Local Gazetteers Collection from the National Library of China
"All places have their past documented in historical records, countries and localities alike." As "comprehensive historical records" and "local encyclopedias" of places, local gazetteers (difangzhi) are part and parcel of Chinese ancient books and represent a unique cultural legacy containing a rich collection of information. They provide true accounts of the past history and different aspects of places in a systematic and comprehensive way, giving a vivid picture of their prevailing administration, economy, society and culture. As such, they are essential in the promotion of cultures of localities.
The Local Gazetteers Collection contains over 3 000 000 pages of images of specific themes, covering gazetteers of various localities such as Shaanxi, Shandong, Hubei, Yunnan, Guizhou, Xinjiang, Jiangxi, Qinghai. These gazetteers are categorised into provincial gazetteers (cunmu), prefectural and county gazetteers, village and town gazetteers, landscape gazetteers etc. They comprise ancient local gazetteers and newly edited local gazetteers, which depict in detail people's lives and local aspects of various localities over the past few centuries in the perspectives of administration, economy, military, culture, landscape, geography, projects, rhymes and proverbs, dialects etc.