|Literal meaning||complete books of the four [imperial] repositories|
|Manchu script||ᡩᡠᡳᠨ |
|Möllendorff||duin namun i yooni bithe|
The Siku Quanshu, variously translated as the Complete Library in Four Sections, Imperial Collection of Four, Emperor's Four Treasuries, Complete Library in Four Branches of Literature, or Complete Library of the Four Treasuries, is the largest collection of books in Chinese history. The complete encyclopedia contains an annotated catalogue of 10,680 titles along with a compendiums of 3,593 titles.The Siku Quanshu ended up surpassing the Ming dynasty's 1403 Yongle Encyclopedia in size, which was China's largest encyclopedia prior to the creation of the Siku Quanshu.
Late in the 18th century, the Qing dynasty set about a momentous task, the creation of the Siku Quanshu. The Qianlong Emperor ordered the creation of the Siku Quanshu in 1772. Local and Provincial officers were in charge of locating and collecting important books. The Qianlong Emperor encouraged owners of rare or valuable books to send them to the capital, however few actually did due to concerns about the Literary Inquisition. Towards the end of 1772, seeing that only a limited number of people actually handed in books, the Qianlong Emperor issued imperial decrees stressing that books would be returned to their owners once the compilation was finished and that owners of the books would not be persecuted if their books contained anti-Manchu sentiment. Less than three months after the issue of this decree, four to five thousand books were handed in.
By March 1773, an editorial board (composed of hundreds of editors, collators, and copyists) was created in Beijing to gather and review books brought to them.This board included over 361 scholars, with Ji Yun and Lu Xixiong (陸錫熊) as chief editors. There was around 3,826 scribes who copied every word by hand. These copyists were not paid in coinage but in government positions after they had transcribed a set amount of the encyclopedia. It took over a decade until the encyclopedia was completed and all seven copies were distributed.
By 1782, the special guide to the Siku Quanshu was completed Siku Quanshu Zongmu Tiyao, which contents contains accurate information of bibliography of the 3,593 titles in the Siku Quanshu itself. Additionally, it also contains bibliography information of 6,793 other books that are not available in the Siku Quanshu.The Siku Quanshu Zongmu Tiyao would not be published until 1793 and when released, the Siku Quanshu Zongmu Tiyao became the largest Chinese book catalog of the time.
The compilation of the Siku Quanshu started with the Siku Quanshu Zongmu Tiyao. Fully compiled in 1773, editing would begin shortly, with the first workable drafts being completed in 1781.This would include bibliographic explanation of all the works fully included in the final Siku Quanshu, as well as a large number of works that are included in title only.The Siku Quanshu contains 4 series: Confucian Classic which contains important works of Confucius, Belles-Lettres which contain literary works ranging from personal letters to poetry or writing meant for the masses, and finally Historiography and Masters which houses works from scholar and the content can range from scientific works and military works.
A large number of these edits were made to limit the effects of embellishments and other inaccuracies found in local records. Personal documents, often entailing the actions noteworthy local people, that could be verified through preexisting government documents were often included into the Siku Quanshu Zongmu Tiyao for consideration for inclusion into the finished Siku Quanshu. However, documents that could not be verified were often included in title only, and were criticized by the compilers as unfit for full inclusion into the finished collection. Not even officially sponsored writers, such as local gazetteers, were safe from the scrutiny of the official compilers, leading to criticisms of adding or using ambiguous sources to elevate local figures to be more significant than they actually were.
Medical knowledge was often documented through case-style narratives first seen in twenty-five instances in Sima Qian's Records of the Grand Historian. These instances would form prototypical templates for future medical accounts. Medical accounts from then on took a narrative voice with a secondary analytical tone focusing on a blend of storytelling, vocational knowledge, and historical recording. However, as time progressed, the vocabulary used to record the medical cases started to differ from author to author. By the time of the Qing dynasty, however, the language used to create and define the medical cases had begun to resettle, allowing for ease of inclusion of these texts into the Siku Quanshu.
