Catalogues in the Electronic Era: CBETA and The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue.
University of California , Berkeley
It is very pleasing to have The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue reused in digital form on the internet. CBETA is to be congratulated for the great contribution they are making to our study of the Buddhist canon. When the Korean catalogue was published in codex form, it represented a traditional reference work for library collections. That is to say, it gave information that could be used to go to other books and documents in the library to find data. In the format that is used by CBETA, we see a whole new way of referencing. The catalogue is no longer limited to simply indicating sources, it is being linked directed to the sources. This marks the great difference between the current Reference Room of most libraries and the needs and potential for referencing digital resources. Just as CBETA has moved the catalogue into an entirely new format, so too, librarians are beginning to build similar methods for the internet resources. It will no longer be sufficient to give bibliographies or guides that require the user to go out and search for each item. The linking of the data itself with the reference is a basic aspect of the power of information technology. CBETA is becoming a world class model for this procedure and I am grateful that the creators of the resource have decided to make use of my catalogue.
The compilation of The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue was started soon after my arrival at the University of California , Berkeley in 1967 to teach in what was then known as the Department of Oriental Languages. My predecessor Professor F. Lessing had established Buddhist Studies within the department in the 1930s and it continues today under the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture, headed by Professor Robert Sharf. At the time of my assuming the post at Berkeley , the East Asiatic Library (now named the C.V. Starr East Asian Library) had just acquired a set of rubbings from the 13 th century printing blocks housed at Hae-in Monastery in Korea . The sheets were sewn into 1428 volumes and represented a distinct challenge to the library staff in terms of cataloguing and housing such a large collection. Since I was the new resident Buddhist specialist, the library appealed for help and I agreed to produce a shelf list of all the titles contained in the volumes. Fortunately, in 1970, I was able to visit Korea and see the printing blocks at Hae-in Monastery. The wonder of how more than 83,000 blocks could have been produced during a time of great duress in the 13 th century and have been preserved through wars and the constant danger of fires, increased my interest and appreciation for the rubbings. As the work progressed, I enlisted graduate students to assist me in making a fuller description of each text. The names of these individuals are mentioned in the original preface that is available online. My co-editor was Professor Sungbae Park , now teaching at SUNY Stony Brook. Eventually, the project took seven years to complete, working without the aid of computers and spreadsheets. It was done manually or with regular typewriters. When the time came to publish the catalogue, Phillip Lillienthal of the University of California Press took special interest and managed to find the funding necessary to produce the 723 page volume. Typesetting and printing was done in Korea , handset in metal font. Proofs of the pages had to be shipped back and forth by air-freight. In the end, we had to conclude the process and print, even though there were still unresolved problems.
Over the years, I have been asked why I did such a huge task for what must be a limited audience. The real reason was that I wanted to have the data for my own research and in many ways it was a personal endeavor. To the surprise of the press, the volumes did find buyers and in a reasonable period of time were all sold. We never considered doing a second printing since it was assumed that most libraries that would stock the book were among the initial buyers and would not repurchase. The copyright was returned to me, but I did not try to find a new publisher.
The Electronic Version of the Catalogue
It was a happy surprise when Professor Charles Muller contacted me and asked if I would give permission to have a digital version made. I was pleased at the prospect of the new format and I encouraged him to proceed. My only request was that the online version be made freely available without cost to users and without any restrictions for educational use. He agreed to these terms and in short order produced the new edition and has made it available online for some years. His work in providing this and other research tools to the scholarly community is unparalleled and we all owe him a great debt of gratitude.
After completing the catalogue, I became very involved in digitization of the canon. Working with the Tripitaka Korean Institute, the content of the Hae-in blocks was put into the computer and published on CD ROMs. The work of CBETA in Taiwan was the next major step in the evolving technology of Buddhist Studies, when they made the Taisho Edition available on the internet with search and retrieval software. This has revolutionized the use of the canonic material and changed the way in which Chinese Buddhism is studied. Now, the CBETA team incorporates the catalogue with this online data and I am honored to grant such use. A fuller description of how all these efforts have influenced Buddhist studies can be found in my articles contained in the Encyclopedia of Buddhism.
The Ordering of the Texts
It has been nearly thirty years since the hard copy of The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue appeared in print. During these years, I have continued to explore the arrangement of the printing blocks at Hae-in Monastery in order to understand the way in which the texts were ordered. A number of patterns can be discerned by looking carefully at the information contained in the catalogue.
This charting of the arrangement shows us that the Koryo II version used for the The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue, was first done by acquisition and there was no attempt to intermingle additions with the earlier collections of texts.
The careful distinction of translations and East Asian compilations and authored works needs to be studied in greater detail. First, we note that the East Asian material was considered to be canonic and was included in the editions, even though grouped after the translations. The earliest dated compilations were done sometime between is 502 -557 C .E. in the Liang dynasty (K 1047, 1049, 1050, 1051, 1053, 1080).
