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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2023

Two Libraries of the Tang Capital

From the book Libraries in the Manuscript Age

  • Jean-Pierre Drège


Little is known of medieval libraries in medieval China before the eleventh century. Their organisation has been deduced almost solely through catalogues of manuscripts and lists of officials. Somewhat better documented are two very different libraries - one generalist, the other religious - founded in Chang’an, the western capital of the Tang Empire (seventh−eighth centuries). The first is the Library of the Academy of the Hall of the Gathered Wise Men (Jixian dian shuyuan 集賢殿書院), established in the first quarter of the eighth century and located in the Chang’an Imperial Palace. The second is the library of the Monastery of Western Brightness (Ximing si 西明寺), a Buddhist monastery founded in 656, and located near the imperial palace. Several great monks, famous pilgrims, and translators of Buddhist scriptures stayed there.

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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