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Literature on Statecraft and Administration (zhengshu lei 政書類)

Jul 8, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

The section of books on politics and administration (zhengshu lei 政書類) is a sub-category to the literary category of Historiography (shibu 史部) in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書. A history of this bibliographic category can be found further below.

Table 1. Books on Statecraft and Administration (zhengshu 政書)
Part of Siku quanshu 四庫全書
Part of Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書
1. 通制之屬 tongzhi Comprehensive regulations
通典 二百卷 Tongdian (Tang) 杜佑 Du You
唐會要 一百卷 Tang huiyao (Song) 王溥 Wang Pu
五代會要 三十卷 Wudai huiyao (Song) 王溥 Wang Pu
宋朝事實 二十卷 Songchao shishi (Song) 李攸 Li You
建炎以來朝野雜記 四十卷 Jianyan yilai chaoye zaji (Song) 李心傅 Li Xinchuan
西漢會要 七十卷 Xihan huiyao (Song) 徐天麟 Xu Tianlin
東漢會要 四十卷 Donghan huiyao (Song) 徐天麟 Xu Tianlin
漢制考 四卷 Hanzhikao (Song) 王應麟 Wang Yinglin
文獻通考 三百四十八卷 Wenxian tongkao (Yuan) 馬端臨 Ma Duanlin
經世大典 * Jingshi dadian (Yuan) 趙世延 Zhao Shiyan, 虞集 Yu Ji (comp.; imp. ord.)
(大)明會典 一百八十卷 (續修 二百二十八卷) (Da-)Ming huidian (Ming) 徐溥 Xu Pu (et al.; imp. ord.); 李東陽 Li Dongyang (et al.; rev.); 申時行 Shen Shixing et al. (rev.); 趙用賢 Zhao Yongxian et al. (comp.)
皇明制書 二十卷 (續修) Huang-Ming zhishu (Ming) 張鹵 Zhang Lu (comp.)
明會要 八十卷 (續修) Ming huiyao (Ming) 龍文彬 Long Wenbin
七國考 十四卷 Qiguokao (Ming) 董說 Dong Shuo
(欽定)大清會典 一百卷 (Qinding) Da-Qing huidian (Qing) 允挫 Yun Cuo (et al; imp. ord.)
(欽定)大清會典則例 百八十卷 (Qinding) Da-Qing huidian zeli (Qing) 允挫 Yun Cuo (et al; imp. ord.)
(欽定)大淸會典事例 千二百二十卷 (續修) (Qinding) Da-Qing huidian shili (Qing) 崑岡 Kungang, 劉啓端 Liu Qiduan (et al; imp. ord.)
(欽定)大淸會典圖 二百七十卷 (續修) (Qinding) Da-Qing huidian tu (Qing) 崑岡 Kungang, 劉啓端 Liu Qiduan (et al; imp. ord.)
續文獻通考 二百五十 (續修) Xu wenxian tongkao (Qing) 王圻 Wang Qi
(欽定)續文獻通考 二百五十卷 (Qinding) Xu wenxian tongkao (Qing) 嵇璜 Xi Huang, 曹仁虎 Cao Renhu (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)皇朝文獻通考 三百卷 (Qinding) Huangchao wenxian tongkao (Qing Qianlong 12) Coll. (imp. ord.)
皇朝續文獻通考 四百卷 (續修) Huangchao xu wenxian tongkao (Qing) 劉錦藻 Li Jinzao (et al.)
(欽定)續通典 一百五十卷 (Qinding) Xu tongdian (Qing) 嵇璜 Xi Huang, 曹仁虎 Cao Renhu (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)皇朝通典 一百二十六卷 (Qinding) Huangchao tongdian (Qing Qianlong 32) Coll. (imp. ord.)
石渠餘紀 六卷 (續修) Shiqu yuji (Qing) 王慶雲 Wang Qingyun
吾學錄初編 二十四卷 (續修) Wuxuelu chubian (Qing) 吳榮光 Wu Rongguang
三國會要 二十二卷 (續修) Sanguo huiyao (Qing) 楊晨 Yang Chen
宋會要輯稿 * Song huiyao jigao (Qing) 王雲海 Wang Yunhai
2. 儀制之屬 yizhi Regulations of rituals and ceremonies
漢官舊儀 二卷 Hanguan jiuyi (Han) 衛宏 Wei Hong
大唐開元禮 一百五十卷 Da-Tang Kaiyuan li (Tang) 蕭嵩 Xiao Song (et al.; imp. ord.)
謚法 四卷 Shifa (Song) 蘇洵 Su Xun
