Joseph Needham : Joseph Needham's journal of his tour in North-West China, Aug.7-Dec.14, 1943

Joseph Needham

<p style='text-align: justify;'>In this journal, Dr. Needham records his journey in a truck from Chungking (重慶 Chongqing) to Lanchow (蘭州 Lanzhou) via Chengtu (成都 Chengdu), then up through Gansu province to Tunhuang (敦煌 Dunhuang) and back. [Full itinerary]. On the first leg of the journey to Lanchow, he was accompanied by SBSCO staff members H.T. Huang (Huang Hsing-Tsung / Huang Xingzong) 黃興宗 and Liao Hung-Ying (Liao Hongying) 廖鴻英, as well as Derek Bryan from the British Embassy, Edward Beltz, an American oil geologist, and a young scientist Chen Tzu-hsin (Chen Zixin) 陳自信. In another truck travelled the famous explorer Sir Eric Teichman (1884-1944). From Lanchow to Chienfodong and back he was accompanied by H.T. Huang (who travelled back to Lanchow separately), Rewi Alley (1897-1987), Sun Kuang-chun (Sun Guangjun) 孫光俊 and Wang Wan-sheng (Wang Wansheng) 王萬盛, two boys from the Lanchow Bailie School 蘭州培黎學校, the painter Wu Tso-Rjen (Wu Zuoren) 吳作人, as well as a driver, Kuang Wei 鄺威, and a mechanic from Lanchow Yu Te-hsin (Yu Dexin) 宇德新. While at Chienfodong he also met photographer Lo Chi-Mei (Luo Jimei) 羅寄梅 of the Central Press Agency (Zhong yang tong xun she 中央通訊社) and his wife Lo Fang (Luo Fang) 羅芳, and some resident Tibetan Buddhist priests.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>He visited a wide range of universities, research institutes and schools, factories and co-operative workshops, as well as many other sites of interest. He notes in detail the state of the roads, maintenance of the truck, names of people met and travelled with, scenery passed, and the purchase of supplies and his expenses. A typescript of his report to the British Embassy on the trip can be viewed <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>A special handmade note-book of sketches and notes by Needham to record his visit to the caves at Chienfotung (千佛洞 Qianfodong) near Tunhuang is available at <a href='/view/MS-NRI-00002-00005-00012-00004/1'>NRI2/5/12/4</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Photographs for the journey are included in NW - Northwest journey (<a href='/view/PH-NRI-00002-00010-00001-00001-00002/1'>NRI2/10/1/1/2</a>) and CFT- (<a href='/view/PH-NRI-00002-00010-00001-00001-00003/1'>NRI2/10/1/1/3</a>). These images are also available to view in date order <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The journal, sketchbook, photographs and other materials relating to Needham's visit to Qianfodong were scanned and processed by the International Dunhuang Project (<a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>IDP</a>), with the generous support of the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Dunhuang Foundation</a>, and are also available via the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>IDP website</a> and <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>blog</a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Further information and resources are available about Needham's time in China from 1943-1946 as Director of the Sino-British Science Cooperation Office <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>here</a>.</p>

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