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Collecting and Classifying : Ming Dynasty Compendia and Encyclopedias (Leishu [類書]). [Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident. 2007, N°1]
AuthorElman, Benjamin A., 1946-
Pub. LocationParisPublisherPresses Universitaires de Vincennes
Date2007Phys. Desc.pdf [27 pages]
LocationDigital ArchivesCall NumberAE1.E67 2007d
Collecting and Classifying : Ming Dynasty Compendia and Encyclopedias [Leishu 類書] / Benjamin Elman.
In: Extrême-Orient, Extrême-Occident. 2007, N°1, Qu'était-ce qu'écrire une encyclopédie en Chine ? / What dit it mean to write an encyclopedia in China ?. pp. 131-157.
Includes bibliographical references and glossary

The mushrooming of reference (leishu) and daily-use encyclopedias (riyong leishu) in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries drew on earlier book collections, which Chinese literati previously had valued as texts while preparing for civil examinations or for collecting source materials needed by officials to carry out their activities. Since 1000, these traditional collections transmitted a specific epistemological approach for investigating things, events, and phenomena. Beginning in the mid-thirteenth century under Mongol rule, new types of leishu developed, some of which, owing to the steady expansion of printing as well as literacy and the corresponding proliferation of a bookish print culture, reached a much wider readership than ever before. On the one hand, these new types of leishu covered a wider range of knowledge. On the other hand, they represented a form of classicism that approached things/events/phenomena textually, i.e., in a lexicographic and etymological way. Using the encyclopedic form, compilers increasingly applied the ideals for " investigating things and extending knowledge " (gewu zhizhi) beyond the classical corpus. This textual approach to natural studies and practical knowledge culminated in the creation of textual repositories simulating " textual museums. "

doi:10.3406/oroc.2007.1073
Local access dig.pdf. [Elman-Ming Compendia Leishu.pdf]

Subject(s)Leishu 類書--History
Encyclopedias and dictionaries, Chinese--History
Classification--Books--China
Book collecting--China--Bibliography
Bibliography--China--Methodology
Encyclopedias and dictionaries, Chinese--Early works to 1800
Reference books, Chinese--History
Rec. TypeArticle (in Periodical)LanguageEnglish
CollectionRicci Institute LibraryRec. #19800
OCLC732478034