An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Shudian 蜀典

Sep 22, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Shudian 蜀典 is a local gazetteer of the province of Sichuan written by Zhang Shu 張澍 (1776-1847), courtesy name Baiyu 百瀹, style Jiehou 介侯, from Wuwei 武威, prefecture of Liangzhou 涼州 (today in Gansu). He also wrote the books Wuliang jiuwen 五涼舊聞, San guren yuan 三古人苑, Xu Qianshu 續黔書 and Qinyin 秦音.

The book of 12 juan was finished in 1818 and is divided into eleven chapters, beginning with geography and eminent persons, dwellings and places where famous officials lived, stories, local customs and habits, local dialect, objects, animals and plans, and ending with literature and eminent families. The whole book is structured very individually and deviates from the common pattern of local gazetteers. It is based on the author's own observations during his time as a district magistrate (zhixian 知縣) in Pingshan 屏山 and Xingwen 興文 in Sichuan.

His book can be seen as a personal supplement to the official provincial gazetteer, Sichuan tongzhi 四川通志, which was finished in 1816. Zhang also points at several misconceptions found in the Sichuan tongzhi and older books like Huayang guo zhi 華陽國志 and Shuijingzhu 水經注 and is therefore an important source on Sichuan during the early 19th century.

The book was reprinted in 1876 by the Zujing Academy 尊經書院.

Table 1. Contents of the Shudian 蜀典
1 堪輿 Geography
2 人物 Eminent persons
3 居寓 Settlements
4 宦蹟 Officials
5 故事 Stories
6 風俗 Customs and habits
7 方言 Local tongue
8 器物 Objects
9 動植 Animals and plants
10 著作 Writings
11-12 姓氏 Families
Huang Yifeng 黃宜鳳 (2011). "Shudian de minsu wenhua yanjiu jiazhi 《蜀典》的民俗文化研究價值", Zhonghua wenhua luntan 中華文化論壇, 2011 (11).
Sichuan baike quanshu bianzuan weiyuanhui 《四川百科全書》編纂委員會, ed. (1997). Sichuan baike quanshu 四川百科全書 (Chengdu: Sichuan cishu chubanshe), 734.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, eds. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe9, 368.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 885.