The University of Macau (UM) Wu Yee Sun Library currently houses a copy of the Twenty-four Histories published around the time of Tongzhi Emperor and Guangxu Emperor during Qing dynasty, by the five provincial publishing houses in Nanjing, Zhejiang, Hubei, Jiangsu, and Huainan. The copy was discovered by Prof Li Ping and PhD student Jiang Xiao from UM’s Department of History. Containing 626 volumes in total, this copy is a complete edition and is in very good condition. More importantly, six different red seals and 23 inscriptions by the Chinese calligraphist and painter Deng Fen have been found in this book collection
This set of Twenty-four Histories is the first of its kinds that has been published in the format of a book collection for the general public. It was produced with the finest craftsmanship skills in woodblock printing during Qing dynasty. Complete editions of the Twenty-four Histories are very rare these days. Li and Jiang investigated numerous libraries in Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, and found that only the UM Library houses a complete edition of the Twenty-four Histories. In addition, the edition at UM is different from the others in terms of book binding. Therefore, this special edition is very important to the academia in the studies of historical documents.
The discovery has been published in the first, third, and fifth issue of Academic Research in 2018. Academic Research is one of the first journals in China that focuses on the studies of social theories.