政和五禮新儀 二百一卷 Zhenghe wuli xinyi (Song) 鄭居中 Zheng Juzhong (et al.; imp. ord.)
大金集禮 三十三卷 Da-Jin jili (Jin) Anon.
大金德運圖說 一卷 Da-Jin deyun tushuo (Jin) Anon.
明集禮 五十三卷 Ming jili (Ming) 徐一夔 Xu Yinao (et al.)
明宮史 五卷 Ming gongshi (Ming) 呂毖 Lü Bi; 劉若愚 Liu Ruoyu
皇明祖訓 一卷 (存目) Huang-Ming zuxun (Ming) (et al.; imp.ord.)
明典彙 二百卷 (存目) Ming dianhui (Ming) 徐學聚 Xu Xueju (et al.)
皇明寶訓 * Huang-Ming baoxun (Ming) (et al.; imp.ord.)
歷代貢舉志 一卷 (存目) Lidai gongju zhi (Ming) 馮夢禎 Feng Mengzhen
增補貢舉考略 五卷 (續修) Zengbu gongju kaolüe (Ming) 黃崇蘭 Huang Zonglan; 趙學曾 Zhao Xuezeng (suppl.)
皇明貢舉考 九卷 (續修) Huang-Ming gongju kao (Ming) 張朝瑞 Zhang Chaorui
科場條貫 一卷 (續修) Kechang tiaoguan (Ming) 陸深 Lu Shen
欽定學政全書 八十卷 (續修) (Qinding) Xuezheng quanshu (Qing) 素爾納 Surna et al.
登科記考 三十卷 (續修) Dengke jikao (Qing) 徐松 Xu Song
欽定科場條例 六十卷 (續修) (Qinding) Kechang tiaoli (Qing) 杜受田 Du Shoutian; 英滙 Yinghui (comp.)
京師大學堂章程 一卷 (續修) Jingshi daxuetang zhangcheng (Qing) NN
(欽定)學堂章程 * (Qinding) Xuetang zhangcheng (Qing) 張百熙 Zhang Baixi
(欽定)大清通禮 五十卷 (Qinding) Da-Qing tongli (Qing) 來保 Lai Bao, 李玉鳴 Li Yuming (et al.; imp. ord.)
皇朝禮器圖式 十八卷 Huangchao liqi tushi (Qing) 允祿 Yun Lu (et al.; imp. ord.); 福隆安 Fu Longan (et al.; rev.)
國朝宮史 (清宮史) 三十六卷 Guochao gongshi (Qing gongshi) (Qing Qianlong 7) Anon. (imp. ord.)
國朝宮史續編 百卷 (續修) Guochao gongshi xubian (Qing) 慶桂 Cinggui (et al., comp.)
(欽定)滿洲祭神祭天典禮 六卷 (Qinding) Manzhou jishen jitian dianli (Qing) 允祿 Yunlu (et al.; imp. ord.)
滿洲四禮集 無分卷 Manzhou sili ji (Qing) 索寧安 Suninggan
(欽定)南巡盛典 一百卷 (Qinding) Nanxun shengdian (Qing) 高晉 Gao Jin, 薩載 Sa Dai, 阿桂 Agūi, 傅恆 Fuheng
八旬萬壽盛典 一百二十卷 Baxun wanshou shengdian (Qing) 阿桂 Agūi (et al.; comp.)
五禮通考 二百六十二卷 * Wuli tongkao (Qing) 秦蕙田 Wu Huitian
大唐郊祀錄 十卷 (續修) Da-Tang jiaosi lu (Qing) 王涇 Wang Jing
3. 邦計之屬 bangji Administrative regulations
General
食貨志 Shihuo zhi ()
律曆志 Lüli zhi ()
牧令書 *
牧令書輯要 *
Mulingshu
Mulingshu jiyao
(Qing) 徐棟 Xu Dong; 丁日昌 Ding Richang (rev.)
(欽定)戶部則例 * (Qinding) Hubu zeli (Qing) 載齡 Zailing etc. (comp.)
賦役全書 * Fuyi quanshu (Ming/Qing) imp. ord.
續富國策 * Xu fuguo ce (Qing) 陳熾 Chen Chi
孚惠全書 六十四卷 (續修) Fuhui quanshu (Qing) 彭元瑞 Peng Yuanrui (et al., comp.)
治鮮集 三卷 (續修) Zhixianji (Qing) 林華皖 Lin Huawan
巡臺錄 二卷 (續修) Xuntailu (Qing) 張嗣昌 Zhang Sichang
盛京典制備考 十二卷 (續修) Shengjing dianzhi beikao (Qing) 崇厚 Chonghou (comp.)
晉政輯要 四十卷 (續修) Jinzheng jiyao (Qing) 剛毅 Gang Yi, 安頤 An Yi (comp.)
宰惠紀略 五卷 (續修) Zaihui jilüe (Qing) 柳堂 Liu Tang
Disaster relief
救荒活民書 三卷 Jiuhuang huomin shu (Song) 董煟 Dong Wei
荒政叢書 十卷 Huangzheng congshu (Qing) 俞森 Yu Sen
(欽定)康濟錄 六卷 (Qinding) Kangjilu (Qing) 陸曾禹 Lu Zengyu, 倪國璉 Ni Guolian (arr.)
荒政要覽 十卷 (續修) Huangzheng yaolan (Qing) 俞汝為 Yu Ruwei (comp.)
Pest control
捕蝗考 一卷 Buhuangkao (Qing) 陳芳生 Chen Fangsheng
Salt administration
熬波圖 二卷 Aobotu (Yuan) 陳椿 Chen Chun
鹺政全書 二卷 (續修) Cuozhi yuanshu (Qing) 周昌晉 Zhou Changjin
鹽政志 十卷 (續修) Yanzhengzhi (Qing) 朱廷立 Zhu Tingli et al.
