Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Collection Development of Digitized Chinese Local Gazetteers


This project strengthens UW–Madison Libraries’ collection of Chinese local gazetteers by acquiring
digital resources from the 中國方志庫 (Database of Chinese Local Gazetteers). The UW currently holds a
partial set (series one out of the five series that are planned). The university now needs to buy the second series.

Chinese local gazetteers are critical primary sources for Chinese Studies scholars in art history, geography, history, history of science, literature, religion, and other fields. A Chinese local gazetteer (sometimes translated as “monograph on a place”) is a multi-century, continuous local chronicle arranged topically. Gazetteers have been published in China for over a millennium by county, prefectural, and provincial governments, Buddhist temples, and Confucian academies. Currently there are more than 10,000 extant titles. Gazetteers make possible comprehensive quantitative and qualitative research from multiple perspectives. UW’s prior purchase of the first series in the Database of Chinese Local Gazetteers has demonstrated that this digital resource has broad support from UW–Madison students and faculty.

The new investment aims to improve the integrity, depth, and coverage of digital Chinese local gazetteers.
The Database of Chinese Local Gazetteers’ strength is its high-quality scanning of the entire text, including the interlinear notes, headnotes between binding pages, etc., and its full-text search interface that makes possible advanced searches for not only text, but also charts and diagrams.

The acquisition of this digital resource would enhance academic research and teaching in multiple departments and centers, including the Center for East Asian Studies, the Department of Art History,
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of History, the Center for East Asian Legal
Studies, and the Wisconsin China Initiative.


Joseph Dennis, Associate Professor of History;


Anlin Yang, East Asian Studies Librarian, Memorial Library


Rania Huntington, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures

Anatoly Detwyler, Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures

Viren Murthy, Associate Professor of History

Judd Kinzley, Associate Professor of History