Geographic Surveys by the Imperial Order


This work is an incomplete manuscript in three volumes, probably one of the earliest official atlases of the Qing dynasty, which began in 1644. The title, Qin ding fang yu lu cheng kao lue (Geographic surveys by the imperial order), on the cover of volume three, was crossed out at a later date and replaced in red ink with Qin ding huang yu quan lan (Complete atlas by the imperial order). A label on the same cover reads, “these are the draft copies for the compilation at Wu ying dian [the imperial printing press and bindery], and were originally the property of Li Qiyuan [a scholar and member of the Hanlin Academy].” The compilation of this work was by Wang Shihong (1658–1723) and others during the 46th and 47th years of the Kangxi reign (1707–8). The three volumes chiefly document counties and prefectures of most, but not all, of Shanxi Province, as well as the roads continuing into the neighboring provinces of Henan and Shaanxi, in northeast-central China. At the time of the Kangxi reign (1622–1762), the work neither seemed to have been finished nor printed in its entirety. It is unknown whether there ever was a complete copy of this atlas.

Last updated: July 8, 2014