China Government Employee Dataset – Beiyang/Republic of China (CGED-BY/ROC) 中国历史官员量化数据库——北洋/民国

We began construction of the China Government Employee Dataset – Republic of China (CGED-BY/ROC) in late 2018 and early 2019 with two motivations. On one hand, we wanted to compare the civil and military officials in the Beiyang and Republican governments in the CGED-BY/ROC with the civil and military officials recorded in the CGED-Q for the late Qing, and thereby better assess the continuity of government from late imperial to early modern times.  On the other hand, since the major employer of university graduates during this period was the public not the private sector, we also wanted to link government employees in the CGED-BY/ROC with university students in the CUSD-ROC, and thus understand better the local origins and regional and national processes of state building and social stratification in China during the first half of the twentieth century.

The current design of the CGED-BY/ROC consists of three sub-projects.  The first sub-project is to transcribe the 49 editions of the Beiyang Government Personnel Roster (Beiyang Zhengfu Zhiyuan Lu 北洋政府职员录集成) covering the period 1912-1924 recently collected and republished by the Tsinghua University Library. Like the Qing Jinshenlu (縉紳錄) that is the basis of the CGED-Q JSL, these editions systematically list every three months all Beiyang government employees. As of February 2022, the CGED-Beiyang (BY) includes 653,873 records of 35,814 officials during the period from 1912 to 1924. Of these records, 361,966 are records of central government officials, and 291,907 are records of local government officials. We have also entered 7,442 records of fenfa 分发 that were included in these volumes as the CGED-Beiyang Fenfa (FF).

The second sub-project is to collect and transcribe from the holdings of the Second Historical Archives in Nanjing similar, but more sporadic, Zhiyuan Lu 职员录 lists of government employees in central Republican ministries between 1927 and 1949, such as the Zhongyang ge Jiguan Zhiyuan Lu 中央各机关职员录 and the Guomin Zhengfu ge Yuanbuhui Keyuan yishang Zhiyuan Lu 國民政府各院部會科員以上職員錄. As of February 2022, this portion of the CGED-ROC includes 25,196 records of 15,856 civil and military officials.

The third sub-project focuses on one specific branch of government, in this case the Railroad Ministry, and compiles similar lists of local and central railroad employees from such archival sources as the Transportation Ministry Personnel Roster (Jiaotong Bu Zhiyuan Lu 交通部職員錄) and the Railroad Ministry Personnel Roster (Tiedao Bu Zhiyuan Lu 鐵道部職員錄) for the entire first half of the twentieth century.  This portion of the CGED-ROC as of February 2022, consists of 56,254 records of 27,863 employees.

Adding all three CGED-ROC sub-projects together, as of February 2022, we have entered 735,323 records of nearly 80,000 civil and military Chinese government employees who served between 1912 and 1949. These records list their surname, given name, other names, place of origin, and position. In addition, some records also report their gender, age, educational attainment, and previous posts. We have only just begun to link these records to unique individuals, but have already identified 1,200 officials who served in both the Beiyang government between 1911 and 1924 and the Nanjing central government between 1927 and 1949. We have also linked 4,728 individuals who served in both the Beiyang government between 1911 and 1924 and the late Qing government between 1900 and 1912.


Project Funding

The construction of the CGED-Q has been supported by the General Research Fund of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Project Number 16602117 James Z. Lee PI (Co-I Cameron Campbell, Liang Chen), The Social and Spatial Origins of China’s Educated Elite: 1865-2014 and by funds from HKUST.

Data Access

While we plan eventually to make the CGED-ROC, like the CGED-Q, publicly accessible, since data construction is just beginning, this will be many years hence.