han dynasty, early history of the Western regions (Xinjiang).

The collection comprises 241 items. Of these, 65 items were not yet present in the Library of the Sinological Institute, 41 items are different editions of works already present in the Library (including some early editions of important studies) and the rest (135 items) are doubles. There are 59 Japanese items and 182 Chinese items.

Of these books, 69 items are bound in traditional Chinese fashion, of which 27 are block prints. These block prints are rather voluminous, especially Late Qing editions such as  Tongzhi 通志,Cefu yuangui 冊府元龜,Taiping yulan 太平禦覽,Wenxian tongkao 文獻通攷. The block prints take about half of the space of the entire collection.

There are also 28 off-prints of Japanese and 4 of Chinese articles, but these were not catalogued.

Many of the older books were probably acquired while Professor Hulsewé studied in China and Japan. The majority of the double books was bought during his professorship in Leiden; when ordering a copy for himself, he apparently also ordered a copy for the Library (or vice-versa). Many of the Japanese books and off-prints of articles have been donated to him by Japanese scholars.


  • Creation: 1756-1993
  • Creation: Bulk 20th century (mainly ; 22 items date from before 1900)

Language of Materials

Chinese and Japanese

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Biographical / Historical

A.F.P. Hulsewé (1910-1993) studied at Leiden University under J.J.L. Duyvendak in 1928-1931, in Peking in 1931-1933 and in Kyoto in 1933-1934. He worked as an official for Chinese Affairs for the Netherlands-Indies Government in the Bureau of East Asian Affairs in Batavia from 1935 to 1942. During the Japanese occupation he was kept as a prisoner of war by the Japanese in Singapore from 1942 to1945. After his return to the Netherlands, he was Lecturer of Chinese at Leiden University from 1946 to 1956. He obtained his Ph. D. in 1955; the title of his thesis was Remnants of Han law (Vol. 1: Introductory studies and an annotated translation of chapters 22 and 23 of the History of the Former Han dynasty). In 1956, he succeeded Duyvendak as Professor of Chinese language and literature. He retired in 1975. He was succeeded by W.L. Idema in 1976.


241 items

Abstract in Dutch

Boeken uit de nalatenschap van A.F.P. Hulsewé (1910-1993), hoogleraar Sinologie aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Abstract in English

Books donated by A.F.P. Hulsewé (1910-1993), professor of Sinology at Leiden University.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

A list of all items can be accessed through the library catalogue by searching for call number "SINOL. huls?".

There is also a paper list of books with an introduction.

Custodial History

After Professor Hulsewé passed away in 1993, his Chinese and Japanese books were donated to the Sinological Institute. In 1997, the Hulsewé-Wazniewski Foundation (Hulsewé-Wazniewski Stichting, HWS) was founded in commemoration of Professor Hulsewé and his wife, M.M. Hulsewé-Wazniewski, and their important contributions to Chinese Studies at Leiden University. The aim of this foundation which manages the estate of Professor Hulsewé and his wife, is the advancement of teaching and research in the archaeology, art and material culture of China at Leiden University. In 2002, it was therefore decided to keep Professor Hulsewé’s books together as a special collection in the Van Gulik Room as a tribute to him.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

In 2016 the collections of the East Asian Library were transferred to Leiden University Library.


No future additions are to be expected


  • Heer, Ph. de, A.F.P. Hulsewé, a biography, and Idem, Bibliography of A.F.P. Hulsewé, in: W.L.Idema and E. Zürcher (eds.), Thought and law in Qin and Han China: Studies dedicated to Anthony Hulsewé on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. Leiden etc. 1990, pp. 1-14, 15-25.
  • Zürcher, E., In Memoriam Anthony Hulsewé (1910-1993) , T’oung Pao 80 (1994), pp. 1-4.


The material can be requested in the online catalogue. It can be consulted in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

Some books were originally placed in the general shelves of the Chinese library, but after it was decided to create the Hulsewé Collection, they were placed in that collection in the Van Gulik Room. The books are numbered 1-241. They are shelved according to the Harvard-Yenching system, but at the same time account is taken of the size and binding of books.

Collection guide of the Anthony François Paulus Hulsewé collection (1756-1993)
Collectie Anthony François Paulus Hulsewé
Koos Kuiper, 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Revision Statements

  • 14 October 2016: latest update

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857