New exhibition, Qing, launches at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library

Explore the languages and cultures of China’s last dynasty through new research funded by The University of Manchester and the Confucius Institute.

What’s the exhibition about?

The Qing 清 (1636-1912), China’s last dynasty, existed for nearly three centuries. Qing emperors ruled a vast realm that was a blend of different religions and cultures. Qing books reflect the diversity of the empire and reveal global connections made through trade, diplomacy and idea exchange.

Through books, scrolls and artworks from the Rylands’ Chinese collections, explore the languages and cultures of the Qing empire through new research funded by The University of Manchester, with support from the Confucius Institute.

What’s in the exhibition?

  • Get up close to a huge 24-metre scroll showing bustling Beijing street celebrations for Emperor Kangxi’s birthday.
  • Discover Qing emperors’ European-designed palaces and gardens that were a fusion of styles and knowledge.
  • Explore a multilingual empire through Qing items in Manchu, Tibetan, Arabic and Hebrew.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Rylands website to find out more:

You can also explore items from the Library’s Chinese Collection online on Manchester Digital Collections in exceptional detail.

The digital collection draws on material from over 500 rare printed books, dating from the Ming dynasty to the 19th century, smaller quantities of manuscript material and approximately 1,000 watercolour paintings, mostly 18th- and 19th-century, depicting many aspects of China and Chinese life.