長蘆鹽法志 二十卷 (續修) Changlu yanfa zhi (Qing) 黃掌綸 Huang Zhanglun et al.
欽定重修兩浙鹽法志 三十卷 (續修) (Qinding chongxiu) Liang-Zhe yanfa zhi (Qing) 延豐 Yanfeng (et al., comp.)
重修兩淮鹽法志 百六十卷 (續修) (Chongxiu) Liang-Huai yanfa zhi (Qing) 王定安 Wang Ding'an (et al., comp.)
Monetary policy
錢通 三十二卷 Qiantong (Ming) 胡我琨 Hu Wokun
鈔幣論 一卷 (續修) Chaobilun (Qing) 許楣 Xu Mei
歷代錢法備考 八卷 (續修) Lidai qianfa beikao (Qing) 沈學詩 Shen Xueshi
錢幣芻言 一卷 (續修)
錢幣芻言續刻 一卷 (續修)
錢幣芻言再續 一卷 (續修)
Qianbi chuyan
Qianbi chuyan xuke
Qianbi chuyan zaixu
(Qing) 王鎏 Wang Liu
Tax collection
萬曆會計錄 四十三卷 (續修) Wanli kuaiji lu (Ming) 張學顔 Zhang Xueyan et al.
(重訂)賦役成規 一卷 (續修) (Chongding) Fuyi chenggui (Qing) 熊尚文 Xiong Shangwen et al.
程賦統會 十八卷 (續修) Chengfu tonghui (Qing) 劉斯樞 Liu Sishu (comp.)
榷政紀略 四卷 (續修) Quezheng jilüe (Qing) 堵胤錫 Du Yinxi
蒞政八箴 一卷 (續修) Lizheng bazhen (Qing) 堵胤錫 Du Yinxi
Grand Canal and river conservancy
漕河圖志 八卷 (續修) Caohe tuzhi (Qing) 王瓊 Wang Qiong
大元海運記 二卷 (續修) Da-Yuan haiyun ji (Qing) 趙世延 Zhao Shiyan, 揭傒斯 Jiexisi, Hu Jing 胡敬 (comp.)
絲絹全書 八卷(續修) Sijuan quanshu (Qing) 程任卿 Cheng Renqing (comp.)
漕運通志 十卷 (續修) Caoyun tongzhi (Qing) 謝純 Xie Chun
(欽定)戶部漕運全書 九十六卷 (續修) (Qinding) Hubu caoyun quanshu (Qing) 載齡 Zailing, 福趾 Fuzhi (et al., comp.)
治河全書 二十四卷 (續修) Zhihe quantu (Qing) 張鵬翮 Zhang Penghe
復淮故道圖說 一卷 (續修) Fu Huai gu dao tushuo (Qing) 丁顯 Ding Xian
4. 軍政之屬 junzheng Military regulations
歷代兵制 八卷 Lidai bingzhi (Song) 陳傅良 Chen Fuliang
馬政紀 十二卷 (大元馬政記) Mazhengji (Da-Yuan mazheng ji) (Yuan/Qing) 文廷式 Wen Tingshi (et al.)
(欽定)八旗通志 三百四十二卷 (Qingding) Baqi tongzhi (Qing) Anon. (imp. ord.)
地水師 四卷 (續修) Dishuishi (Qing) NN
軍政備例 一卷 (續修) Junzheng beili (Qing) 趙堂 Zhao Tang
軍政事宜 一卷 (續修) Junzheng shiyi (Qing) 龐尚鵬 Pang Shangpeng
禦倭軍事條款 一卷 (續修) Yu Wo junshi tiaokuan (Qing) 李遂 Li Sui
(欽定)中樞政考 七十二卷 (續修) (Qinding) Zhongshu zhengkao (Qing) 明亮 Mingliyang, 納蘇泰 Nasutai (et al., comp.)
欽定兵部處分則例 七十六卷 (續修) (Qinding) Bingbu chufen zeli (Qing) 伯麟 Borin, 慶源 Cingyuan (et al., comp.)
欽定兵部續纂處分則例 四卷 (續修) (Qinding) Bingbu xuzuan chufen zeli (Qing) 長齡 Cangling, 慶源 Cingyuan (et al., comp.)
欽定戶部軍需則例 九卷 (Qinding) Hubu junxu zeli (Qing) imp. ord.
欽定兵部軍需則例 五卷 (Qinding) Bingbu junxu zeli (Qing) 董誥 Dong Gao, 特通保 Tetongboo (et al., comp.)
欽定工部軍器則例 二十四卷 (續修) (Qinding) Gongbu junqi zeli (Qing) imp. ord.
皇朝兵制考略 六卷 (續修) Huangchao bingzhi kalüe (Qing) 翁同爵 Weng Tongjue
保甲書 四卷 (續修)
保甲書輯要
Baojiashu (Qing) 徐棟 Xu Dong (comp.); 丁日昌 Ding Richang (rev.)
杭州八旗駐防營志略 二十五卷 (續修) Hangzhou baqi zhufang ying zhilüe (Qing) 張大昌 Zhang Dachang (comp.)
歷代馬政志 一卷 (續修) Lidai mazheng zhi (Qing) 蔡方炳 Cai Fangbing
歷代武舉考 一卷 (續修) Lidai wuju kao (Qing) 譚吉璁 Tan Jicong
馬政志 四卷 (續修) Mazhengzhi (Qing) 陳講 Chen Jiang
廣州永康等砲臺工程 一卷(續修) Guangzhou Yongkang deng paotai gongcheng (Qing) 顧炳章 Gu Bingzhang (et al., comp.)
江南製造局記 十卷 (續修) Jiangnan zhizaoju ji (Qing) 魏允恭 Wei Yungong (et al., comp.)
