|Chinese to English: An Analysis and Scribe Roster of the Wen Yuan Pavilion Si Ku Quan Shu|
General field: Art/Literary
|Source text - Chinese|
|Translation - English|
An Analysis and Scribe Roster of the Wen Yuan Pavilion Si Ku Quan Shu
The compilation of Si Ku Quan Shu (四庫全書) during the reign of the Qing Dynasty's Qianlong emperor was an unprecedented and great cultural undertaking. The original plan to produce four copies of the anthology was later expanded to include two copies of the Hui Yao excerpts collection, and three other full copies to be housed in the South.
It took thousands of copyists to transcribe the works by hand. Those who transcribed the original four copies and the Hui Yao were mostly Imperial College scholars who were promised official positions upon completion of the project. Since they essentially became low-level officials by merit of transcribing the works, instead of passing the imperial exam, their status was quite different from that of a general copyist. The names of these transcribers were published along with the anthology, but this was largely ignored. In the 1970s, a group of scholars sorted out the names of the Hui Yao transcription team, adding up to less than a third of the total number of scribes.
This dissertation draws on a photocopied version of the Wenyuan pavilion (文淵閣) copy of the Si Ku Quan Shu as its source, conducting a comparative analysis of nearly three thousand names and compiling a scribe roster. It is hoped that this will result in greater visibility and recognition of the Si Ku Quan Shu transcription team's contribution to this project, furthermore providing future possibilities for research and expanding the scope of Si Ku studies as an academic discipline.