rise of a dynasty must accompany the history of another. Making
it known to posterity is an important task indeed." This
text is taken from an imperial edict dated to the eighth day
of the first lunar month of 1649 by Dorgon, the Imperial Father
Regent, for inaugurating an institute to compile the Veritable
Records of Emperor Wen, T'ai-tsung, explaining the importance
attached to the tradition of compiling and editing dynastic
histories by the Ch'ing court. In the Ch'ing dynasty, institutes
were established for compiling and editing of various historical
documents. They can generally be divided into the following
8th and 9th years of the Chia-ch'ing reign (1808),
36.3 x 21.6 cm (H x W)
institutes, such as the Veritable Records Institute
and Imperial Records Institute;
Permanent institutes, such as the Historiography Institute,
Military Institute, and Court Diary Institute;
Temporary institutes, such as the Ming History Institute,
Statutes Institute, and the Chronologies Institute.
The court editing of historical documents
came mostly under the direction of Grand Academicians,
the actual writers being mainly members of the Hanlin
Academy. This assured quality of the texts and consistency
with official thought. The historical books composed
by institutes established by the court are commonly
called "official documents" (figs.
13, 14, 15,
of Emperor Wen, T'ai-tsung, of the Great Ch'ing"
3rd month of the 6th year to 3rd month of the 7th
year of the Ch'ung-te reign (1642-1643), Ch'ing
Large red silk version
45 x 30 cm (H x W)
"Annals of Emperor
Kao, T'ai-tsu, of the Great Ch'ing"
Yellow silk version from the Historiography Institute,
37.6 x 22.6 cm (H x W)
Prince Regent Dorgon"
Historiography Institute edition, Ch'ing Dynasty
40.5 x 24 cm (H x W)