There is a long History in China of the Feudal Imperial Courts and Families collecting books and classics of Chinese History and Culture.
Many of the ancient classics had been destroyed in around 230 BC, by China's first Emperor, Ch'In Shi Huangdi, however from the Time of the Han and Tang Dynasties, a culture to the contrary appeared (although all books were "approved" or otherwise criminal).
At a time of economic success, expansion of Chinese Territory and a lively exchange of new information with the outside world, much value was given to historic facts and truths. Books became vital and were also instrumental in the inheritance of Culture.
As such the Ming and Ching Emperors inherited a system in which as many books as possible were collected, forming the personal Library of the Emperor and His Court.
View of white marble Golden River Bridges from within the Gate of Martial Valor.
The Imperial Palace Museum
Outer Court (Wai Chou)
Gate and Hall of Martial Valor
This page was last updated on: June 24, 2017
The Official schematic Map of The Forbidden City, by The Palace Museum.
During the Ming Dynasty and earlyQing Dynasty, the habit was to store books where they were likely to be used, or nearby. This meant a situation in which nearly every Palace had its own collection of books. Just about anywhere the Emperor went, the Political Power went and this meant the books would have to be there too.
And not only that the Princes and Royal Family needed books & had documents to study.
As a result, Chinese Classics and works of Arts & Literature were plenty but scattered throughout the Palace.
During the Height of the Qing Dynasty, the Palace, among things, was a giant depository of Books and the Imperial Palace had the largest collection in all of China.
Book, Maps, Documents and the like covered every subject known to Man at the Time, and all works were studied and used in attempts to judge how best to Rule the country.
Department for the Correction of Books -
During his long and succesful Reign, the diligent Qianlong Emperor of the Ching Dynasty decided this was becoming an impractical situation and reorganized the sytem.
Efforts were made to create several main depositories for Classic Books and works of History, Literature and the Arts. Furthermore, the Hall of Military Eminence was taken into use as the central nerve
centre of what could be called the Imperial Library-sytem.
It was at the Palace of Military Eminence where the Department of the Correction of Books would be located. The Department was staffed by high officials of the Empire and worked as an adminstration but also a censorship office.
At the Department for the Corrections of Books important works were continiously restudied and updated as new or better and more accurate information outdated old books and documents.
Although originally not intended its main function, the department also kept an eye on the political content of anything newly published and reaching the Palace. It became particularly important in the 18Th Century.
Imperial Machine was a rigid social and cultural system for which education and the transferal of information was of vital importance.
The end of certain aspects of feudal society due to rapid modernization and the influence of foreign culture, could be destabilizing to the Feudal Rule.
As such the Government tried to compensate bu edcuating the public according to its ideal.
Following a long standing tradition of "benevolent tutelage by government", in a central effort to further stability, the Ching Dynasty attempted to control and shape all the information flowing through the Empire. The department of the correction of books was instrumental in the effort. Now books were not merely updated, but history was adapted to suit the Political needs of the Time and of the Dynasty. This new information was then dispensed to the lower strata of the vast Chinese Society through the Imperial
Teaching System and other lesser channels. It was cultural reconstruction with the ultimate aim of mind control. Opposite views, or differences in opion were suppressed and/or dealt with. During the 18Th Century many history books were revised.
Penalties for publishing anti-government propaganda were considered acts of treachery and severely punished.
Like it's predecessors, the Ching Dynasty did not exactly allow for open democratic press and media situation.
It was the Imperial Court that controlled and stored information, and it was the court that absorbed culture and made it available to the rest of Society for appropriate use only.
The Modest Interior of the Gate of Martial Valor.
The intricate bracket-systems of the roof of the Gate of Military Eminence and a modern surveilance camera of the Palace Museum Security Office.
View of the Two-Tiered Roofing of the nearby West Flowery Gate - Xi Hua Men. Some distance further lies the Zhong Nan Hai Palace Garden, a former Part of the Imperial Palace of the 18Th Century Ching Dynasty.
Frontal view of white marble Golden River Bridges and the Gate of Martial Valor or Military Eminence.
A side view of the Northern Bays of the Hall of Military Valor and it's Roof.
Censorship of the Ching Government - The 18Th Century Reigns of Emperor Kangxi, Yongzhen and Qianlong are regarded as stabile, prosperous and succesful Reigns. It was a situation of growth in all respects. However,the
The Central white marble walkway of the Hall of Martial Valor, resonating the architecture of the Central and Most Sacred Palace of Heavenly Purity.
First view of the Hall of Martial Valor or Military Eminence from within it's Gate.
View the Central Court of the Hall of Martial Valor.
The Resulting cultural dictatorship would turn out to lead to many highpoints of Chinese Culture and a wealth of cultural achievements, however also left a doubtful legacy of governmental mass manipulation. A legacy still resonating in policies of today.