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Ch'ing Dynasty Documents
Ch'ing Dynasty Documents
Ch'ing dynasty (1644 - 1911)
National Palace Museum

A Special Exhibition of Ch'ing Dynasty Grand  Council Archives
Gallery 313
2000/10/6 - 2000/12/30

For nearly two centuries, the Grand Council served as the most powerful bureaucratic organ of the Ch'ing government.  Established in 1792 to tighten imperial control over the lines of communication in and out of the capital, the Council gradually assumed authority over issues of military strategy, domestic policy, foreign affairs, and finance. The Grand Council's domination of Ch'ing politics lasted until the final year of the dynasty (1911) and its archives survive intact as a rich testimony to the Council's widespread power and influence.  The Museum's collection includes more than 400,000 Ch'ing dynasty documents, approximately half of which come from the Grand Council archives.  These archival documents can be broadly classified into two groups: monthly memorial dossiers and summary editions of memorials (statements in the form of a petition to the Emperor) and original appendices to memorials.  These appendices cover a wide range of topics such as rainfall and commodity price lists, water control projects, local topographic maps, architectural drawings, and battleship designs.   The summary editions include special  files on Sino-Burmese relation, military operations against the Gurkhas (Nepalese), and the suppression of Muslim unrest in Kansu.

This special exhibition presents a broad range of various documents from the Grand Council archives.  Seen together these documents offer insight into the world of Ch'ing dynasty court politics and the often contentious final two centuries of Chinese imperial rule.

 

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Oct - Dec, 2000 Issue  Museum Previous Issues