(Text by Reporter Shi Danni) It is an officially published local micro-chronicle written by writers, housewives, organ officials, local chronicle workers and newspaper editors-in-chief recruited from the society, which truly embodies the slogan of “The history of the public is written by the public.” On June 26, the Shanghai Jing’an District Chronicles Office held a symposium for the debut of the Home in the Time—Shanghai Jing’an District Community Micro-chronicle Collection at Jing’an District Organ Conference Center. Representatives of editors and readers discussed the micro-chronicle from different angles respectively at the symposium. In the meantime, Jing’an District Chronicles Office also donated new books with signatures of the 21 authors each to units including Shanghai History Compilation Museum, Shanghai Library and China National Publications Import and Export (Group) Corporation.
Home in the Time—Shanghai Jing’an District Community Micr-ochronicle Collection is Shanghai’s first community (residential area) micro-chronicle. For the micro-chronicle, the editing unit selected 21 residential areas of different types in 14 sub-districts and towns in the whole district, and recruited authors through the WeChat official account named “Jing‘an Chronicle” for the first time. The personnel participating in the work include Shanghai school writers, retired officials, newspaper editors-in-chief, architects, culture volunteers, housewives and common residents. The book doesn’t follow the framework content of village chronicles, but adopts the micro-chronicle framework content for the first time. It selects articles and subject matters appropriate for cities and communities, and used plain and brief language, as well as the civil language and dialects specially restored, to make the book more down to earth.
The writing object discussed in the community micro-chronicle Home in the Time is not the life community in the broad sense, but the community in the narrow sense, namely a pure community serving as “a place to live in”. In order to comprehensively and objectively present the style and customs in the scope of the district, the editor selected 21 residential communities as the writing object of the community micro-chronicle, which covered all sub-districts and towns in the district. They could be existing communities, communities under removal, or areas with newly-built constructions on the former sites of the removed communities. In addition, according to the specific cases of the historical development of various sub-districts and towns, the contents were written with distinctive focuses.
“As local chronicle culture workers, we usually pay attention to the historical details that are taken for granted by people but easy to be neglected. For instance, we found that we couldn’t find records on the coffee price index during the Republic of China period. Then, could the coffee price today be found out a hundred years later? The question made us drifted into reflection. Therefore, we started to compile such a local micro-chronicle featuring an atmosphere of life.” Zhu Huijun, Associate Executive Editor-in-chief of Home in the Time, told the reporter.
The Shanghai Jing’an District Chronicles Office expressed that the community micro-chronicle it compiled this time aimed to set forth a new historical view and present the local history in a brand-new multidimensional way. The Office utilized multimedia technology to present and reproduce the lives of common citizens from multiple levels and angles to embody the humanism quality featuring a civil atmosphere. Meanwhile, the Office also hoped that the micro-chronicle could be a first-hand material for studying the changing of the indigenous style and customs of Shanghai several years later. The community micro-chronicle compiled this time will be distributed to communities as a carrier of the shared memories of the citizens. In addition, in the future, the community micro-chronicle series 2 may be compiled, or the foreign versions of the book may be published, depending on the social reaction.