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Grand Secretariat Archives 内閣大庫檔案

The archives of the Grand Secretariat that are currently housed at the Institute were originally kept at the Grand Secretariat Storehouse in the Ch’ing imperial palace. They were removed from the Grand Secretariat Storehouse in the imperial palace when it underwent renovation in 1909. After the overthrow of the Ch’ing Dynasty, the archives were sold and resold many times, and were, at one point, even sold to a paper recycling factory (Tongmaozeng paper factory) to be made into recycled paper. Eventually, the Institute purchased the archives from Li Sheng-to in 1929 thanks to the efforts of Fu Ssu-nien, the Institute’s founding director.
There are over 4000 Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) documents and more than three hundred thousand Ch’ing Dynasty (1644-1911) documents in this collection, including imperial decrees, edicts, memorials, tribute documents from tributary nations, documents from the varying offices of the Grand Secretariat, documents from the offices for book compilation, examination questions, examination papers and old documents from Mukden. Memorials, both private and official ones, make up the bulk of these documents.
The archival documents record general administrative affairs, many of which cannot be found in Ch’ing conventions or Ch’ing legal compendia. The archives are valuable source materials for studying the history of political institutions, as well as for studying social history, economic history and legal history.