|Editor||Wang Qinruo, Yang Yi et al.|
|Subject||mainly politics and history|
|Literal meaning||Prime Tortoise of the Book Department|
Cefu Yuangui (?) is the largest leishu (encyclopedia) compiled during the Chinese Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). It was the last of the Four Great Books of Song, the previous three having been published in the 10th century.
The encyclopedia was commissioned by Emperor Zhenzong in October 1005 under the working title Records of Relations Between Rulers and Officials in Past Dynasties but was renamed Models from the Archives by the Emperor, to whom the finished work was presented on September 20, 1013. The final product was divided into 1,000 juan, 31 categories, and 1014 subcategories, all of which "related to administration of the empire, to bureaucracy, and to the imperial family." It did not include chapters on the natural world. Many people worked on the encyclopedia, including Wang Qinruo and Yang Yi who requested that the emperor hire more compilers. It was almost twice as large as the Imperial Reader of the Taiping Era and was ranked second in the Siku Quanshu collections.
English titles for this encyclopedia are
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