Monday, 14 April 2008

Complete Map of Peking, Qianlong Period

The Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books regularly publishes digital copies of rare old books about Asia.
In March 2008 a Complete Map of Peking from the Qianlong Period was newly published:

"Map of Peking drawn around the fifteenth year of Emperor Qianlong's reign (1750) in Qing Dynasty. Found in 1935, in Forbidden Palace. Made by Haiwang, Shenyuan and an Italian Jesuit missionary Giuseppe Castiglione. The oldest and detailed extant map of Peking. The original map (14 meter long and 13 meter wide) was drawn in the scale of 650 : 1, consisting of 51 volumes of folded-books; each volume was devided into 17 lines from north to south and 3 parts from west to east. The present maps are the reprinted version of the original one, scale down to 2600 : 1; compiling 3 parts from west to east into one book, i.e. one book to each line from north to south, consisting of 17 books in all. Each book shows the names of main spots contained in it on its cover. This map depicts ordinary dwellings besides monumental architectures like palaces, government offices, gate towers, temples, that are well coincident with old architectures preserved in Peking."

For the complete collection, go to Digital Archive of Tokyo Bunko Rare Books.

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