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The first document is a unique 19th century Fundamental Information about the Russian State written by an eminent state official, scholar Lin Zexu 林則徐 (1785-1850), who has been honored and remembered for his resolute opposition to the opium trade and stiff resistance to foreign incursions.
One of the main tasks of Lin Zexu’s work was to show the contemporary power of Russia and try to investigate its mighty origin. As a whole, the manuscript gives a brief description of the Russian empire divided into regions with inner and outer borders, and the quantity of military forces within each region, climate-specific features, religious confessions, local crafts, customs of the inhabitants, some historical issues, etc.
The second paper - Map of Russia 俄國與地圖, is a rare manuscript of considerable interest to those who study 19th century history of border interactions between Russia, Korea and China, or the history of Korean community in Russia Far East. The source document was found fairly recently, being kept now in the History and Geography section of Jangseogak 藏書閣 Library of the Academy of Korean Studies 韓國學中央研究院, Republic of Korea. Map of Russia seems more than a map, and rather a kind of geo-record written by the military interests.
The author will present commentaries to both papers, tell the story of Russia's perception from abroad which allows to trace the origins of the country’s image. It’s worth mentioning that both papers are among the first created in the Qing China and Korea and devoted to Russia, however, they have not attracted much attention from scholars yet.
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