Cefu Yuangui

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The Prime Tortoise of the Record Bureau (simplified Chinese: 册府元龟; traditional Chinese: 冊府元龜; pinyin: Cèfǔ Yuánguī) was the largest encyclopedia compiled during the Chinese Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD). It was the last of the Four Great Books of Song, the previous three encyclopedias published in the 10th century.

The encyclopedia was originally named Narrative of Monarchs and Officials in the Past Dynasties but was later renamed to Yuangui, meaning the oracle tortoise shells, and Cefu, the imperial's storehouse of literature. The work was started in 1005 and finished in 1013 by Wang Qinruo and numerous other scholars. It was one of the four books that were divided into 1,000 volumes. It was almost twice as large as the Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era and was ranked second in the Siku Quanshu collections. It consisted of about 9.4 million words (or Chinese characters), which included many political essays, autobiographies of rulers and subjects, memorials, and decrees.

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