Siku Quanshu re-appears at Palace Museum

By Lin Qi ( ) Updated: 2016-08-12 09:39:40

Siku Quanshu re-appears at Palace Museum

A reproduction of Siku Quanshu is recently included in the collection of Beijing's Palace Museum. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

A modern day reproduction of Siku Quanshu (Complete Library of the Four Treasures) that includes the collection of Qing Dynasty's (1644-1911) imperial library has been donated to Beijing's Palace Museum this week. The palace once housed the original books at its Wenyuan Ge, also known as Pavilion of Literary Profundity.

Siku Quanshu compiles more than 3,400 titles in 35,381 volumes. Its editorial board featured around 361 scholars. It took nine years for them (from 1773-82) to complete the extensive task.

The collection has categorized the books into four divisions, including "Jing", the classics; "Shi", the history, "Zi", the philosophy and "Ji", the literary collections, to cover various fields of knowledge.

Seven handwritten copies of Siku Quanshu were made and kept at different libraries across the country. Off the total, only four copies are in existence today. The copies are placed in several locations including Beijing's National Library of China, Taipei Palace Museum, Lanzhou's Gansu Library and Hangzhou's Zhejiang Library. Remaining three was destroyed in wartime chaos.

The reproduction of the Wenjin Ge is published with a joint effort of the prestigious Commercial Press in Beijing and Yangzhou Bindings, a cultural promotion company in Jiangsu province.


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