Skip to main content

Classical Historiography for Chinese History

Atlases

  • Cao Wanru, et al., ed. Zhongguo gu dai di tu ji 中 國 古 代 地 圖 集 (An atlas of ancient maps in China). Beijing: Wen wu chu ban she, Xin hua shu dian, 1990-. Multivolume series.
  • Elvin, Mark, & Caroline Blunden. Cultural Atlas of China. Oxford: Equinox Book, 1983.
  • Fuchs, Walter. The "Mongol Atlas" of China by Chu Ssu-pen and the Kuang-yu-t'o. Beijing: Fu Jen Catholic University Press, 1946. Contains 48 facsimile maps dating from 1555.
  • Herrmann, Albert. Historical and Commercial Atlas of China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935. Taiwan Reprint. Poor.
  • Herrmann, Albert. An Historical Atlas of China. Edingburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1966.
  • Hu Linyi 胡 林 翼 , et al., compilers. Da Qing yi tong yu tu 大 清 一 統 輿 圖. Completed about 1863. See Teng, Ssu-yu, & Knight Biggerstaff. An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Chinese Reference Works. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971, pp. 222-223 for a description of this famous Qing atlas. Arranged by sections.
  • Jin Qingyu 金 擎 於 and others, Zhongguo fen sheng xin di tu 中 國 分 省 新 地 圖. Shanghai: Da Zhongguo tu shu ju, 1947.
  • Matsuda Toshio 松 田 壽 男. Ajia rekishi chizu 亞 細 亞 歷 史 地 圖. Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1966. Excellent historical atlas for Asia.
  • Shigeno Yasutsugu 重 野 安 繹. Shina kyoiki enkakuzu 支 那 疆 域 沿 革 圖. Tokyo: Fuzanbo, 1906. Very good historical atlas of China usually listed in catalogs under Chinese rendition of title, Zhina jing yu yan ge tu.
  • Ting, K. (Ding Wenjiang) 丁 文 江, et al. Zhonghua Minguo xin di tu 中 華 民 國 新 地 圖. Shanghai: Shanghai Shen-pao kuan, 1934. The best atlas for Republican China. An abbreviated version of this atlas was published at the same time under the title Zhongguo fen sheng xin tu 中 國 分 省 新 圖. Has romanized table.
  • Tan Qixiang 譚 其 驤. Zhongguo li shi di tu ji 中 國 歷 史 地 圖 集. 8 vols. Shanghai: Xin hua shu dian, 1975.
  • U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. China: Provisional Atlas of Communist Administrative Units. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Department of Commerce, Office of Technical Services, 1959. See Berton, Peter, & Eugene Wu. Contemporary China: A Research Guide. Edited by Howard Koch, Jr. Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1967,p. 182, # 409.
  • U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Communist China Administrative Atlas. Washington, D. C. : 1969. The most recent atlas of Communist China available showing the most recent administrative units.
  • U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Communist Map Folio. Washington, D. C. : 1967.
  • Yang Shoujing 楊 守 敬, & Xiong Huizhen 熊 會 貞, compilers. Li dai yu di tu 歷 代 輿 地 圖. Yang shi Guan hai tang edition of 1906-1911. This is the most famous of Chinese historical atlases. The place names for each period are printed in black on a Qing map printed in red. The Ming dynasty volume has been reprinted and mounted as a full map under the title Ming di li zhi tu 明 地 理 志 圖 published by the Chinese Materials and Research Aids Service Center, Inc. of Taibei.
  • Zhang Qiyun 張 其 昀, ed. Gong fei qie ju xia de Zhongguo da lu fen sheng di tu 共 匪 竊 據 下 的 中 國 大 陸 分 省 地 圖. Originally published in Shanghai and republished by the Guo fang yan jiu yuan, Taibei, 1956. Excellent reproduction of a Communist atlas.
  • Zhonghua min guo you zheng yu tu 中 華 民 國 郵 政 輿 圖 (The Postal Atlas of China). 4th edition. Compiled by the Chinese Directorate-General of Posts. Nanking: Jiao tong bu you zheng zong ju, 1935.
  • Zhonghua ren min gong he guo fen sheng di tu ji 中 華 人 民 共 和 國 分 省 地 圖 集. Compiled by Zhongguo di tu chu ban she. Beijing: Zhongguo di tu chu ban she, 1990.

