Printer Friendly page
Back to full page
Penn Library homepage
Penn Area Centers - toggle to see links
Center for Research Libraries - toggle to see links
Center for Research Libraries - toggle to see links

Chinese Language Databases - Search Guides

I. CHANT (Chinese Ancient Texts) 漢達文庫

Summary: Developed by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, CHANT is so far the best database of early Chinese texts from the pre-Qin period to the Northern and Southern Dynasties. All texts were carefully collated and punctuated before being entered into the database. CHANT comprises 5 smaller databases, namely those of oracle bone texts (甲骨文文庫), bronze inscriptions (金文文庫), bamboo strip and silk book texts (竹簡帛書文庫), pre-Qin and Han texts (先秦兩漢文庫), and Wei, Jin, Northern, and Southern Dynasties texts (魏晉南北朝文庫). The last two databases also have a print version (titled 先秦两漢古籍逐字索引 and 魏晋南北朝古籍逐字索引 respectively) in about 60 volumes, which can be found in Van Pelt Library's East Asia Seminar Room.

  1. Enter CHANT from Penn Library's web site (off-campus users can get access through the library's proxy service).
  2. Click on 登入.
  3. Click on 機構用戶登入.
  4. Choose one of the five databases currently available to Penn users.
  5. To do a search in the entire database, click on 檢索 in the menu bar. Input the search word in 字串, then click on the 檢索 button.
  6. To do a search in an individual work, first click on 書目索引 in the menu bar, locate and click on the title you want, then click on 檢索.

II. Scripta Sinica (中央研究院漢籍電子文獻, also known as 瀚典)

Summary: Built by Academia Sinica (中央研究院) in Taiwan from the early 1980s, Scripta Sinica is a pioneer in the digitization of pre-modern Chinese texts, and it is still the best-known and most heavily used full-text database in the sinological world. Most texts in the database are based on modern collated and punctuated editions published in mainland China. However, only a small part of the database is now open to overseas users.

  1. Access either version 1.3 or version 2.0 of the database.
  2. Choose a sub-database and click on the 開啓 button
  3. In 檢索條件, enter the word to search by, limit the search to certain title(s) if needed, and click on 執行.
  4. To get a full list of search results, click on 檢索報表.

III. Guo xue bao dian 国学宝典

Summary: This database was developed by Guoxue 国学 Company in Beijing. The company also runs a very popular web site (www.guoxue.com) devoted to the study of traditional Chinese culture. Most texts in the database are based on modern collated and punctuated editions (called 通行本 by the developer), but some are digitized from pre-modern editions. Originally available only on CD-ROMs, this database went online in early 2005.

Note: Most texts in this database are encoded in the GB system and thus should be searched by inputting simplified Chinese characters.

  1. Enter the database from Penn Library's web site (off-campus users can get access through the library's proxy service).
  2. Click on 高级检索.
  3. In the space after 在书名中包括, enter the title of the work you want to search in, then click on 检索. -- You can enter any part of the title.
  4. From the results of the title search, find the title you want, check the box in front of it. Then in the space after 关键词, enter the word to search by, and click on the 查询 button.
  5. To browse the titles in the database, click on 宝典总目 on the left side. Titles are arranged according to the traditional Chinese classification system.

IV. Si ku quan shu 四庫全書

Summary: This database is based on the Wenyuan Ge 文淵閣 copy of the Siku quanshu. Wenyuan Ge was the palace library of the Qing Dynasty and was located inside the Forbidden City of Beijing. In the late 1940s, the entire Wenyuan Ge copy of Si ku quan shu was moved to Taiwan and was reprinted in the 1980s. In 2001, Penn joined many other institutions in the northeast to purchase the digitized Siku quanshu, which was installed in a server at Yale. Currently, Penn users can only access the database from terminals on campus.

  1. Login the database through Penn Library's web site and from a terminal on Penn campus.
  2. Click on 進階檢索.
  3. Input the search word in the space before 檢索, limit the search to a certain work by entering the title in the space after 書名條件, then click on 檢索. You can also click on 書名條件 and then find the title by Pinyin or stroke number.
  4. Click on 匹配 to view search results. Note that there may be more than one 匹配 in a chapter 卷.
  5. To copy the text into MS Word or other word processing applications, click on 拷貝文字 in the left side menu bar.