Rare duplicate of Chinese classic opens to public
Updated: 2014-04-19 15:47
A rare duplicate of a classic Chinese book opened to the public in East China's Jiangsu province on Friday.
The reproduction of the "Siku Quanshu," or the "Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature," is available to view free of charge in the Wanfo Building at Tianning Temple in the city of Yangzhou, said Wang Genbao, chairman of the copy's maker, Yangzhou Bindings.
The "Siku Quanshu" originally had seven copies, most of which were destroyed during warfare. The Yangzhou copy, which took more than a decade to make, was based on the classic's "Wen Jin Ge" edition, one of three remaining completely preserved copies. The original "Wen Jin Ge" edition is currently preserved at the National Library of China (NLC).
The company's general manager Lu Guobin said the company has created a digital version of the classic for the first time in history, which will help preserve and spread the masterpiece for later generations.
The copy, which contains Chinese philosophy, history, classics and literature, is published by the Commercial Press. It has the same size, color and print as the original copy in the NLC.
Compilation of the "Siku Quanshu" launched under the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Organized by the literary emperor himself, more than 360 scholars and 3,800 scribes joined in the compilation, with a total of 800 million characters, said Wang, also a researcher with the collection.
By covering a wide range of knowledge and organizing most of the significant works from various schools of Chinese thought, the imperial collection is one of the biggest volumes ever compiled in China.