Recently, a book called Shijia Hutong was officially published and the book was compiled from the oral histories of more than 100 residents in Shijia Hutong, according to the Chaoyangmen Subdistrict of Dongcheng District of Beijing.
In the future, other hutongs in the Dongsinan cultural relic protection area will begin to sort out their historical accounts of past events and conduct a salvage record of residents’ oral histories.
Wang Lanshun, deputy chief editor of the book, introduced that it takes them two years from the preliminary preparation to the publication of the book. The book has a total of 339 pages with about 100,000 words and it is divided into six chapters of tracing origins of the hutong, having a glance at the hutong, tracking relics in the hutong and telling changes, celebrities and the contemporary life in the hutong. Starting from the history of the Great Capital of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the book writes about former residences of celebrities like Jiao’s Grand Courtyard, Lu’s Grand Courtyard and Guanxue Grand Courtyard, tells stories of celebrities like Fu Zuoyi, Zhang Shizhao, Ai Qing and Luo Gongliu and also introduces the ups and downs of courtyards in the hutong.
It is learned that the compilation of the book bases on archives, studies on oral histories and visits of more than 100 residents and most of the stories and picture materials in the book come from residents. Wang introduced that the archives, oral histories and field investigation ensure the truth of the stories and richness of historical materials in the book.
In addition, the subdistrict plans to make “Shijia gifts” by combining the book with residents’ cultural and creative products.