水師輯要 一卷 (續修) Shuishi jiyao (Qing) 陳良弼 Chen Liangbi
外海紀要 一卷 (續修) Haiwai jiyao (Qing) 李增階 Li Zengjie
5. 法令之屬 faling Jurisdictional regulations
呂刑 * Lüxing (part of Shangshu 尚書) (Zhou) NN
子產鑄刑鼎 * Zichan zhu xingding (Zhou) 子產 Zichan
法經 * Fajing (Zhou) 李悝 Li Kui
唐律疏義 三十卷 Tanglü shuyi (Tang code) (Tang) 長孫無忌 Zhangsun Wuji (et al.; imp. ord.)
慶元條法事類 八十卷 (續修) Qingyuan tiaofa shilei (Song code) (Song) 謝深甫 Xie Shenfu
天盛年改定新律 * Tiansheng nian gaiding xinlü (Western Xia code) (Xixia)
通制條格 (存二十二卷) (續修) Tongzhi tiaoge (Yuan code) (Yuan)
元典章 * Yuan dianzhang (Yuan)
重詳定刑統 三十卷 (續修) (Chongding) Dingxingtong (Yuan) 竇儀 Bin Yi; 劉承幹 Liu Chenggan (rev.)
御製大誥 一卷 (續修)
御制大誥三編 一卷 (續修)
御制大誥續編 一卷 (續修)
(Yuzhi) Dagao
Yuzhi dagao sanbian
Yuzhi dagao xubian
(Ming) Ming Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang 明太祖朱元璋
大誥武臣 一卷 (續修) Dagao wuchen (Ming) Ming Taizu Zhu Yuanzhang 明太祖朱元璋
大明律 三十卷 (續修) Da-Ming lü (Ming code) (Ming) 李善長 Li Shanchang, Liu Ji 劉基 (et al.; imp.ord.)
三朝要典 * Sanchao yaodian (Ming) 顧秉謙 Gu Bingqian, 黃立極 Huang Liji, 馮銓 Feng Quan (et al.; imp.ord.)
皇明制書 * Huang-Ming zhishu (Ming) (et al.; imp.ord.)
大清律例 四十七卷 Da-Qing lüli (Qing code) (Qing) 三泰 Santai, 徐本 Xu Ben (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)大淸現行新律例 四十五卷 (續修) (Qinding) Da-Qing xianxing xin lüli (Qing) 沈家本 Shen Jiaben (et al., comp.)
(欽定)王公處分則例 四卷 (續修) (Qinding) Wanggong chufen zeli (Qing) 宗人府 Zongrenfu (comp.)
督捕則例 二卷 (續修) Dubu zeli (Qing) 徐本 Xu Ben, 唐紹祖 Tang Shaozu (et al., comp.)
刑案匯覽 六四卷 (續修)
續增刑案匯覽 (續修)
Xing'an huilan
Xuzeng xing'an huilan
(Qing) 祝慶祺撰
新增刑案匯覽 十六卷 (續修) Xinzeng xing'an huilan (Qing) 潘文舫 Pan Wenfang
駁案彙編 四十一卷 (續修) Bo'an huibian (Qing) 朱梅臣 Zhu Meichen (comp.)
歷代刑法考 七十八卷 (續修) Lidai xingfa kao (Qing) 沈家本 Shen Jiaben
6. 考工之屬 kaogong Regulations concering state-operated construction work
魯班經 * Lu Ban jing (Zhou) 魯班 Lu Ban (?)
營造法式 四十三卷 Yingzao fashi (Song) 李誡 Li Jie (et al.; imp. ord.)
(欽定)武英殿聚珍版程式 一卷 (Qinding) Wuyingdian juzhenban chengshi (Qing) 金簡 Jin Jian
船政新書 四卷 (續修) Chuanzheng xinshu (Qing) 倪涷 Ni Dong
工部廠庫須知 十二卷 (續修) Gongbu changku xuzhi (Qing) 何士晉 He Shijin (comp.)
龍江船廠志 八卷 (續修) Longjiang chuanchang zhi (Qing) 李昭祥 Li Zhaoxiang
南船紀 四卷 (續修) Nanchuanji (Qing) 沈𡹘 Shen Qi
繕部紀略 一卷 (續修) Shanbu jilüe (Qing) 郭尚友 Guo Shangyou
新編魯般營造正式 六卷 (續修) Xinbian Ban Lu yingzao zhengshi (Qing) NN
新鐫工師雕斵正式魯班木經匠家鏡 三卷 (續修) Xinjuan gongshi diaodou zhengshi Ban Lu mujing jiangjia jing (Qing) 午榮 Wu Rong, 章嚴 Zhang Yan
園冶 三卷 (續修) Yuanye (Qing) 計成 Ji Cheng
工程做法 七十四卷 (續修) Gongcheng zuofa (Qing) 允禮 Yūnli et al.
滇南礦廠圖略 二卷 (續修) Diannan kuangchang tulür (Qing) 吳其濬 Wu Qijun; 徐金生 Xu Jinsheng (ill.)
銅政便覽 八卷 (續修) Tongzheng bianlan (Qing) NN
* not included in the reprint series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目題要 (Cunmu 存目 section), nor the Xuxiu siku quanshu 續修四庫全書.

