"A Classification of the Principal Sea-going Junks of China (south of the Yangtze Kiang)" by G.R.G. Worcester, 1948.

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  • 26 Nov 2013 11:56
    Message # 1446522
    While researching the history of the Western Junk Rig, I was looking for this book, but it seems that it is very rare. The British Library has a copy, but will only allow the copying of a few pages at a time. The National Maritime Library in Greenwich is supposed to have one, but it's gone missing. The Smithsonian has one, I think its a photocopy. Couple of other major libraries in the States & Canada are supposed to have one but it doesn't come up on their detailed search.

    Robin Blain has a copy which he was (understandably) reluctant to lend out - it's not only rare but fragile. He has tried to photocopy it in the past without success. So I set off with my trusty hand scanner to visit him with the intent of digitising it. The book is small, 6" x 4" approx, and consists of hand-cut pages of typescript bound together in a leather cover.

    Unfortunately, the pages have not just yellowed, but gone a strange mid-grey colour, which have rendered them very difficult to scan, because the contrast is so poor. This is particularly true for the sketches, which were done on tissue/tracing paper in pencil. Examples of one such entry here and here.

    Because of its rarity and potential value to the JRA, and also for my own benefit, I decided to go ahead and try to produce the best digitised version that I could. As this requires the redrawing of each of the 93 sketches in the book, using digital 'tracing' of the originals, this will take me a while. An example page from the digitised version, drawn from the above example is here.
    Last modified: 03 Feb 2014 15:12 | Anonymous member
  • 26 Nov 2013 19:42
    Reply # 1446892 on 1446522
    It's fantastic for us all that you should go to so much effort, Chris.  I couldn't open either of the first two heres but could open the third, which looked very crisp and clear.  Would you like anyone else to help you with this undertaking, Chris?  I'm afraid I can't offer from here in NZ.
  • 26 Nov 2013 19:54
    Reply # 1446908 on 1446522
    Yes, they're tiffs which are not very internet-friendly - but theyre in my photo albums anyway.

    i'm quite happy to plod on with it - break from the history - take me a couple of weeks probably.
    Last modified: 26 Nov 2013 19:56 | Anonymous member
  • 27 Nov 2013 17:07
    Reply # 1447443 on 1446522
    Chris,
    I could open all 3 here's .  It is absolutely terrific what you are doing to make the pages legible and meaningful.  Wish I could help.
    Edward
  • 29 Nov 2013 15:06
    Reply # 1448322 on 1446522

    Chris

    Great work.  I, like Annie and Edward, really appreciate what you're doing.  I'd offer help but I'm not very tech savvie.... however if there is anything you think I might be able to do to help, drop me an email.

     

    Peter S

  • 29 Nov 2013 15:11
    Reply # 1448324 on 1446522
    Thank you all.

    A question. Although I am recreating most of this, I decided to do kitsch little things like retaining Worcester's pagination (useful) and using courier font to 'emulate' a type script (less so).

    Thing is, either Worcester or his typist was a lousy speller, and inconsistent with things like Hong Kong vs. Hongkong. Should I retain his (mis)spelling or correct it? And same with the inconsistencies?

    PS. There's a part-finished version in my Box files:
    Documents->Chris Gallienne->Worcester 1948 if you want to take a look.

    PPS Webmaster says, "Members who can't access the above, please email me for access. Thanks."
    Last modified: 03 Dec 2013 23:01 | Anonymous member
  • 01 Dec 2013 00:41
    Reply # 1448987 on 1446522
    Oops should have posted here,!

    Well done Chris, it's A little gem.
    Lesley 
  • 03 Dec 2013 22:18
    Reply # 1451079 on 1446522
    Thank you Lesley.

    I have been in contact with the British Library about this book, wanting to clarify a couple of particularly poor scan images, and the reply was:

    "Not held/no longer available".

    The copy supposedly held by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is also missing.
    The only Library I know of that has a copy is the Smithsonian, and I believe that is only a photocopy.

    This book appears to be getting rarer by the day - the only original copy I know of is with Robin, and is in pretty poor condition. Seems even more important to get it digitised. I am making good progress with this, but a few of my scans are quite poor, so may well have to visit Robin again to examine a few details before I'm done.
  • 07 Dec 2013 12:17
    Reply # 1453521 on 1446522
    OK, as far as I am able, I have finished the first draft of this reproduction. There are still a few words I am unable to decipher. I also seem to have missed a couple of pages somehow - one diagram, and one piece of descriptive text.

    In order to complete this task I will need to revisit Robin's original. Until I am able to do this, I have uploaded the text as it stands for members to look at should they so wish.

    Comment/critique welcome

    Chris
  • 10 Dec 2013 01:42
    Reply # 1455025 on 1446522
    You've done a fantastic job here, Chris.  If you would like me to proofread, I'd be very happy to hunt out any typos for you.  I'd also be more than happy to see if I can read the words you couldn't decipher, if you feel it would help. 

    You can't help feeling the enthusiasm of Mr Worcester for these wonderful boats; and grieving that they have all been lost to the world.  I can't get over the variety, the variations on the theme of junk rig, the different sheeting arrangements and the sheer attractiveness of so many of the boats illustrated.
    Last modified: 10 Dec 2013 02:18 | Annie
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