An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書

Sep 15, 2021 © Ulrich Theobald

Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書 is a supplement to the large imperial series (congshu 叢書) Siku quanshu 四庫全書. Part of it consists of texts described in the Cunmu 存目 sections (listing of existing texts) of the descriptive catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要 but not included in the Siku quanshu corpus of full texts (wei shou shu 未收書), and books not been taken into consideration at all by the Siku quanshu compilation team.

The selection of texts by the Sikuguan Office 四庫館 had followed ideological principles and neglected gems of literature or the books of thinkers deviating from the ideological mainstream of the Qian-Jia School (Qian-Jia xuepai 乾嘉學派). Others were written after 1792 or were discovered in later years. Apart from that, the Siku quanshu project had envisaged the prohibition or even destruction of certain texts (jin-hui shu 禁毀書). Moreover, the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao included quite a few errors and misconceptions that had to be revised. Some books included in the series had been abbreviated or altered (shan-gai 刪改) if the rest of the texts was valuable in the eyes of the Sikuguan team.

In the early 19th century, scholars and collectors like Ruan Yuan 阮元 (1764-1849) began to compile private collections of books that were actually valuable enough to be part of an official series like the Siku quanshu. Ruan's collection Siku weishou shu tiyao 四庫未收書提要, presented to the throne, included the description of more than 170 books. In 1889, Wang Yirong 王懿榮 (1845-1900) presented a further collection of this type. He was followed by Zhang Qin 章梫 (1861-1949), Yu Changlin 喻長霖 (1857-1940) and Sun Tongkang 孫同康 (jinshi degree 1894).

In the early years of the Republic, Ye Gongchuo 葉恭綽 (1881-1968), and Jin Liangfu 金梁復 developed the idea to compile a continuation of the Siku quanshu. In 1924, the Commercial Press (Shangwu Yinshuguan 商務印書館) in Shanghai announced the publication of such a sequel and propagated the submission of eligible texts from throughout China and abroad. The funds were derived from the Japanese share of the Boxer Indemnities fixed in the Boxer Protocol of 1901 as reparations from the Boxer Uprising. In March 1923, the Japanese Government had pronounced the decree Dui Zhi wenhua shiye tebie huiji fa 對支文化事業特別會計法案 (Tai Shi bunka jigyō tokubetsu kaikei hō 対支文化事業特別会計法) by which Japan announced to support cultural cooperation between the two countries. The realization of the project was finally decided to be carried out by the Beijing Renwen Kexue Yanjiusuo 北京人文科學研究所 under the Chinese-Japanese committee Dongfang Wenhua Shiye Zong Weiyuanhui 東方文化事業總委員會 (Tōhō Bunka Jigyō Sō Iinkai 日本東方文化事業総委員会) established in July 1925 in Beijing. The project was to be carried out by 36 chief compilers. Shao Ruipeng 邵瑞彭 (1887-1937) and Li Shengduo 李盛鐸 (1859-1937) urged the Beiyang Government (Beiyang zhengfu 北洋政府) to make use of the funds to promote the Xuxiu project. The first bilateral conference was held in October 1925 in Beijing. Ke Shaomin 柯紹忞 (1850-1933) was elected chair of the project.

In 1935, a first draft was sent to the Tōyō Bunka Gakuin Kyōto Kenkyūjo 東方文化學院京都研究所 in Japan including the description of 10,080 juan of texts, but the work came into difficulties with the invasion of China by Japan in 1937 and particularly after 1942, when the Japanese government ceased to finance the project. The Chinese Ministry of Education sent in 1945 Shen Bingshi 沈兼士 (1887-1947) to pick up the original draft of the Xuxiu tiyao along with the original texts (banben 版本), stored in Japan. In 1949, the set was brought to Taiwan and is today stored in the Fu Sinian Library 傅斯年圖書館. Drafts of the description of 33,733 juan of texts, and about 160,000 juan of basis texts remained on the mainland in the Library of the Academy of Sciences (Zhongguo Kexue Yuan Tushuguan 中國科學院圖書館).

The core of the Republican compilation team consisted of 31 Chinese and Japanese experts, but in the course of time, 70 persons took part. The Tiyao of the Republican period included the description of texts that had been abbreviated or intentionally altered for the Siku quanshu or for which original editions (banben) of minor quality had been used; furthermore a revised version of Ruan Yuan's Siku weishou shumu tiyao, books not included in the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao (including important Buddhist and Daoist books), books written later than 1792 – the publication date of the Siku quanshu -, lost and rediscovered texts, books prohibited or annihilated by the Sikuguan, poetry compilations, novellas and romances, as well as missing local gazetteers, literary texts discovered in Dunhuang 敦煌, and finally more Chinese books written by foreigners, e.g. Jesuit missionaries.

