The Writing of Official History under the T'ang
Author: Denis C. Twitchett
Publisher: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1992)
This book describes how the Chinese government, between about 620 and 850, developed an official organization designed to select, process, and edit material for inclusion in official historical works eventually to be incorporated in an official history of the dynasty. The first part gives a detailed account of the establishment of the official apparatus designed to produce a record of the T'ang dynasty, which would remain standard for more than a millennium, with some analysis of the individuals who served in these offices. The second part gives all available detail about the various works produced by this apparatus, divided among its various genres, and listing all known titles, their authorship, and their relationships to one another. The third part shows the cumulative process by which a dynastic history came into being, and the way in which we can detect various elements in the completed history.