Ssu-k 'u ch 'uan shu ("Complete Library of the Four Treasuries"), Wen-yuan Pavilion Edition

(left: four volumes showing general format; right: an illustration showing the celebration of the Ch'ien-lung emperor's 80th birthday)

This collection was compiled and copied by hand during the Ch'ien4ung reign between A.D. 1774 and 1783 and comprises a total of 3,451 titles bound in 36,358 volumes. The set is divided into four main sections, each distinguished by the color of its covers: classical writings (green), histories (red), philosophical texts (blue), and literature (gray). Most famous of this set of books are the illustrated editions. Each book measures 22.5 x 14.9 cm. This edition was preserved in the Wen-yuan Pavilion in the Imperial Palace, and is considered the best of the seven original sets.

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