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Type of Item
The Veritable Records of the Song Emperor Taizong
Chinese court officials often recorded a reigning emperor’s daily activities and words spoken in court, especially those that affected the country. These records, such as Qi ju zhu (Diaries of activity and repose) and Ri li (Daily records), were sources for the compilation of shi lu (veritable records) by a committee. Other sources consisted of materials collected from provinces, ministerial papers, and other documents. The official histories were written based on these veritable records. Such records no longer exist from before the Tang dynasty (618–907). The only ...
The Province of Burma; A Report Prepared on Behalf of the University of Chicago
Alleyne Ireland (1871–1951) was a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in London who, in 1901, was appointed by the University of Chicago to head a commission to study colonial administration in the Far East. Ireland’s first major project, published in 1907, was this exhaustive, two-volume study of Burma, at the time under British rule as a province of the Indian Empire. Volume one contains a general description of Burma, a history of Britain’s acquisition of the colony, and chapters on the people, government, general administration, civil ...
Eight-Point Program for a New Government
This manuscript is the handwritten draft of proposals formulated by Sakamoto Ryōma (1836-67) and Gotō Shōjirō (1838-97), pro-imperial activists from the Tosa Domain (now Kochi prefecture) in western Japan, in 1867. In this document, Ryōma and Shōjirō proposed an eight-point program of political reforms to be undertaken by the new imperial government after the expected resignation of Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837-1913), the last shogun. The proposed reforms included enactment of new fundamental laws, recruitment of capable people to serve as government advisers, establishment of diplomatic relations with foreign powers, and establishment ...
Ordinance of Secession, 1861
This document is a one-page handwritten copy of the Ordinance of Secession passed on January 10, 1861, by the members of the Florida Convention of the People (commonly referred to as the Secession Convention). Pursuant to an act of the Florida legislature approved on November 30, 1860, Governor Madison S. Perry issued a proclamation calling an election on Saturday, December 22, 1860, for delegates to a convention to address the issue of whether Florida had a right to withdraw from the Union. The Secession Convention met in Tallahassee on January ...
Publication of Offices
The Notitia dignitatum is a state paper that documents virtually the whole of the civil and military organization of the Roman Empire as it existed after the reforms of Emperor Diocletian (ruled, 284–305). The manuscript contains chapters on the high state offices, and each chapter is preceded by pages of illustrations depicting the insignia of the officials in these offices and objects characteristic of their functions. The original of the document, probably written around 425 in Rome, is lost, as is a copy from the Carolingian period. The Carolingians ...
Ito Hirobumi's Handwritten Diary of His Foreign Journey
In December 1871 (lunar November, Meiji 4), the Iwakura mission departed Japan, led by Iwakura Tomomi serving as ambassador plenipotentiary, and including Kido Takayoshi, Ōkubo Toshimichi, and Itō Hirobumi as deputy ambassadors. The mission lasted approximately two years, and its members made a circuit of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and other European countries. One of its purposes was to promote international recognition of the Meiji Restoration, which returned Japan to imperial government in 1868 after the Tokugawa shogunate. The others were investigation of the institutions and cultures of ...
These nishiki-e (multicolored woodblock prints) of Meiji dignitaries are by Yamazaki Toshinobu (1857–86). They are group portraits of members of the early Meiji government, formed when imperial government resumed in Japan in 1868 after the Tokugawa shogunate. Most of the figures depicted were statesmen important to the Meiji Restoration, such as Sanjō Sanetomi (seen at rear right in the center panel), Iwakura Tomomi (rear left in right-hand panel), Kido Takayoshi (rear right in left-hand panel), and Ōkubo Toshimichi (front left in left-hand panel). The portrait of each personage is ...
Imperial Order to Dispatch Mission Head Plenipotentiary Itō to Europe to Study Constitutional Forms of Government
This document is the 1882 imperial order commanding Itō Hirobumi (1841–1909) to visit Europe to study the constitutional systems of various European countries. A separate document presents a concrete list of 31 different items to be studied, including each country's constitution, royal family, legislature, cabinet, judiciary, and system of local government. On March 14, 1882 (Meiji 15), Itō set sail from Yokohama. He spent 14 months in Europe, traveling around Prussia (Germany), Austria, Britain, Belgium, and other countries. In Prussia he was influenced by the lectures of such ...
The History and the State of Jamaica under Lord Vaughan
The History and the State of Jamaica under Lord Vaughan is a 71-page, handwritten report that chronicles events in Jamaica under John Vaughan, Earl of Carbery (circa 1639–1713; known as Lord Vaughan), governor of Jamaica 1674–78, and under his successor, Charles Howard, Earl of Carlisle (1629–85). The report covers the geography, geology, and climate of Jamaica; its demographics, including native peoples, free men, indentured servants, and slaves; trade; the British army stationed on the island; government institutions and the salaries of officials; and the history of the ...
The Foundations of Justice for Legal Guardians, Governors, Princes, Meritorious Rulers, and Kings (The Administration of Justice for Governors, Princes and the Meritorious Rulers)
Timbuktu (present-day Tombouctou in Mali), founded around 1100 as a commercial center for trade across the Sahara Desert, was also an important seat of Islamic learning from the 14th century onward. The libraries there contain many important manuscripts, in different styles of Arabic scripts, which were written and copied by Timbuktu’s scribes and scholars. These works constitute the city’s most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization. ‘Uthmān ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Uthmān ibn Fūdī (1754–1817) was a scholar and the founder of the Fulani ...