Zhengshu is a relatively new category in traditional Chinese bibliographies. It is found with the name diangu 典故 "statutes and predecents" in the bibliography Zhizhai shulu jieti 直齋書錄解題 from the Song period 宋 (960-1279). The content of this section is quite heterogeneous. It includes canonic texts on all government institutions like Zhenguan zhengyao 貞觀政要, Sanchao zhengyao 三朝政要, Tongdian 通典, Xu tongdian 續通典, Guochao tongdian 國朝通典, Tang huiyao 唐會要, Wudai huiyao 五代會要, Chaozhi yaolan 朝制要覽 or Xianchao zhengfan 先朝政範, collections of memorials like Wei Zhenggong jianlu 魏鄭公諫錄 (also called Wei Wenzhengong gushi 魏文貞公故事), regulations for individual institutions like Hanlin shengshi 翰林盛事 (on the Hanlin Academy) or Neizhi shengjian 內治聖監 (the imperial household), or on specialized topics like Yiguan shengshi 衣冠盛事 (on the robes and caps of the officialdom), Qinzhuan yuxi pu 秦傳玉璽譜 (on state seals), Jingde kuaiji lu 景德會計錄, Changle caifu zhi 長樂財賦志 (on government revenue), Zunhaolu 尊號錄 (on the terminology of titles) or Qingshe zhenji lu 青社賑濟錄 (on disaster relief), imperial instructions like Sanchao baoxun 三朝寶訓 or Renhuang xundian 仁皇訓典, encyclopaedias like Huangchao zhiji tonglei 皇朝治跡統類 or Huangchao shilei shuyao 皇朝事類樞要, and collections of administrative matters on local governments like Tailing gushi 泰陵故事 and Dongjia zaji 東家雜記.

