Abstract

The world's greatest repository of historical information is to be found in the twenty-five officially approved Chinese standard histories. This collection begins with legendary ages and continues to the beginning of the Tsing or Manchu period. Because only parts of a very few histories have been translated, this collection remains almost completely unavailable, except to expert sinologists. Altogether the histories have well over twenty million characters, the equivalent of at least forty-five million English words. If this series were translated with appropriate notes and printed in the same format as the parts of the first two that have appeared, there would be about 225,000 pages, making about 450 volumes of 500 pages each. This translation is the greatest single task awaiting sinologfcal scholarship today.

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