The originals were in a large style purchased (c. 400,000 Yuan) from private persons by the Beijing Renwen Kexue Yanjiusuo, but the compilation team also used books owned by libraries in the region around Beijing like Beijing Library (Beijing Tushuguan 北京圖書館), the Palace Museum (Gugong Bowuyuan 故宫博物院) or the university libraries as well as more distant libraries like Fengtian Library (奉天圖書館) or Dalian Library (大連圖書館). Private collectors like Fu Zengxiang 傅增湘 (1872-1949), Li Shengduo 李盛鐸 (1859-1937), Ye Dehui 葉德輝 (1864-1927), Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉 (1866-1940), Liu Chenggan 劉承幹 (1881-1963) and Huo Qijia 霍啟甲 also contributed. Finally, the compilers were supported by texts and books owned by foreign libraries, like the Cabinet Library (Naikaku Buko 內閣文庫) in Japan or the Royal Library Kyuchangkak 奎章閣 in Korea, and particularly the Dunhuang texts once taken to British and French libraries.

The original plan envisaged to include the huge number of 33,733 books and texts in the descriptive catalogue, but as the project was never finished and the original descriptions not fully preserved, only 15,420 texts (with 168,529 volumes) were described until 1942 (Qian 2018: 94).

The project of the Republican period was determined to imitate the traditional classification system of the Siku quanshu. Yet the preserved part of the Xuxiu catalogue shows that the team had indeed used six large categories, namely the four traditional categories Confucian Classics (jingbu 經部), historiography (shibu 史部), Masters and philosophers (zibu 子部), and Belles-lettres (jibu 集部), but also series of collectanea (congshubu 叢書部), and local gazetteers (fangzhibu 方志部). The many third-level-categories used by the Siku quanshu were given up.

There was one new section inside the Classics category, namely editions of the Stone Classics (shijing 石經). The historiography category included the new section foreign history (waiguo shi 外國史). The sequence of sub-categories under the Masters and philosophers category was altered somewhat and brought Buddhist and Daoist texts before the novellas (renamed shuocong 說叢), books on material culture and nature studies (pulu 譜錄) and encyclopaedias (leishu 類書). The sub-category romances (xiaoshuo 小説) was newly introduced in the Belles-lettres category. The new category of series of collectanea (congshu bu) was divided into the sub-categories categorized series (leicong 類叢), miscellaneous series (zacong 雜叢), geographical series (junyi 郡邑), person-related series (zuwang 族望), and specific series (zhuanzhu 專著). The new category of local gazetteers (fangzhi bu) finally was divided into 29 sub-categories related to provinces or what is today the autonomous regions.

Work at the Xuxiu tiyao project was resumed in 1972 by the Taiwan Commercial Press (Taiwan Shangwu Yinshuguan 臺灣商務印書館), but the publishers deviated from the original draft which led to a 12-volume edition of minor quality. This facsimile edition included the finalized description of roughly 11,000 chapters of books which was about one third of the whole envisaged project.

Apart from the originals brought back to Taiwan and Beijing, parts of the draft catalogue were also circulated by private collectors and publishers. Such were Wu Chengshi's 吳承仕 (1884-1939) Jianzhai dushu tiyao 檢齋讀書提要 (part of Wu Jianzhai yishu 吳檢齋遺書), Huang Shouqi's (1912-1990) 黃壽祺 Yixue qunshu pingyi 易學群書評議, Zhao Wanli's 趙萬里 (1905-1980) Mingren wenji tiyao 明人文集提要, Hu Yujin's 胡玉縉 (1895-1940) Xuxiu siku quanshu zongmu tiyao Lilei 續修四庫全書總目提要·禮類 and Xu siku tiyao san zhong 續四庫提要三種, Sun Kaidi's 孫楷第 (1898-1986) Ba ming Meng cheng Shun bian liaozhi ji 跋明孟稱舜編柳枝集, Ba qupin 跋曲品, and Baxin chuanqi pin 跋新傳奇品, Ba jingfu xinshu 跋警富新書, Cangzhou ji 滄州集 (B, fasc. 4), and Cangzhou houji 滄州後集 (C, fasc. 3).

