Principles of Cataloguing

Principles of Cataloguing:
Our principles of cataloguing uses the archives of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in the Grand Secretariat Archive of the Institute of History and Philology to analyze, organize, and record the content and form of the archives to provide definitions, management positioning, and to explain the archive collections, the background of the collection, and the responsible person, time, language type, instructions, etc. of each archive.

1.Category: All Ming Qing Archive shall be labeled as “archive.”
2.Registration number: the serial number of the archive registered after 1981.
3.Title: title is the subject of an archive; origin is a summary of the content, focusing on related information such as people, events, time, place, and object. It shall be noted that the original text is in Chinese, Manchu, or Manchu-Chinese.
4.Responsible person: The official’s name and the memorial title of the archive. Record as it is if the full name and official title are recorded in the archive. Only record the official title with real titles or part-time real titles, without recording nominal titles. If the archive only has the official’s last name on the archive or if the title of the official is unknown, refer to the seal of the customs or other reference books. For example, when Qian Shifu's "The Chronicle of Officials in the Qing Dynasty" is available for research, fill in his name or official position with a note [ ]. After the name in the original archive, the translation, and other variants are confirmed, they shall be corrected and added with [ ].
5.Responsible time: The date of publication is when the archive is issued, submitted, or transferred. Record the emperor’s year number and the year, month, and day with Arabic numerals. If the original does not mark the month and day, only the year shall be recorded. If the year, month and day are incomplete, mark “?”. If encounters  a leap month, mark "*" before the word "month.” If the date of responsibility is unknown, record [unknown].
6.Endorsement:Still record if the cover of a memorial has an red endorsement or blue endorsement;use □ to replace missing words.
7.File type:
Top-down texts such as Imperial Commands, Edicts, or Proclamations, Bottom-up texts such as Routine and Secret Memorials from bureaucrats, and Parallel-level texts in between governmental units such as duplicate copies. If Routine and Secret Memorials have the words “Secret” on the cover, then the document shall be classified as “Routine Memorial” or “Secret Memorial” and the words on the cover shall be included in its recorded text. Taking the example of a duplicate memorial of a Palace Memorial that was noted “Or as Duplicate Copy” on the cover, or “Additional Palace Memorial” or “Secret Memorial”, such texts on the cover shall be included in the text of this document.
8.T'ieh-huang & Shiwen: If t'i-pên is attached with t'ieh-huang, copy the whole text as it is. If there are missing words, replace with □. Shiwen is the translation of the entire content or part of the archive, such as the Manchu part of the Grand Secretariat Russian Museum examination paper is translated into Chinese.
9.Collection history: refers to the archive’s past collection sites. Documents from Tianming, Tiancong, and the years in between before the Qing dynasty, such as the original Manchu archives written in unmarked old Manchu, letters from Mao Wenlong to Jin Guohan, etc. Those who moved from Shenyang to Beijing are marked as "Shenyang Old Archives,” and others are marked as "The Grand Secretariat Archives.”
10.Preservation Condition:
(1)If the archive is intact or intact at the beginning and end, is only partially damaged, and does not affect the integrity of the content, mark "complete"; otherwise, mark "incomplete" whether it is missing the beginning or the end. For the repair status, archives that need to be repaired in the future shall be marked as "to be repaired.”
(2)Binding or Decoration: refers to the binding of the file. For example,a folding piece folded with banner paper, t'i-pên, private memorials, etc, are considered as folding pieces, and shall be marked as "folding piece"; the edict is written on a large sheet of yellow or silk paper, stored in the form of scroll, therefore shall be marked as "scroll.” If the notes and other documents are compiled into a file, they shall be marked as "file".
(3)Material: refers to the material used for the archive, label “paper,” “silk.”
(4)Height & width: refers to the archive’s height and width. Use centimeters as the unit and Arabic numerals to record the height and width; use the original archive as the recording subject, and do not record the height and width of its attachments.
(5)Image: If the archive has an image name, record the image name as it is. For example, a lunar eclipse map, the base, or the frame has a predetermined name, record the predetermined name. Other image names, mark “image” if it is in black and white; make “colored image” if it is in color.
11.Remarks: refers to the supplementary explanation of the above items. For example, if the folding piece is modified into a scroll after being repaired and mounted, indicate "form: folding piece modified to scroll" or "version: printing,” “version: printing and ink filling,” or “translation: Qing waiting to be translated,” etc.
12.Relation, Subject: indicate the relationship and registration number of the relevant archives. For example, an original divided into two pieces due to time, space, and human factors, or private memorials and duplicate copies with the same content, and the description of the relationship between the two. For subjects, currently clearly labeled ones are "Taiwan", "memorials with vermillion endorsement,” “blue endorsement,” etc.
13.References: if the bibliographic information does not come from the archive itself, it indicates that the reference needs to be checked. It is divided into three columns: title, journal title\book title\database name, and author.
14.Publishing: refers to the published name of the entire archive. It is divided into three columns: publication name, volume\book, and page. For example, Ming and Qing historical materials A-07-125 shall be labeled with the publication name,"Ming and Qing historical materials,” volume "A 07,” and page number "125.”

The principles for recording the above data are based on the information of the archive itself. If an archive is incomplete or the information is incomplete, refer to reference books or other books, such as Qian Shifu’s Chronology of Officials in the Qing Dynasty or Actual Documentations of the Qing, and indicate the sources in the reference column. As for those that have no way to check, fill in “unknown” and leave it to researchers to investigate. Archive organization is an extremely cumbersome task. Due to the limited knowledge of archives, mistakes and omissions may be inevitable.