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Resource nameFu Jen Catholic University—Digital Project for the Contract and Deeds of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nanking
URLhttp://www.fuho.fju.edu.tw/dpcdrcan/
LanguageChinese
Introduction

Cardinal Paul Yu Pin, former President of Fu Jen Catholic University, and Father Gong Shi-Rong, former Chief Secretary, worked and lived in the small room on the fourth floor of College of Liberal Arts. Since Father Gong passed away in 2002, no one else has used that room. In the early summer of 2008, staff from University History Office discovered a metal box while organizing the belongings they left behind. Inside the box were the contracts and deeds for land purchases by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nanking from mid Qing Dynasty to 1948. A large stack of contracts were folded inside customized 19.5 x 18 cm envelopes; it was evident that they were already arranged and organized in some way.

557 contracts and deeds out of more than 4,000 collections were digitalized in the database, including leases from Nanjing, land contracts and other relevant deeds from Jiangyin County. The most interesting contract and deeds were the "unredeemable contracts of sale." In traditional Chinese society, an unredeemable contract of sale was usually a piece of paper held by the buyer. "Those who sign the unredeemable contract sever all rights from the land, and will never try to redeem the land, therefore they do not have to sign a contract." This shows just how valuable the contract and deeds of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Nanking are. Most of the contract and deeds were held by large families. As a foreign religious organization, the fact that the Catholic Church was able to purchase land in China was truly remarkable. These contract and deeds can be used as first-hand study material for interdisciplinary research.

CooperationFu Jen Catholic University