In 1993, the Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a punctuated edition of the Classics section (Jingbu 經部) in two volumes with 4,400 chapters of text. The Qi-Lu Press 齊魯書社 published in 1996 a facsimile of 219 "boxes" (han 函) of the Xuxiu tiyao draft in 37 volumes, plus an index volume. It reproduces 34,000 chapters of text. A joint publication by the Shumu Wenxian Press 書目文獻出版社 and the Zhonghua Book Company (Zhonghua Shuju 中華書局) in 2008 is a punctuated version taking into consideration all three earlier editions.

The compilation team Xuxiu siku quanshu bianzuan gongzuo weiyuanhui 《續修四庫全書》編纂工作委員會 established in 1994 by the Publishers Association of China (Zhongguo Chubanzhe Xiehui 中國出版者協會), the Government of Nanshan District 南山區, Shenzhen 深圳, and the Shanghai Guji Press 上海古籍出版社 consisted of 20 experts like Aixin Jueluo Qigong 愛新覺羅啟功 (1912-2005), Rao Zongyi 饒宗頤 (1917-2018), Cheng Qianfan 程千帆 (1913-2000), Yang Mingzhao 楊明照 (1909-2003), Ren Jiyu 任繼愈 (1916-2009) or Li Xueqin 李學勤 (1933-2019). Their work was finished in 2001 with the publication of 1,800 volumes including the texts of no less than 5,213 books (Qian 2018: 93).

Yet unlike the earlier project from the 1930s, the latest Xuxiu did not include a complete descriptive catalogue (zongmu tiyao). In 2008 therefore, Fu Xuanzong 傅璇琮 (1933-2016), the signing chief editor of the Xuxiu siku quanshu, was made professor of Chinese Language and Literature at Tsinghua University (Qinghua Daxue 清華大學) and head of the Zhongguo Guji Wenxian Yanjiu Zhongxin 中國古典文獻研究中心. He cooperated with Zhao Changping 趙昌平 (1945-2018), Liu Shi 劉石 (b. 1963), He Keqin 高克勤 (b. 1962) and other experts to compile the descriptive catalogue Xuxiu siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 續修四庫全書總目提要. The latter was finished and published in two batches, first the Historiography and Belles-lettres section in 2014, and the Masters and Classics section a year later. The compilation had been produced by a team of 259 persons (Qian 2018: 94).

The Xuxiu in the latest form includes 5,213 texts which is considerably more than the old Siku quanshu with 3,462 books (Song 2015: 172). The structure of the catalogue imitates that of the Siku quanshu, but deviates in several points.

The modern project included books once left out by the Sikuguan Office for various reasons (overlooked, discarded, prohibited); books with literary or scholarly value described in the cunmu sections (existing books) of the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao catalogue; books once published on the base of incomplete editions or such with many typos (in case better editions were available); books written or compiled after 1792 and until 1912; theatre plays, novels and romances of literary value; books returned to China, and newly discovered bamboo texts.

Mosts books and texts were provided by various institutions like the National Library (Zhongguo Guojia Tushuguan 中國國家圖書館), the library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Zhongguo Kexue Yuan Tushuguan 中國科學院圖書館), the Palace Museum (Gugong Bowuyuan Tushuguan 故宮博物院圖書館), and the libraries of Beijing University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University 人民大學, Fudan University 復旦大學 in Shanghai, various departments of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Zhongguo Shehui Kexue Yuan 中國社會科學院), Shanghai Library 上海圖書館, the Archive of the Zhonghua Book Company (中華書局資料室), and the ancient Tianyige Library (Tianyige Bowuguan 天一閣博物館) in Ningbo 寧波, Zhejiang.

The modern Xuxiu project did not adapt the fifth and sixth categories of the Republican project. The subcategories Stone Classics and Foreign History were given up. The sequence of the Masters and philosophers was altered again, with Daoists books in the second place, just after the Confucian texts (Rujia 儒家). Buddhist books were put into the sub-category Religion (Zongjiao 宗教) with the intention to include Christian, Muslim, and other texts on religion as well, for instance, Matteo Ricci's (Ch. Li Madou 利瑪竇, 1552-1610) Tianzhu shiyi 天主實義 "The true meaning of Catholicism". The Masters category was closed by a new sub-category of translations from foreign books (Xixue yizhu 西學譯著), like Montesquieu's (1689-1755) Esprit des lois, translated by Yan Fu 嚴復 (1854-1921) as Fayi 法意 "The substance of laws". The new sub-categories theatre plays (Xiju 戲劇) and romances (Xiaoshuo 小說) in the Belles-letters category were retained. The romances sub-category includes famous works like Pu Songling's 蒲松齡 (1640-1715) story collection Liaozhai zhiyi 聊齋誌異 or Cao Xueqin's 曹雪芹 (1715-1763) masterpiece Hongloumeng 紅樓夢.