Second, the arrangement allows us to trace the movement of the printed editions from Northern Sung to Koryo. Histories record that the work of carving the Kaipao, which is probably represented by K 1-1046, took place between 971 and ca. 983 C .E. Immediately after the completion of those carvings, the Northern Sung court undertook the resumption of translation of Sanskrit texts. Therefore, the first supplement to the canon represented translations made from 983 -1000 C .E. This came to Koryo and is preserved as K 1088-1256. These two segments were missing all of the translations made from 730 -798 C .E. and so blocks were carved to capture the products of those years. We find this supplement in K 1262-1397. It is hard to know whether both of these supplements came to Koryo at the same time. If they had done so, it would have been more logical, in terms of acquisition housing, to have put the earlier translations before the later Northern Sung. Since, the Northern Sung translations of 983 -1000 C .E. became Segment Two, it is tempting to assume that Segment Three translations of 730 – 798 C .E. were acquired later. Here we can chart the acquisition history:
As stated above, the ordering of Koryo II indicates that the Northern Sung prints were received in this order and housed accordingly. The order was not done strictly by date of translation. As we see from the chart, the first segment only takes in material produced before 730 C .E., the year of the publication of the catalogue of the Kaiyuan era (K 1062) compiled by Zhi-sheng. This raises the question of why the carvers of the Kaipao plates done between 971 -983 C .E. did not include the translations done between 730 -798 C .E. It would appear that they limited their content to the listings of Zhi-sheng's catalogue rather than doing all of the jing in the da tsang . Therefore, the court in Kaifeng was required to mount a special project to make prints for these post-730 translations.
The compilations that were attached at the end of each translation segment, also indicate the history of acquisition. While segments three and four contain a miscellany of texts and even a few translations, the chart below only indicates the dates of those works written in China .
When the material was rearranged in Japan in the 20 th century, this structure of the Koryo was removed and cannot be seen within the Taisho numbering. Because the Taisho edition was a new method of organization of the individual titles, the editors removed the references to the “case” characters that had long been the guide based on the “Thousand Character Classic.” In making the catalogue of the Koryo II rubbings, I decided to retain the information regarding the “case” characters. Here is the outline of how the case characters relate to the structure
The “case” characters were the primary tool for keeping the order of shelving or storing the texts. The indicators are especially important for noting the comparisons between editions. For example, the Koryo and the Jin versions follow identical patterns for the “case” characters from K 1-1256. The identical listing of the two is attributed to a common source, the rubbings coming from the Kaipao and the Northern Sung first supplement. From K 1262, the “case” characters are different in the two and it indicates that the number of rolls differed and so the “case” numbering. In order to understand the relationship between Jin and Koryo, we need to look at the ordering of the first set of printing blocks, now referred to as Koryo I. Fortunately, a sizable number of Koryo I rubbings have been discovered in Korea , Tsushima, and Nanzenji in Japan . These examples are now being scanned for display on the internet through the Tripitaka Koreana Institute in Seoul .
The attempt was to put 10 scrolls into each “case.” However, the rule was not followed if the titles of a text had a few more scrolls. For example “case” number 88 had eleven scrolls contained eight texts (i.e. K 48-55). Within each “case” it was difficult to keep consistent ordering of the scrolls. When they belonged to one title, then each scroll was numbered and could be arranged in proper order. However, when multiple titles were found within the “case” it was not easy to give ordering. “Case” 169 is a case in point.
For example, we find K 334-K354 all contained in “Case” 169.
If we analyze the list in terms of content, we see the following:
K336 and K 337 are translations of the same text and they are placed next to each other. However, K 339, K340, K 344 are also the same content but are not grouped in Koryo. They are put together in the Nanjio listing, Nj 337, 338, 339 and in order of time of translation and this is followed by the Taisho numbering 1356, 1357, 1358. In another instance of multiple translations, we find K 342, K 343, and K 351 for the same text. The ordering is not consistent with title or date of translation. Again, Nj 369, 370, 371 puts the grouping in better order and is followed by Taisho. By looking at the Zhengyuan lu done in the Tang dynasty, we see that the ordering was unsettled even in those earlier days. Zhengyuan lu does not agree with Koryo, Taisho, or Nanjio in ordering K 339, 340, and 344. The listing using the Zhengyuan lu order would be as follows:
It might be argued that the Koryo rubbings should be rearranged to follow the more logical order. However, the Berkeley set was the standard for the catalogue, even though inconsistencies are noted. With a mixed signal from other catalogues, it is difficult to solve all of these micro-listings with ease or assurance.
There is still much to be done in working with catalogues and ordering of the canonic texts. Even though 4175 Buddhist texts have been noted in twenty two catalogues, there are missing materials from Korea and Vietnam . We are not keeping pace with modern publications of compiled lectures by contemporary monks and nuns. The Dainihon zokuzokyo has been little studied in terms of its ordering and unique example of texts from Fang Shan stone carvings need study. The CBETA listings of comparative catalogue information for each text is a major step forward. As we move forward with such research, the contextualization of each Buddhist text will be more precise and even the content of the text better understood. I look forward to using my own data in the new ways that are made available on the CBETA site. My thanks to all who make this technology so cogent to our research.
 Lewis R. Lancaster and Sung-bae Park , The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue. University of California Press: Berkeley/Los Angeles/London. 1979.
 See my articles entitled: “Electronic Publications,” “Cyber Buddhism”, “Digital research resources”, “Digital input of Buddhist texts.” And “Technology and Buddhism” in Encyclopedia of Buddhism edited by Damien Keown and Charles S. Prebish. Routledge: London / New York . 2007.
 See K 1401 (T. 2157)
 Dainihon zokuzokyo. Zokyo shoin : Kyoto . 1902-05.