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Da-Qing lichao shilu, Qingshilu 清實錄 “Veritable records of the Qing dynasty” is a chronologically arranged collection of the most important edicts issued during the Qing period, through 11 reigns, and in 12 parts (including the Manzhou shilu 滿洲實錄 “Veritable records of the Manchus”) with a total length of 4,404 juan. Through history it had been common that on the accession to the throne an emperor ordered compiling the “veritable records” of his predecessor. A specialized office called shiluguan 實錄館 was established for the compilation, and the work had to be overseen by a Grand Minister (dachen 大臣), assisted by members of the Hanlin Academy翰林院 which produced the secretarial staff of the imperial court. The compiling team made use of a vast amount of imperial diaries (qijuzhu 起居注) recording the day-to-day routine activities of the emperor, and of memorials, edicts and a document drafts stored in the archives. There were three versions of each of the veritable records, written in the three languages Chinese, Manchurian, and Mongolian, each in five copies (the Mongolian version only four). These were called the four “main versions” (zhengben 正本), and the “appendant version” (fuben 副本). Of the main versions one was stored in the Capital Archive (huangshicheng 皇史宬), one in the Chongmo Hall 崇謨閣 in the imperial palace in Mukden (Shenyang)—these two versions are also called da hongling ben 大紅綾本 “versions with the large damask (lining)”—, the third verision was stored in the Qianqing Palace 乾清宮 and the fourth in the library of the Imperial Secretariat (neifu 内府), the last two places being located in the Forbidden City. The latter two versions had a “small red damask lining”. The “appendant version”, with a “small yellow damask lining” was also stored in the Imperial Secretariat.
The first print version was published in 1936 by the Japanese Daizō shuppansha 大藏出版社, together with the inofficial records of the Xuantong period 宣統 (1909 – 1911), Xuantong zhengji 宣統政記. The publication was called Da-Qing lichao shilu 大清歷朝實錄 “Veritable records of the Great Qing through all reign periods” and consists of 1,210 volumes. This is the most widespread edition. Another modern publication was edited by the Zhonghua Book Company 中華書局. For this edition a detailed textual critique was comiled by comparing all different existing versions.
The three first parts of the Qingshilu were revised several times. In 1683 the Taizu shilu 太祖實錄 (basic version issued in 1636) and the Taizong shilu 太宗實錄 (basic version issued in 1652) were revised, in 1734 both records, as well as the Shizu shilu 世祖實錄 (basic version issued in 1667), were again revised and obtained the shape they are now known with. The original version was discovered later and printed in the 1930s, with the name Qing Taizu Wu Huangdi Nurhaci shilu 清太祖武皇帝努爾哈赤實錄 “Veritable records of Emperor Qing Taizu, the Martial Emperor Nurhaci”, in 4 juan, while the revised version was given the title Qing Taizu Nurhaci shilu 清太祖努爾哈赤實錄 “Veritable records of Qing Taizu Nurhaci”, in 10 juan. The revisions of the Kangxi reign were edited by the Republican period scholar Luo Zhenyu 羅振玉 (1866 – 1940, courtesy name Shuyun 叔蘊, style Xuetang 雪堂) with the title Kangxi chongxiu Taizu shilu san zhong 康熙重修太祖實錄三種 “The three versions of the Veritable Records of Qing Taizu as revised during the Kangxi reign”, as well as by the Japanese scholars Murayama Shiu 邨山芝塢 (1758 – 1820), with the title Daishin sanchō jiryaku 大淸三朝事略 and Nagane Hyosai 永根氷斎 (1765 – 1838) with the title Shin sanchō jitsuroku saiyō 清三朝實録採要. The different verisons have to be compared with each other when studying the early history of the Manchu dynasty. An additional source that can not be neglected for this period of time is the Donghualu 東華錄 “Records from the Eastern Flower (Gate)”. This is also true for the latest parts of the “Veritable records”, especially the Dezong shilu 德宗實録, which is, as a source, of minor quality than the Guangxu chao donghua lu 光緒朝東華錄.
The Qingshilu, although an important treasury of primary sources for the Qing period, only represents a very small part of all documents that went to and fro at the Qing court and between the capital and the provinces. It is emperor-centered and can by no means, inspite of its largeness, give a complete picture of the funcioning of the Qing government. Like many historical sources of the Qing that were officially acknowledged or issued, it serves to praise the emperors and the dynasty.
Source: Shi Zhihong 史志宏 (1992), "Qingshilu 清實錄", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Zhongguo lishi 中國歷史 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), Vol. 2, pp. 842 f.
大清滿洲實錄 Da-Qing Manzhou shilu Early history of the Manchus (bilingual Manchu-Chinese)
大清太祖高皇帝實錄 Da-Qing Taizu Gao Huangshi shilu Reign of Nurhaci
大清太宗文皇帝實錄 Da-Qing Daizong Wen Huangdu shilu Reign of Abahai
大清世祖章皇帝（順治）實錄 Da-Qing Shizu Zhang Huangdi shilu Shunzhi reign
大清聖祖仁皇帝（康熙）實錄 Da-Qing Shengzu Ren Huangdi shilu Kangxi reign
大清世宗憲皇帝（雍正）實錄 Da-Qing Shizong Xian Huangdi shilu Yongzheng reign
大清高宗純皇帝（乾隆）實錄 Da-Qing Gaozong Chun Huangdi shilu Qianlong reign
大清仁宗睿皇帝（嘉慶）實錄 Da-Qing Renzong Rui Huangdi shilu Jiaqing reign
大清宣宗成皇帝（道光）實錄 Da-Qing Xuanzong Cheng Huangdi shilu Daoguang reign
大清文宗顯皇帝（咸豐）實錄 Da-Qing Wenzong Xian Huangdi shilu Xianfeng reign
大清穆宗毅皇帝（同治）實錄 Da-Qing Muzong Yi Huangdi shilu Tongzhi reign
大清宣統政紀實錄 Da-Qing Xiantong zhengji shilu Xuantong reign
大清歷朝實錄總目 Da-Qing lichao shilu zongmu Index
July 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
Chinese Literature over time