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Book/Printed Material Hai guo tu zhi. 海国图志.

About this Item


  • Hai guo tu zhi.

Other Title

  • 海国图志.

Translated Title

  • Illustrated Introduction to Countries over the Seas.


  • Hai guo tu zhi (Illustrated introduction to countries over the seas) is a comprehensive and systematic history and geography of the world and the first great masterpiece of Chinese modern history. Its source was Si zhou zhi (Encyclopedia of four continents), written by Lin Zexu (1785-1850), a scholar official and prominent figure in the campaigns of the First Opium War (1839-42). The work was compiled after consulting historical records and gazetteers as well as materials published since the Ming, particularly relating to the islands and seacoast. The first edition was published in the 22nd year of the Daoguang reign (1842), in 50 juan and 570,000 characters. It was later expanded by Wei Yuan (1794-1857) into 100 juan and 880,000 characters. The entire work includes 75 maps, 57 pages of illustrations depicting crafts of the West, and seven drawings describing theories of earth and astronomy. Presented here is juan one, including the title page, preface by Wei Yuan, and the table of contents for 100 juan, with one of the prefaces giving the date of the seventh year of Tongzhi (1868). It became a great masterpiece on world history and geography with rich contents, fine style--and exquisite illustrations in the full work. It attained far-reaching influence in the country, broadening the Chinese people's world view and contributing to their learning. To certain degree, it also provided an impetus to its neighboring countries, such as Japan, especially in the reforms of the Meiji era (1868-1912).


  • Lin, Zexu, 1785-1850 Contributor.
  • Wei, Yuan, 1794-1857 Author.

Created / Published

  • Shaoyang, Hunan : Guweitang, [1842 to 1868]


  • -  China
  • -  1794 to 1868
  • -  Description and travel


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 20 volumes ; 20.5 x 14.9 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of China.
  • -  Content in Chinese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.
  • -  Title revised per Asian Division.--cc28 2023-01-06


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Chinese Books, Manuscripts, Maps, and Prints

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666430

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Lin, Zexu, Contributor, and Yuan Wei. Hai Guo Tu Zhi. [Shaoyang, Hunan: Guweitang, to 1868, 1842] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Lin, Z. & Wei, Y. (1842) Hai Guo Tu Zhi. [Shaoyang, Hunan: Guweitang, to 1868] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Lin, Zexu, Contributor, and Yuan Wei. Hai Guo Tu Zhi. [Shaoyang, Hunan: Guweitang, to 1868, 1842] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.