Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

Get access

(2,428 words)

1. Traditional Libraries

Libraries have a long tradition in China that traces back to the beginnings of Chinese culture. The library (shuyuan) as an established institution dates from Tang times when, based on an imperial initiative, the first library for the collection of important documents and books was established. Its character changed over time from an imperial archive to…

Cite this page
Pélisier, Roger and Walravens, Hartmut, “Libraries”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 09 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

▲   Back to top   ▲