An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Donghualu 東華錄

Jul 3, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Donghualu 東華錄 "Records of the Eastern Flower (Gate)" is a chronicle of the Qing dynasty 清 (1644-1911).

The historiographic compilation bureau ( 國史館) of the Qing dynasty was located within the Gate of the Eastern Flower (Donghuamen 東華門) of the imperial palace. It was common to name a book after the location where the archives were which served as primary sources (compare the Dongguan hanji 東觀漢記 "Eastern Watch records of the Han").

Jiang Liangqi 蔣良騏 (1723-1788), official within the bureau that compilated the "veritable records" (shilu 實錄) of the dynasty, published his own annals that partially contained material not used for the Qingshilu 清實錄, "Veritable records of the Qing". Jiang's book covers the time from 1616, when Nurhaci (Emperor Taizu 清太祖, r. 1616-1626) proclaimed himself emperor, until 1735. The 32-juan long Donghualu is an annalistic history that strictly follows the sequence of time.

In 1884, Wang Xianqian 王先謙 (1842-1917, courtesy name Yiwu 益吾, style Kuiyuan 葵園) published a sequel to the Donghualu in 239 juan that covers the time from 1735 until the end of the Daoguang reign 道光 (1821-1850). This version is called Jiuchao donghua lu 九朝東華錄 "Records on the nine reigns compiled at the Eastern Flower (Gate)" or, Donghua xulu 東華續錄 or Donghualu xubian 東華錄續編 "Sequel to the records from the Eastern Flower (Gate)".

To distinguish the original version and the enlarged version historians also talk of the "Jiang records" (Jiang lu 蔣錄) and the "Wang records" (Wang lu 王錄).

A further sequel was published under the title Wangshi donghua lu 王氏東華錄 "Records of the Eastern Flower (Gate) by Master Wang" or Shiyichao donghua lu 十一朝東華錄 "Records from the Eastern Flower (Gate) from the eleven reigns" that also covered the Xianfeng 咸豐 (1851-1861) and Tongzhi 同治 (1862-1874) reign periods. The Xianfeng part (Xianfeng chao donghua lu 咸豐朝東華錄) was compiled by Pan Yifu 潘頤福 (1844-1886), the Tongzhi part by Wang Xianqian.

Both additional parts consist each of 100 juan of new material. The result is the Shiyichao donghua lu 十一朝東華錄. Zhu Shoupeng 朱壽朋 (1868-?, courtesy name Xibai 錫百) added the part covering the Guangxu reign 光緒 (1875-1908). Before the final publication of the Qingshilu, the Donghualu was the most important source for the history of the Qing dynasty.

Table 1. Parts of the Donghualu 東華錄
東華錄 三十二卷 Donghualu (Qing) 蔣良騏 Jiang Liangqi
東華錄 一百九十四卷
東華續錄 二百三十卷
Donghualu (cont.)
Donghua xulu
(Qing) 王先謙 Wang Xianqian
東華續錄 (咸豐朝) 一百卷 Donghua xulu (Xianfeng reign) (Qing) 王先謙 Wang Xianqian
東華續錄 (同治朝) 一百卷 Donghua xulu (Tongzhi reign) (Qing) 王先謙 Wang Xianqian
東華續錄 (光緖朝) 二百二十卷 Donghua xulu (Guangxu reign) (Qing/Rep) 朱壽朋 Zhu Shoupeng
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