The last two examples show that the section of the diangu texts was partially reserved for texts formerly found in a sub-category called gushi 故事 or, still much earlier, jiushi 舊事, literally meaning "ancient matters". The category must have been created around 500 CE, because such a category is already found in Ruan Xiaoxu's 阮孝緒 (479-536) catalogue Qilu 七錄.

In the Suishu 隋書 bibliography Jingji zhi 經籍志 it is defined as a genre describing the duties and activities of all officials, the archives of which also belonged to the jurisdiction of the grand historiographer (taishi 太史). Like all matters of administration, even this custom was led back to a regulation in the Confucian Classic Zhouli 周禮. It is furthermore explained that during the early Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE), Xiao He 蕭何 (d. 193 BCE), the eventual first imperial Counsellor-in-chief, fixed the administrative and penal laws (lüling 律令), Zhang Cang 張蒼 (d. 152 BCE) brought the statutes (zhangcheng 章程) into a clear system, and Shusun Tong 叔孫通 (d. 189 BCE) regulated the court ceremonies (yifa 儀法).

During the Jin period 晉 (265-420), Emperor Wu 晉武帝 (r. 265-290) ordered Jia Chong 賈充 (217-282) to further consolidate these administrative regulations by "consulting all Confucian writings (?)" (bo yin qun ru 博引群儒). He discerned between canonic rules and common rules (faling 法令), of which "those serving to execute rules" were made "statutes of administrative law" (shixing zhidu zhe wei ling 施行制度者為令), while "those serving to classify byelaws" were dubbed "ancient matters [of standard]" (pinshi zhangcheng zhe wei gushi 品式章程者為故事). They were archived in the particular institutions of the bureaucracy. Because they found not entrance into the official histories, they were called "ancient matters [to be consulted in the archives, not in 'public' texts]", but had still the character of precedents serving as models for various administrative matters.

