Chinese Local Gazetteers: Evolution, Institutionalization and Digitization
The past three decades have witnessed great changes and developments in the publishing industry in China. One important change is that more and more new local gazetteers (or local histories) and yearbooks are compiled and published in book format. Local gazetteers and yearbooks are also increasingly available in electronic format through commercial databases or as is less known, in public domain. The purpose of this article is to address the following questions: What are new local gazetteers and yearbooks? Why so many titles are published now? Are there any free online full texts available? What are the free online full texts? In addition, I will briefly examine the institutionalization of compiling and publishing local gazetteers and yearbooks in China. Furthermore, I present the result of a survey on freely available online full texts of such materials that I conducted from 2007 through 2008. Given that commercial full-text databases of local gazetteers are unaffordable for most libraries in North America, it is hoped that students, researchers and librarians of Chinese studies shall find the free online full-text materials useful.
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Also Published In
- Journal of East Asian Libraries