Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Preface to the English Edition
(1,346 words)

In an article on the development of encyclopedias in China published in the Journal of World History in 1966, German Sinologist Wolfgang Bauer (1930-1997) characterized the fundamental aim of encyclopedic writing as transmitting a "sphere of knowledge" defined by a group of specialists for the purpose of general education. Within the Chinese tradition, encyclopedias have occupied a most important position and were often compiled on imperial command. It was especially during the Song and Qing dynasties that works of truly awe-inspiring scope were created, such as the Taiping Yulan o…

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Leese, Daniel, “Preface to the English Edition”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 05 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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