May 24, 2022

Brown University Library Acquires Exceptionally Rare Book On Chinese Medicine

From the Brown University Library News:

“The Brown University Library has acquired an exceptionally rare book, the first Western book on Chinese medicine, Les Secrets de la Medecine des Chinois (Grenoble, 1671). The volume is composed of anonymous translations of early Chinese texts attributed to Jesuit authors, including the first accounts in the West of the Chinese theory of pulses, and the theory and practice of acupuncture.  The person who compiled the text is unknown, but locates himself in Canton in 1668, having been forced from Peking (current day Beijing) along with other Christians.

Brown University is now one of only seven institutions worldwide, and the first institution in the Northeastern US, to hold a copy of this text.  Les Secrets de la Medecine des Chinois will be stored along with Brown’s other treasures in the John Hay Library. Information about the book, as well as other objects of interest to those teaching, learning, and researching about China, will be made available this spring in a brochure celebrating the Library’s collection on the occasion of the Year of China.”

Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.