The Database of Chinese classic ancient books 中國基本古籍庫 is the largest database of pre-20th century texts covering all fields of knowledge. It has in recent years become a standard reference for anyone working on pre-twentieth-century China, due to its vast scope and the good quality of the editions it includes.
This 中國基本古籍庫 Zhongguo jiben guji ku database currently includes 10,000 titles in 12,500 editions from the pre-Qin period through to the Republican period. All texts are provided in full text and image format, allowing for a direct comparison both between digitized text and original text image, and in some cases between different editions of the text.
The texts are divided into four sections: Philosophy and Science, History and Geography, Art and Literature, and General Works; each of these is split up into 20 major categories, which in turn are divided into 100 minor categories. The database is fully searchable and available to all staff and students from the university as well as from home with ULCN login.
Here’s how to access this database (1 user only)
- Go to http://server.wenzibase.com, ‘Welcome to the Erudition Central server’
- Choose 中国基本古籍库, the second from the list of ‘Products’ on the right hand side
- Click the large blue button saying ‘Log in’. Don’t fill in user ID or password － we are recognized on IP
- On the screen that follows, click the (rather vague) button down left from the green jade bi disc 璧 saying, calligraphically, “進入“, to access the database
- Click the button quanwen jiansuo 全文檢索 to do a fulltext search
- Please click ‘tuichu’ 退出 after using，so the next person can access this database!
- The East Asian Library of Princeton has made a PDF of the complete list (366 pages!) of all titles plus editions available in this database. [PDF, new window]
- The database also includes a sizable collection of texts published in the republican period (1911-1949) with a particular focus on publications on Chinese “western studies” (xixue 西學)
- Read more on this database, description from the University of Tokyo