Bibliography

  • Brook, Timothy, Geographical Sources of Ming-Ch'ing History. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1991.
  • Gosling, L. A. Peter. Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers for Asian Studies, A Critical Guide. New York: Foreign Area Materials Center, University of the State of New York, State Education Department, 1965.
  • Herman, Theodore. The Geography of China: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography. New York: Foreign Area Materials Center, University of the State of New York, State Education Department, 1967. Works in English.
  • Wright, Hope. Alphabetical List of Geographic Names in Sung China, Paris: Ecole pratique des hautes etudes, 1956. Reprint Albany: Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, 1992.

Electronic resources

As part of the CHGIS Project, several useful free search utilities, i.e., non-interactive, are available online:

  • Contemporary Counties - Search a list of all 3,389 official Chinese county level administrative units for the year 1990. Based on the National Standard (Guobiao Table #2260), this search engine provides the County names in Pinyin and Chinese Characters (BIG5 encoding) and their corresponding GB code number.
  • Local Histories - Local Histories (difang zhi) held in the Harvard Yenching Library collection can be searched by Province or by title (Wade-Giles romanization). There are 3,700 searchable records of local histories online, which provide title, author, date and publisher information, as well as HYL call numbers. This is only a partial list of HYL holdings, which we hope to expand in the future.
  • Harvard Map Collection - East Asian Map series have been cataloged by CHGIS and can be searched by Chinese region or by keyword. The map index represents some 29,000 map sheets held in the Harvard Pusey Map Library. In addition to title, date, and publication info, the index provides a description of the map series, Pusey Library call numbers, and rough guide maps showing the area of coverage.
  • Qing Dynasty Place names - Some 9,000 place names for the year 1820 can be searched with direct links to CHGIS webmaps. Each record displays the place names (in Pinyin and Chinese Characters, UTF-8 encoding), the prefecture and province where the place is located, and an automatic guidemap showing where the place is located within China and within its respective province. Users may also launch an interactive guide map for zooming and browsing the GIS data.
  • Chinese Place names Database - 140,000 place names (including variations) for more than 80,000 named features in China are available in a streamlined search engine based on the U.S. National Imagery and Mapping Agency dataset. This utility is useful to look up names in Pinyin, Wade-Giles, or Variant romanized forms. Results include an automatic guidemap (showing the general location of the place), the latitude and longitude coordinates, and the feature type.

    No special software or plug-ins are needed to use the search engines. For those who wish to have direct access to the complete atasets, including GIS layers, all CHGIS data is available for free download to academic users. CHGIS users may also obtain the data on CD-ROM. The CD-ROM for the CHGIS Version 1.0 has been available for $7.50 (plus postage) from the Cheng & Tsui Company

  • As of November 2003, the project has added time-series geographic datasets for the years 222 BCE to 1911 CE (covering Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu), revised time-slice datasets for all of the Qing empire as of 1820 CE, and new time-slice datasets for seven provinces as of 1911 CE (Shaanxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Jiangsu). One can access the data by download or by purchase of a CD Rom (available from Cheng and Tsui).

    The CHGIS Version 2.0 Time Series contains 45 layers of data covering: Prefecture Capitals, County Capitals, Towns and Villages, County Boundaries, Prefectural Boundaries, Province Boundaries, Rivers, Lakes, Historical Coastline, Topographic Background Images, administrative hierarchy table, source notes, and numerous other GIS layers. These datasets, and software for viewing them, are also available for free download from the CHGIS website, and can be searched online using the CHGIS search engine. As new time-series data sets and time-slice data for other regions are finished they will be made available through the CHGIS website.

  • For a parallel project under Academia Sinica, Taiwan, see mention of the "Chinese Civilization in Time and Space" project immediately below.

See also:

  • Note: The creation of the "Chinese Civilization in Time and Space" project is mainly based on Professor Tan Qixiang's The Historical Atlas of China and the 1:1,000,000 Digital Map Database of China (Arc/China). The copyright of the former is owned by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Academia Sinica, Taiwan, has been exclusively licensed to vectorize it. The copyright of the vectorized The Historical Atlas of China belongs to Academia Sinica and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The copyright of the 1:1,000,000 Digital Map Database of China (Arc/China) belongs to the National Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, P.R.C. Academia Sinica, Taiwan, has been authorized to integrate it with the vectorized The Historical Atlas of China, and make it available to specific scholarly organizations and persons for academic purposes. Users of the "Chinese Civilization in Time and Space" project should acknowledge the copyright as the follows: Academia Sinica, "Chinese Civilization in Time and Space," Version 1, (Taipei, September 2002). See also mention of the Harvard-Yenching China Historical Geographic Information System project above.

