China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Xinjiang and Beyond: Revisions of the Qing Imperial Atlas during the Qianlong Years

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Mahogany, First Floor

During the reign of the Qianlong emperor (1735-1799), different revisions were produced of an enormous Qing atlas or multi-sheet map known as the ‘Overview Maps of Imperial Territories’ or Huangyu Quanlan Tu 皇舆全览图. As far as we know, these revisions were produced between 1757 and 1773. Much of their data was taken from the original Kangxi-era atlas (1717-1721) and its Yongzheng-era revision (1728-1729) that included territories of the Russian Empire, but would come to include new observational data after 1759. This new data was based on two surveys, both conducted in newly incorporated Xinjiang and executed by mixed teams of Qing officials and European Jesuit missionaries. However, three closely related editions produced around the year 1773 greatly extend the geographical scope of the atlas: parts of Asia Minor, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Indian Subcontinent are all depicted, presumably adapted from European cartographies and second-hand data on the routes connecting these lands to Xinjiang and Tibet. This paper’s attempts to explore the production contexts of the different Qianlong revisions of the Qing atlas and the connection to the European missionaries at court.

Mario Cams

University of Macau, Macau

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