The Hanlin Academy was founded in China by in the 8th century during the Tang dynasty.
It was an institution meant to perform, among others, secretarial and literary tasks for the court. Only the most elite scholars were allowed to join the academy. One of its main tasks was to decide on an interpretation of the . This formed the basis of examinations that gave access to the higher levels of bureaucracy.
Among the academicians of Hanlin were
*Shen Kuo , in a position of the leading chancellor
The Academy and its library were severely damaged in a fire started by during the in Beijing in 1900. Many ancient texts were either destroyed by the flames or looted/rescued in their wake, including the last surviving volumes of the Yongle Encyclopedia.
The Academy operated continuously until its closure during the 1911 Xinhai Revolution.