An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Literary Category of Historiography

The historiographical category (shibu 史部) is the second of the four categories (sibu 四部) in the traditional system of the Chinese literary categories established during the Southern Dynasties period 南朝 (420~589). In the collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書, the category is divided into 15 subcategories, including various types of proper histories (official biographical-thematical style zhengshi 正史, annalist style biannian 編年, theme-related histories jishi benmo 紀事本末, alternative histories bieshi 別史, "miscellaneous" histories zashi 雜史, extracts shichao 史鈔, regional histories zaiji 載記), collections of edicts and memorials (zhaoling zouyi 詔令奏議, shiling 時令), biographies of eminent persons (zhuanji 傳記), administrative and descriptive geography (dili 地理), state offices (zhiguan 職官) and regulations on such, regulations for all aspects of statecraft (zhengshu 政書), historical critique (shiping 史評), as well as the category of bibliographies (mulu 目錄), often based on palace libraries.

Historiography and Statecraft
正史 Zhengshi Official Dynastic Histories
編年 Biannian Annals and Chronicles
紀事本末 Jishi benmo Historical Events in their Entirety
別史 Bieshi Alternative (Unofficial) Histories
雜史 Zashi Histories on Miscellaneous Topics
詔令奏議 Zhaoling zouyi Edicts and Memorials
傳記 Zhuanji Biographies
史鈔 Shichao Excerpts from History Books
載記 Zaiji Regional Histories and such of Autonomous States
時令 Shiling Edicts Concerned with the Seasons
地理 Dili Geography
職官 Zhiguan Books on State Offices
政書 Zhengshu Writings on Statecraft and Administration
目錄 Mulu Bibliographies and Catalogues
史評 Shiping Historical Critique