Case-based recording and discourse of philosophy also was a target for compilation. Similar to how medical knowledge had a prototypical template for future works, Huang Zongxi's writings in the field had largely served a similar purpose. However, despite popular discourse among scholars of this era, philosophical writing had suffered immensely from two problems. Firstly, was a lack of clear definition regarding philosophical writings as a whole, giving rise to two separate, but equal definitions. "Archival" would mean that the philosophical work would be defined as a scholarly article. Whereas, "cultural" would mean the literature would be rearranged as a Buddhist Kōan, though any writing presented this way would be interpreted in a more literal fashion as compared to the traditional rhetorical question. Chinese philosophical writing's other problem at this time would be a lack of bibliographical classification, largely in part due to authors and previous compilers not considering any philosophical work as part of a historical record. As such, compilers for the Siku Quanshu redefined the classifications of several compilations that made it into the published copies, and set boundaries based on the author's biographical history and intent of their writing in an attempt to remedy these dilemmas.
The Qianlong Emperor made reviews on works that were currently being compiled, and that their opinions on the work reviewed were often conveyed through direct comments or imperial edicts. This, in turn, colored the official compilers criteria for works suitable for inclusion in the Siku Quanshu, to more closely align with those of the emperor. However, the emperor often commented poorly on works from or about their political rivals, especially opponents holding Anti-Manchu sentiments, running in contrast to stories from locally published sources.This can be exemplified in the compilers' handling of the story of Zhang Shicheng, and his rival Zhu Yuanzhang. In this particular case, the Qianlong Emperor sought to discredit the previous dynasty by highlighting the cruelty of early Ming dynasty rule. Ming-era rule would be contrasted by comparison to Qing-era policies, which appeared more palatable in comparison to harsh judgement. The Qing dynasty acknowledged the legitimacy of the former Hongwu Emperor, but by portraying him in this way, sought to solidify the legitimacy of their own dynasty by raising doubts of the latter dynasty's rule. Moreover, the compilers did not see Zhang Shicheng's rule as legitimate, but as a natural response to the narrative tyranny of the people under the Ming dynasty.
The Qianlong Emperor commissioned seven copies of the Siku Quanshu to be made. The first four copies were for the Emperor and were kept in the north. The Qianlong Emperor constructed special libraries for them. They were located in the Forbidden City, Old Summer Palace, Shenyang, and Chengde. The remaining three copies were sent to the south. They were deposited into libraries within the cities of Hangzhou, Zhenjiang, and Yangzhou.All seven libraries also received copies of the 1725 imperial encyclopedia Gujin tushu jicheng .
The copy kept in the Old Summer Palace was destroyed during the Second Opium War in 1860. The two copies kept in Zhenjang and Yangzhou were completely destroyed while the copy kept in Hangzhou was only about 70 to 80 percent destroyed, during the Taiping Rebellion. The four remaining copies suffered some damage during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Today, those copies can be located in the National Library of China in Beijing, the National Palace Museum in Taipei, the Gansu Library in Lanzhou, and the Zhejiang Library in Hangzhou.
The Qianlong Emperor did not keep his promises to return the books. Any books that did not make it into the Siku Quanshu risked becoming part of the Siku Jinshu (Chinese: 四库禁书). The Siku Jinshu is a catalogue of over 2,855 books that were rejected and banned during the completion of the Siku Quanshu. An additional four to five hundred other books were edited and censored. A majority of the books that were banned were written towards the end of the Ming dynasty and contained anti-Manchu sentiment. The Siku Jinshu was the Qianlong Emperor's attempt to rid the Qing dynasty of any Ming Loyalists by executing scholars and burned any books that gave direct or implied political attacks against the Manchu.
Each copy of the Siku Quanshu was bound into 36,381 volumes (册), with more than 79,000 chapters (卷). In total, each copy is around 2.3 million pages, and has approximately 800 million Chinese characters.
The scholars working on the Siku Quanshu wrote a descriptive note for each book which detailed the author's name along with their place and year of birth. Next, after they determined what parts of the author's work would go into the compilation, they would analyze the main points of the author's argument. This short annotation, which reflected their own opinion, would be put in the beginning of the Siku Quanshu and formed the Complete Catalogue. The Complete Catalogue was divided into four sections or kù (庫; translated to "warehouse; storehouse; treasury; repository"), in reference to the imperial library divisions. The name, Siku Quanshu, is a reference to these four sections.These four sections are:
The books are then divided into 44 sub-categories, or lèi (simplified Chinese: 类 ; traditional Chinese: 類 ). The Siku Quanshu collection includes most major Chinese texts, from the ancient Zhou Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, covering all domains of academia. It also lacks any Western or Japanese texts. Included within these 44 sub-categories are: the Analects of Confucius , Mencius , Great Learning , Doctrine of the Mean , I Ching , Rites of Zhou , Classic of Rites , Classic of Poetry , Spring and Autumn Annals , Shuowen Jiezi , Records of the Grand Historian , Zizhi Tongjian , The Art of War , Guoyu , Stratagems of the Warring States , Compendium of Materia Medica , and other classics.