Only few of these survived the ages, the most important being Han Wudi gushi 漢武帝故事 "Ancient matters from the reign of Emperor Wu 漢武帝 (r. 141-87 BCE) of the Han dynasty" or Xijing zaji 西京雜記 "Miscellaneous records from the Western Capital". From some titles it can be seen what theme they dealt with, like Jin bawang gushi 晉八王故事 (the rebellion of the eight princes), Huan Xuan wei shi 桓玄偽事 (the usurpation by Huan Xuan in 403) or Kaiye ping Chen ji 開業平陳記 (the foundation of the Sui dynasty 隋, 581-618). Some titles show that the records were made concerning a certain office or institution, like Jin donggong jiushi 晉東宮舊事, Donggong dianji 東宮典記 (the Eastern Palace), Shangshu dashi 尚書大事 (the Imperial Secretariat), or Niannan gushi 沔南故事 (local records from Miannan, i.e. the region south of River Han). Yet most books of this type have general titles like Jinchao zashi 晉朝雜事 "Miscellaneous matters from the Jin court" or Jin Jianwu gushi 晉建武故事 "Ancient matters from the Jianwu reign-period (304) of the Jin".

In the bibliographic chapter of the official dynastic history Xintangshu 新唐書, the great texts on the regulation of state administration like Zhenguan zhengyao are found in the section "miscellaneous histories" (zashi 雜事) or enyclopaedias (Du You's 杜佑 Tongdian, Su Mian's 蘇冕 Huiyao 會要 and Xu huiyao 續會要 - both being precursors of the Tang huiyao), while the smaller books on "ancient matters" were found in the jiushi section. A similar arrangement was made in the bibliographic book Junzhai dushu zhi 郡齋讀書志 and the bibliographic chapter of the universal history Tongzhi 通志, where the Tongdian and the huiyao texts are found among the encyclopaedias.

