The term Sinica refers to works written in Chinese which are entirely, mostly or to a significant extent printed using Chinese characters.

A recent project has indexed our holdings of Chinese books (Sinica) using original copies, and these have now been included in the Austrian National Library Catalogue. They were transcribed using only Hanyu Pinyin. The authors, titles, printers and the places where they were printed were reproduced in Chinese script, and bibliographic references were added.

The main areas covered by the holdings are history and philology. Of special interest are the works printed by the Jesuits in China in the 17th and 18th centuries – the history of our holding dates back to the second half of the 17th century. The most important addition to the collection came at the end of the 1940s with the acquisition of the library of the sinologist Arthur von Rosthorn (1862-1945).

The "Overview of the Chinese and Japanese books in the Imperial Library" (1837) produced by Stephan Endlicher and including Chinese characters was the first attempt to list and catalogue our holdings. The recent indexing of our Chinese holdings will mean that they can be quickly searched in future. The catalogues which can still be used in parallel (Endlicher 1837, card catalogue and the bound catalogue compiled by Basilia Fang and published in 1992) will be replaced by central referencing via the NB-OPAC.

Another aid in selective searching remains the Systematic Catalogue of the Rosthorn Library. The advantage of this is that it also breaks down the so-called "collected works" – albeit sometimes distributing them across different subject areas – so you can order exactly what you need, e.g. (Scan 267, 1st entry) "1341.14 Ch'un-ch'iu Kuliang-chuan" (Sin 1341, vol. 14).