The Project of Organizing the Qing Archives

December 2009
Chinese Studies in History;Winter2009/2010, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p73
Academic Journal
One of the most important components of the National Qing History Project is to rescue and sort out some original Qing archival documents that will be suitable for our compilation of the new Qing History. Such an action will not only be useful for the new Qing History Project but will also serve the purpose of rescuing and protecting our cultural heritage. The archival sifting and project setting of the Qing History Project have two major components: the archival documents of the Qing central government that are stored at the First Historical Archives of China and the Qing local government documents and private papers and records that are held by some local archives, libraries, and museums. As the first group of projects, the national-level archives (the First Historical Archives of China) have filed thirteen applications for twenty different subprojects on the Qing archives, involving about two million documents. Among these, seventeen subprojects involving about 1.6 million documents have been approved by the Commission for the Compilation of the Qing History Project. So far, ten of these approved projects (involving 850,000 archival documents) have been reorganized, recorded, and digitized according to the schedules set in the contracts. Second, thirteen groups of applications (twenty-four subprojects) have been filed by local archives, libraries, and museums. Of these, twelve projects have been approved, involving about 300,000 documents in total. The Qing archival documents sorted out by the Qing History Project have the characteristics of being rich, systematic, and authentic.


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