The bibliography Suichutang shumu, in which books written under the then-reigning Song dynasty are separated from older texts, the character of gushi texts as writings on administrative matters can clearly be seen in many titles, like Zhuqian gushi 鑄錢故事 "Old regulations for the production of coins", Jintong yaolüe 浸銅要略 "Concise report on wet copper production", Zhihe fayun chayan xuzhi 至和發運茶鹽須知 "Must-knows about the transport of tea and salt during the Zhihe reign-period (1054-1055)", Fujian daozei xuzhi 福建盗賊須知 "Must-knows about the [control of] bandits in Fujian", Hubu zhudao suishou shu 户部諸道歲收數 "Earnings of the Ministry of Revenue from all provinces", Sichuan xuanfusi caifu bingma shu 四川宣撫司財賦兵馬數 "Tax [revenue] and [expenditure] on troops and horses of the Pacification Commissioner of Sichuan", Guochao yunliang shu 國朝運糧數 "Figures on tribute grain transport of Our Dynasty", Yuanyou fenjiang lu 元祐分疆錄 "On local administrative divisions during the Yuanyou reign-period (1086-1093)", Shen Li beibian lu 沈黎備邊錄 "Shen Li's records on border defence", Huaixi cuozhi shiyi 淮西措置事宜 "Specific regulations and arrangements for the region of Huaixi", Huangyou pingman ji 皇祐平蠻記 "The pacification of the barbarian tribes during the Huangyou reign-period (1049-1053)" or Fengshi bielu 奉使别錄 "Another record on the imperial mission [to the court of the Kitans]".

It can be seen that gushi writings covered all different aspects of state administration. They were often records of specific arrangments that served as models for similar cases in the future. Althought the term diangu, introduced in the , might be better to demonstrate the precedential character of such cases, it continued to be used, although it was also used with the meaning of "fictional story".

The gushi section in the very late Song-period catalogue Jingji kao 經籍考, a chapter of the encyclopaedia Wenxian tongkao 文獻通考, includes books on coin production in the gushi section, and also Zheng Qiao's 鄭樵 (1104-1162) Tongzhi, although the latter has the structure of a history book, written in the biographical-thematical style (jizhuanti).

The introduction to the section quotes from the bibliography Song sanchao yiwen zhi 宋三朝藝文志, where it was said that during the Han period there was an office called zhanggu 掌故, whose occupant had the duty to archive and consult the "ancient precedents". During the Cao-Wei period 曹魏 (220-265), this duty was taken over by no one else than the Counsellor-in-chief (chengxiang 丞相), and during the very late Former Han 前漢 (206 BCE-8 CE), Kong Guang 孔光 (65–5 BCE), Censor-in-chief (yushi dafu 御史大夫), was for more than ten years the most influential minister at the court, also made use of gushi regulations during his period of service.

Administrative regulations were mostly subject to actual conditions, and were therefore not necessarily adapted by succeeding dynasties, although it was common that legal or administrative codes were retained and then revised according to actual circumstances. After the Song period therefore, the many administrative regulations mentioned above became obsolete and are not any more found in later bibliographies. The early Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) catalogue Qiantingtang shumu 千頃堂書目 therefore lists in the diangu section only texts that were written during the Ming period 明 (1368-1644) and could serve as models for the Qing administration. Older texts like Wenxian tongkao (Song) or Da-Yuan tongzhi 大元通制 (Yuan) by Wanyan Na 完顏納 and Zeng Boqi 曾伯啟 are only found in the appendix, and even these do not reach back further than the Song period.

The model character of the precedent regulations (gushi) of former dynasties is also explained in the preface to the section zhengshu in the descriptive catalogue Siku quanshu zongmu tiyao 四庫全書總目提要. The compilers make clear that they only included books on administrative matters in the zhengshu sub-category, and not texts on event history, not to speak of fictional stories. The term zhengshu was apparenty already first used in an imperial catalogue written by Qian Pu 錢溥 (1408-1488, Bige shumu 祕閣書目), and was accordingly adapted for the Siku quanshu project, instead of the older terms diangu or gushi.

The compilers of the Siku quanshu divided the texts belonging to the sub-category of zhengshu into six types, namely comprehensive books on all matters of administration (tongzhi 通制, 19 books), books on ritual regulations (yizhi 儀制, 24 books), books on administrative regulations for the local governments (bangji 邦計, 6 books), military regulations (junzheng 軍政, 4 books), judicial regulations (faling 法令, 2 books), and regulations concerning official work (kaogong 考工, 2 books). The section of administrative books in the Siku quanshu includes 57 books in total, and the catalogue describes a further amount of 113 texts in the cunmu 存目 section (books described but not included in the Siku quanshu corpus).