Two of Zhao Yiguang's works are housed in the Wang Qishu, they were the Jiuhuan Shitu (九圜史圖) and the Liuhe Mantu (六匌曼圖). They were part of the Siku Quanshu Cunmu Congshu (四庫全書存目叢書).
Chinese classic texts or canonical texts or simply dianji (典籍) refers to the Chinese texts which originated before the imperial unification by the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, particularly the "Four Books and Five Classics" of the Neo-Confucian tradition, themselves a customary abridgment of the "Thirteen Classics". All of these pre-Qin texts were written in classical Chinese. All three canons are collectively known as the classics.
The Qianlong Emperor was the fifth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper, reigned from 1735 to 1796. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796. In 1796, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor—a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, who ruled for 61 years. Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Retired Emperor until his death in 1799; he thus was one of the longest-reigning de facto rulers in the history of the world, and dying at the age of 87, one of the longest-lived. As a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms. This turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.
Huangdi Neijing, literally the Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor or Esoteric Scripture of the Yellow Emperor, is an ancient Chinese medical text that has been treated as the fundamental doctrinal source for Chinese medicine for more than two millennia. The work is composed of two texts—each of eighty-one chapters or treatises in a question-and-answer format between the mythical Yellow Emperor and six of his equally legendary ministers.
The Mathematical Treatise in Nine Sections is a mathematical text written by Chinese Southern Song dynasty mathematician Qin Jiushao in the year 1247. The mathematical text has a wide range of topics and is taken from all aspects of the society of that time, including agriculture, astronomy, water conservancy, urban layout, construction engineering, surveying, taxation, armament, military and so on.
CrossAsia is an internet portal offering access to printed and electronic resources concerning Asian studies to individuals affiliated to a German institution which is part of the "Blauer Leihverkehr". CrossAsia is being created and supervised by the East Asia Department of Berlin State Library, until 2015 the responsible library for East- and Southeast Asia (6,25) within the special research collection programme of the German Research Foundation. From 2016 onwards CrossAsia is coordinated and supervised in cooperation with Heidelberg University. CrossAsia, formerly known as Virtual Library East- and South East Asia, merged in 2015 with Savifa, Virtual Library South Asia. Information is presented as well in Latin as in Asian script.
The Wenjin Ge is a former imperial library built in 1773 by the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty inside the Chengde Mountain Resort in Chengde, China. A copy of the Siku Quanshu was originally stored in this library.
Chinese encyclopedias comprise both Chinese-language encyclopedias and foreign-language ones about China or Chinese topics. There is a type of native Chinese reference work called leishu that is sometimes translated as "encyclopedia", but although these collections of quotations from classic texts are expansively "encyclopedic", a leishu is more accurately described as a "compendium" or "anthology". The long history of Chinese encyclopedias began with the Huanglanleishu and continues with online encyclopedias such as the Baike Encyclopedia.
The Belvedere of Literary Profundity, Wenyuan Ge or Wenyuan Library is a palace building in the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Tie Ban Shen Shu is an ancient form of divination from China, which is still in use in China, Taiwan, Singapore and the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. Tie ban shen shu is regarded as among the most accurate and most difficult methods of personal fortune divination. Tie Ban is as well regarded as the collective Three Arts or Three Styles, Qi Men Dun Jia, Da Liu Ren and Tai Yi Shen Shu, China's highest metaphysical arts.
Ji Yun, also known as Ji Xiaolan or Ji Chunfan was a Chinese philosopher, politician, and writer. He was an influential scholar of Qing dynasty China and many anecdotes have been recorded about him. Ji Yun left behind a book entitled Notes of the Thatched Abode of Close Observations, and another book named Wenda Gong Yiji, which was edited by later generations. He was often mentioned with Yuan Mei as the "Nan Yuan Bei Ji".