Place name dictionaries and gazetteers

  • Da Qing yi tong zhi 大 清 一 統 志. Third revised edition of 1843. Jiaqing chong xiu yi tong zhi 嘉 慶 重 修 一 統 志 . Si bu cong kan 四 部 叢 刊 . Second Series. Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1934. Photo duplicated from original manuscript by Commercial Press which has also added a supplementary index. Basic work of its kind treating Chinese historical geography until 1820.
  • Feng Chengjun 馮 承 鈞. Xi yu di ming 西 域 地 名. Shanghai: Zhonghua shu ju, 1955. Very useful for identification of Chinese rendering of non-Chinese place names in western Asia.
  • Gu Yanwu 顧 炎 武.Tian xia jun guo li bing shu 天 下 郡 國 利 病 書.
  • Gu Zuyu 顧 祖 輿. Du shi fang yu ji yao 讀 史 方 輿 紀 要 .
  • Hoshi Ayao 星 斌 夫, compiler. Shina chimei jiten 支 那 地 名 辭 典 . Tokyo: Fuzanbo, 1941.
  • Jin Enhui, & Hu Shuzhao, eds. Zhongguo di fang zhi zong mu ti yao 中 國 地 方 志 綜 目 提 要 (General digest of Chinese gazetteers). 3 vols. Taibei: Han mei tu shu you xian gong si, 1996. Lists 8577 gazetteers geographically, with information on authorship, dating and contents.
  • Liu Junren 劉 鈞 任, compiler. Zhongguo di ming da ci dian 中 國 地 名 大 辭 典 . Beijing: Guo li Beiping yan jiu yuan, 1930. Very handy due to romanized index. Reprint Taibei: Wen hai, 1967.
  • Manual of Chinese-Manchurian Personal and Place Names. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Edwards Brothers, 1943.
  • Playfair, M.H. The Cities and Towns of China: A Geographical Dictionary. Second Edition. Hong Kong: Kelly & Walsh, 1910. Standard work in English. Reprint Taibei: Cheng wen, 1971.
  • Saishin Chuka Minkoku Manshu Teikoku jinmei chimei binran 最 近 中 華 民 國 滿 洲 帝 國 人 名 地 名 , Taimusu Shuppansha hensan. Compiled by Taimusu Shuppansha. Tokyo: Taimusu Shuppansha, 1939.
  • Tsiang, Amy Ching-fen, & Hong Cheng, compilers. A Catalog of Post-1949 Chinese Local Histories at UCLA. Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles East Asian Library, 1997.
  • U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Geography. Mainland China Administrative Divisions and Their Seats, Official Standard Names Approved by Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1963. See Berton, Peter, & Eugene Wu. Contemporary China: A Research Guide. Edited by Howard Koch, Jr. Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1967, p. 184, #414.
  • U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Geography. China: Official Standard Names Approved by the U. S. Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1956. Two volumes (979 pp.) containing some 37,600 entries exclusive of Hong Kong, Macao, Sinkiang, Taiwan, and Tibet.
  • U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Geography. Hong Kong, Macao, Sinkiang, Taiwan, and Tibet: Official Standard Names Approved by the U. S. Board on Geographic Names. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office, 1955.
  • Wright, Hope. Alphabetical List of Geographic Names in Sung China. Paris: Ecole pratique des hautes etudes, 1956. Reprint Albany: Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, 1992.
  • Yue shi 樂 史. Tai ping huan yu ji 太 平 寰 宇 記.
  • Zhejiang gu jin di ming ci dian 浙 江 古 今 地 名 詞 典 (Dictionary of ancient and modern place names in Zhejiang Province). Compiled by Chen Qiaoyi 陳 橋 驛 . Hangzhou: 浙 江 教 育 出 版 社 , 1991.
  • Zang Lihe 臧 勵 龢 , et al., compilers. Zhongguo gu jin di ming da ci dian 中 國 古 今 地 名 大 辭 典 . Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1930. More comprehensive than the CHGIS (see below) but not as easy to use. Also does not have some of the names listed in the above. Reprints Taibei: Taiwan shang wu, 1972; Hong Kong: Shang wu, 1982. .