The Tiyao of the modern edition consists of one volume per literary category, plus one index volume. Unlike the Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao, the Xuxiu tiyao does not include an introductory preface to each category and subcategory, but just a general preface (Zongxu 總序).

Table 1. Chapters and categories of the Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書
1. 經部 Jingbu Confucian Classics
1.1. 易類 Yi The Book of Changes, commentaries and exegesis
1.2. 書類 Shu The Book of Documents, commentaries and exegesis
1.3. 詩類 Shi The Book of Songs, commentaries and exegesis
1.4. 禮類 Li The ritual classics, commentaries and exegesis
1.5. 樂類 Yue Books on music
1.6. 春秋類 Chunqiu The Spring and Autumn Annals, commentaries and exegesis
1.7. 孝經類 Xiaojing The Classic of Filial Piety, commentaries and exegesis
1.8. 四書類 Sishu The Four Books, commentaries and exegesis
1.9. 群經總義類 Qunjing zongyi Commentaries on the Five Classics corpus
1.10. 小學類 Xiaoxue Lexicography
2. 史部 Shibu Historiography
2.1. 正史類 Zhengshi Official dynastic histories
2.2. 別史類 Bieshi Alternative histories
2.3. 編年類 Biannian Annals and chronicles
2.4. 紀事本末類 Jishi benmo Historical events in their entirety
2.5. 雜史類 Zashi Miscellaneous histories
2.6. 史評類 Shiping Historical critique
2.7. 詔令奏議類 Zhaoling zouyi Edicts and memorials
2.8. 傳記類 Zhuanji Biographies
2.9. 史鈔類 Shichao Excerpts of history books
2.10. 載記類 Zaiji Regional histories
2.11. 地理類 Dili Geography
2.12. 職官類 Zhiguan State offices
2.13. 政書類 Zhengshu Statecraft and administration
2.14. 時令類 Shiling Edicts concerned with the seasons
2.15. 金石類 Jinshi Catalogues of antiques, inscriptions on such, and ancient calligraphies
2.16. 目錄類 Mulu Bibliographies and catalogues
3. 子部 Zibu Masters and philosophers
3.1. 儒家類 Rujia Confucian books
3.2. 道家類 Daojia Daoist books
3.3. 兵家類 Bingjia Military books
3.4. 法家類 Fajia Legalist treatises
3.5. 農家類 Nongjia Agriculture and agronomy
3.6. 醫家類 Yijia Medicine and pharmacology
3.7. 天文算法類 Tianwen suanfa Astronomy and mathematics
3.8. 術數類 Shushu Divination books
3.9. 藝術類 Yishu Treatises on art
3.10. 譜錄類 Pulu Material culture and nature studies
3.11. 雜家類 Zajia Books on miscellaneous issues
3.12. 類書類 Leishu Encyclopaedias and handbooks
3.13. 小說家類 Xiaoshuojia Novellas and stories
3.14. 宗教類 Zongjiao Religious books
3.15. 西學譯著類 Xixue yizuo Translations of Western knowledge
4. 集部 Jibu Belles-lettres
4.1. 楚辭類 Chuci Poetry of the South
4.2. 別集類 Bieji Collections of individual writers
4.3. 總集類 Zongji Anthologies and collections
4.4. 詩文評類 Shi-wenping Literary critique
4.5. 詞曲類 Ciqu Lyric-metre portry and arias
4.6. 戲劇類 Xiju Theatre plays
4.7. 小說類 Xiaoshuo Novels and romances
Qian Kun 钱昆 (2018). "Xuxiu siku quanshu zongmu tiyao zhi banben bianxi 《续修四库全书总目提要》之版本辨析", Shandong Tushuguan xuekan 山东图书馆学刊, 2018 (6): 92-97.
Song Muwen 宋木文 (2015). "Xuxiu siku quanshu de bianzuan chuban 《续修四库全书》的编纂出版", Zhongguo chuban shi yanjiu 中国出版史研究, 2015 (1): 172-188.