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Chinese Text Project API wrapper

Project description

ctext is a simple Python wrapper and set of helper functions for the CTP API, which fetches data from the Chinese Text Project database, a digital library of pre-modern Chinese literature. Developed for Python 3.

Development status

This software is currently experimental. See for API details.


pip install ctext


Textual items are identified by CTP URNs. Each URN identifies a text or part of a text. You can get these manually by visiting the website (bottom-right of each page), or programmatically using the searchtexts() function. To use this library, first:

from ctext import *

Some API functions (like getting the full structure of a text, or downloading a lot of data) may require an API key. If you have one, before calling any other functions, do this:


You can also set the interface language (“en” for English, “zh” for Chinese):


Similarly, automatic remapping to simplified Chinese can be done with:



stats = getstats()

Simple wrapper around the getstats API call.


status = getstatus()

Simple wrapper around the getstatus API call.


titles = gettexttitles()

Simple wrapper around the gettexttitles API call.


capabilities = getcapabilities()

Simple wrapper around the getcapabilities API call.


passages = gettext("ctp:analects/xue-er")

Simple wrapper around the gettext API call. Note that the API gettext function needs to be called recursively to get the full text of an entire book; the Python helper functions gettextasparagrapharray, gettextasstring, and gettextasobject call gettext repeatedly to extract all corresponding textual data.


data = gettextasobject("ctp:analects/xue-er")

Returns the full text of the requested URN as an object with a nested structure representing what each gettext API call returns.


passages = gettextasparagrapharray("ctp:analects/xue-er")

Returns the full text of the requested URN as a simple array of strings, each corresponding to one passage of text. Titles are omitted.


string = gettextasstring("ctp:analects/xue-er")

Returns the full text of the requested URN as a single string. Each paragraph is separated with “\n\n”.


data = gettextinfo("ctp:analects")

Simple wrapper around the gettextinfo API call.


data = searchtexts("論語")

Simple wrapper around the searchtexts API call.



This sets an API key which is then supplied to the CTP API with all subsequent API requests.



This sets the “if” (interface language) parameter, which is then supplied to the CTP API with all subsequent API requests.



This sets the “remap” (character remapping) parameter, which is then supplied to the CTP API with all subsequent API requests.


Copyright 2016 Donald Sturgeon. This code is licensed under the MIT License:

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