Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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(826 words)

Encyclopedias in the European meaning of the word never existed in traditional China. Nevertheless, since the 2nd century BCE there were handbooks with encyclopedic features which systematically collected information about certain areas of knowledge, depending on the context in which they were written. Since the 11th century bibliographers have summarized these works under the term leishu (books structured according to captions). Chinese bibliography adheres to the convention of designating the Huanglan (Reference Materials for the Emperor, 3rd century) as the first wo…

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Kaderas, Christoph, “Encyclopedias”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 01 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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