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The Two Giant Hand-copied Encyclopedic Titles

Hand copying was more practical because of the vast quantity of texts.

Yongle Dadian (The Great Classic of Yongle reign)

    1403-1408

A huge compilation of everything considered worth knowing by at the time of compilation in 1547, consisting of over 11,000 volumes. Only about 300 survive in original manuscript form today.

Siku Quanshu (Complete Library in Four Branches of Literature) 1773-1782

Containing more than 36,000 volumes. It is the most comprehensive collection from earliest known Chinese scholarship until the date of publication in 1782. It covers a wide variety of subjects in the humanities, science, and social sciences.

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