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Chinese Local Gazetteers @ Duke: Home

What are Chinese Local Gazetteers?

Definition one:

Local gazetteers (difangzhi or fangzhi for short), sometimes also
called local histories ... they were often compiled by members of the
local elite and were produced under the sponsorship of the local
officials. ... They form one of the most important sources for the study
of Chinese history in the past one thousand years, since they contain
copious materials on local administration, local economies, local
cultures, local dialects, local officials, and local dignitaries -
materials that often cannot be found elsewhere.

Chinese history: a manual (Revised and Enlarged)

Endymion Wilknson Cambridge, Mass.: Published by the Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Institute : Distributed by Harvard University Press, 2000.

Definition two:

"Local gazetteers (地方志) embrace all types of information concerning the historical, geographical, economic, administrative, biographical, touristic, etc., aspects of a locality in China. Local gazetteers are usually subdivided into provincial gazetteers (通志), prefectural gazetteers (府志), and district gazetteers (县志). The provincial gazetteers were usually compiled by summarizing the information in the prefectural gazetteers which were, in turn, abridged from previous editions and form the individual district gazetteers”.

China bibliography: a research guide to reference works about China past and present

Harriet T. Zurndorfer. Leiden ; New York : E.J. Brill, 1995.

Definition three:



朱天俊. 北京:北京图书馆出版社,1998.

Layout and Content

The PPT was presented in the CCM pre-conference workshop at 2013 AAS/CEAL annual conference.

Local Gazetteer workshop at AAS/CEAL 2013

Subject Librarian for China

Luo Zhou's picture
Luo Zhou
Office: Bostock 229

Tel: 919-660-5803

Office hour: Friday 1-3pm @ Bostock 229 or send me an email to set up a consultation.