Thursday, January 7, 2010

Siku Quanshu (四庫全書, SKQS) Available Now Through the Internet Archive

The Chinese book project Siku Quanshu (The Complete Library of Four Treasures, 四庫全書) has been deemed as an essential resource for Chinese humanity studies. Initiated by Emperor Qianlong in the late 18th century, the project aimed to collect the most comprehensive information representing the major categories of traditional Chinese knowledge.

The East Asian Library has acquired the ebook database of the Wenyuan Ge copy of Siku Quanshu (文淵閣四庫全書).

In the mean time, we also want to call users' attention to an alternative source for the same set of Wenyuan Ge Siku Quanshu through the Internet Archive (IA), a free and openly accessible digital library project. For the SKQS ebook list in IA, please check the links below:

While SKQS is available through the Internet Archive, it cannot replace the UofT SKQS database because the IA version has NOT acquired the fulltext keyword search functionality, which is available in the UofT database. But for non-UofT users, the SKQS collection in the Internet Archive will be of great value.

For more information about the IA SKQS or the UofT SKQS database, please contact Stephen Qiao (stephen.qiao@utoronto.ca) or Lucy Gan (lucy.gan@utoronto.ca).

1 comment:

Tao said...

Wow, this is a very significant development. I have always thought that public domain works such as Siku Quanshu should be made freely accessible. On the other hand, the commericial version of online SKQS provides full-text search capability, among other things, which can be used to justify the premium we are paying. But having competition is a definitely good thing for the academic users. Hopefully both the paid and free versions will improve in a competitive environment.

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