The Atlas of the Mukden Hunting Grounds (Shengjing weichang quantu 盛京圍場全圖) in the Chinese collections of the Collège de France
(65th Meeting Astana, 2023)
In the Chinese collections of the library of the Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises (Collège de France) a unique collection of 104 manuscript maps – annotated in a mixture of Chinese and Manchu – of the different composite parts of the Mukden imperial hunting grounds is conserved. The provenance of this 1839 (Daoguang 19) Atlas of the Mukden Hunting Grounds (Shengjing weichang quantu 盛京圍場全圖) and how it came to be in Paris is unknown. This communication will situate these maps with respect to Qing (both Chinese and Mongolian) traditions and practices of cartography, and present an attempt to re-map their plans onto the topography of the region today and thereby to analyze their accuracy. This previously unstudied collections of maps testifies to the continued importance of hunting grounds to the Qing state, and the dynamic interest of local administrators in managing these hunting grounds, up to at least the first half of 19th century.