"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) by Endymion Wilknson; Harvard University Press, 2000.
"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 by Harriet T. Zurndorfer. Brill, 1995.
Traditional local gazetteers
|preface and general rules|
|疆域,沿革||boundaries of the region and successive changes|
|公署,城池||official buildings and city walls|
|河防, 水利, 河渠||
land and taxes
literature works by local people
New local gazetteers
|政区||Boundary and administrative region|
|城乡建设||Towns and villages|
|邮电||Post and telecommunication|
|经济管理||Economics and management|
|党派团体||Parties, groups and organizations|
|劳动人事||Labor and personnel|
|政法||Politics and law|
|科技||Science and technology|
|大事记||Events and chronology|