Field Research and Compilation of Historical Monuments List(1/2)

  • Wu, Fang-Cheng (PI)

Project Details


The basic question raised in this project is: with limited material, how can one compile a list of Chinese historical monuments in 1912?Chinese historical monuments survey of sufficient national geographical scope appeared in the late 1930s. Tentative has been made during mid-1910s by Ministry of Internal Affairs of Beiyang government, requesting all provinces to provide list of local historical monuments and antiquities, but only achieved poor result. It is worth noting that the China Monuments Society established in 1908 in Beijing by foreign residents has succeeded in publishing a list of nationwide historical monuments in 1912. It was a comprehensive list, encompassing all provinces. How did this society do? The answer is by compilation. On inspection of this document, we can find a list of 43 references covering books written mainly in English, French or German, except a few Chinese documents. Most entries of historical monument were followed by a number reporting to the list of references. These books are not simpletravelogues, most of them are field research records of high scientific and historical value.This means that these anthropological, geological, geographical or natural historical field research works were read in 1912 with an art-historical and archaeological perspective, although works of art-historical and archaeological nature were only a few among 43. The purpose of this project is to reconstruct process of this reading, and the discrepancy between Western and Chinese conception of historical monument at this time.
Effective start/end date1/08/1931/07/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • historical monument
  • field research
  • China Monument Society


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