Nguyen Dynasty documents on display

King Minh Mang’s various administrative and royal documents under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) are on display at an exhibition that opened in Hanoi on November 22.

When King Minh Mang (1791-1841) ascended the throne in 1820, he released a royal proclamation announcing that served as a huge favour for all citizens and mandarins.

Accordingly, students of Quoc Tu Giam (a royal college built in 1803 in the imperial city of Hue) would receive allowances to encourage them in studying.

A stamp of crown prince under King Gia Long’s reign 
In addition, “thieves who confessed their guilty before being investigated would receive clemency”, wrote the king.

The exhibition is divided into various parts revealing the human source of managing documents, how the documents were compiled, stored and solved, and how royal stamps were used on the administrative documents.

King Gia Long established the first office in charge of compiling and managing administrative documents in 1802.

“It helps visitors and researchers learn about the documents used under the Nguyen dynasty, the last feudal dynasty of Vietnam,” said Ha Van Hue, Director of the National Archives Centre 1. “Through the documents, we can understand how administrative offices work and imagine the social, economic and political situation of the country under reigns of Nguyen kings.”

“The documents were written in beautiful handwritings and stamped with different seals expressing different types of documents.”

The exhibition also aims to show the value of these documents and the importance of protecting and preserving national heritage.

Administrative documents displayed at the exhibition are parts of the collection received the certificate of the Asian-Pacific Region’s Memory of the World Programme, which are currently stored at the National Archives Centre 1.

In order to protect the original documents, the exhibition displays only photos and replicas of the documents and stamps.

The whole documents, numbering nearly 200,000 pages, include laws, decrees, edicts and instructions for resolving problems in various fields such as politics, military affairs, foreign affairs, economy, society and culture.

The exhibition will run until December 31.

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