More Plain Words: On Toxins, Diaries and Safe Houses as Data

Michael Schoenhals's picture

Back in 1994, I read a wonderful book (to which Tim Cheek had drawn my attention), an anthology edited by Robin W. Winks entitled The Historian as Detective: Essays on Evidence (Harper Torchbooks, 1968). I realize that the judicious study of evidence has since come to be seen as rather ”old school” or ”retro” and that facts no longer carry quite the same weight as does, for example, faith. But anyway, I was reminded of Winks and his book when I stumbled across the following explanation, in a Chinese document from 1950, of what the term 材料 may refer to:


摘自刊登于西南局公安部1950年7月编印《公安保卫工作业务参考材料选集》(第一辑上编)的《侦察工作讲授纲要》,pp. 5-6

Is there not something delightfully post-modern about this quirky lecture text?