The Ten Computational Canons was a collection of ten Chinese mathematical works, compiled by early Tang dynasty mathematician Li Chunfeng (602–670), as the official mathematical texts for imperial examinations in mathematics.
The Siku Quanshu Zongmu Tiyao is an annotated catalog of the thousands of works that were considered for inclusion in the Siku Quanshu. Work for the 200-chapter catalog began in 1773 and was completed in 1798. The Siku Zongmu, as it is also known, is the largest pre-modern Chinese book catalog. It contains bibliographic notices on all 3,461 works that were included in the Siku Quanshu, as well as shorter notes on 6,793 works that were not included in the imperial library but listed only by title. Thousands of books are omitted from the catalog, including the almost 3,000 works that were destroyed by the Qing because they were considered to be anti-Manchu. The notices themselves were written by many hands, but the final drafts were edited by chief editor Ji Yun. The content of the Annotated Catalog reflects the strength of Han learning in Qing scholarly circles.
The Rare Book Preservation Society (文献保存同志会) was founded in 1940 by Zheng Zhenduo (郑振铎), Zhang Shouyong (张寿镛), He Bingsong (何炳松), Zhang Yuanji (张元济), and Zhang Fengju (张凤举) for the purpose of secretly acquiring and preserving rare books and manuscripts in the Shanghai Jiangnan region. These cultural assets have been accumulated by a number of famous private libraries some over 1,000 years.
The Yuanhe Xingzuan is an imperial Tang dynasty register of the genealogies of China's prominent families. It was compiled by Lin Bao (林寶), on the order of Emperor Xianzong, whose era name was Yuanhe. The book was completed in 812 and records 1,232 surnames.
Jiangnan is a former province of China whose capital was Jiangning, which covered the land from north of the Huai River to south of the Yangtze River in East China. The province existed during early Qing dynasty and was divided into the provinces of Jiangsu and Anhui during the era of the Kangxi Emperor (1654–1722) and Qianlong Emperor (1736–1795) and ceased to exist since then.
Zhu Yun was a preeminent Qing scholar and official who had profound influence on the Imperial Library in Four Treasures project and academia of the time.
Liu Tongxun was a politician in Qing dynasty. He was one of relatively few ethnically Han Grand Secretariat of the Qianlong Emperor's reign. He has served for the Qing government for more than 40 years with integrity, and dares to direct advice to the emperor, has made remarkable achievements in official administration, military affairs and river conservancy.
Vault Protector coins were a type of Chinese numismatic charm coins created by Chinese mints. These coins were significantly larger, heavier and thicker than regular cash coins and were well-made as they were designed to occupy a special place within the treasury of the mint. The treasury had a spirit hall for offerings to the gods of the Chinese pantheon, and Vault Protector coins would be hung with red silk and tassels for the Chinese God of Wealth. These coins were believed to have charm-like magical powers that would protect the vault while bringing wealth and fortune to the treasury.
The Da Ming Baochao was a series of banknotes issued during the Ming dynasty in China. They were first issued in 1375 under the Hongwu Emperor. Although initially the Da Ming Baochao paper money was successful, the fact that it was a fiat currency and that the government largely stopped accepting these notes caused the people to lose faith in them as a valid currency causing the price of silver relative to paper money to increase. The negative experiences with inflation that the Ming dynasty had witnessed signaled the Manchus to not repeat this mistake until the first Chinese banknotes after almost 400 years were issued again in response to the Taiping Rebellion under the Qing dynasty's Xianfeng Emperor during the mid-19th century.
Standard cash, or regulation cash coins, is a term used during the Ming and Qing dynasties of China to refer to standard issue copper-alloy cash coins produced in imperial Chinese mints according to weight and composition standards that were fixed by the imperial government. The term was first used for Hongwu Tongbao cash coins following the abolition of large denomination versions of this cash coin series.
Jiangsu Governor Wang qishu Li Shouqian na Zhejiang Governor 董說 Ming 明 Zhu Zhongfu 朱仲福 Ming 明 Wei Rui 魏濬 Ming 明 Ke Zhongjung 柯仲炯 Ming 明 Zhao Yiguang 趙宧光 Ming 明 Xu Xuchen 許胥臣 Ming 明 Dong Yue
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