Chinese Place Names

Robert Miller Hiatt
Cataloging Policy and Support Office
Library of Congress

Below are my recommendations on forms of headings for Chinese place names. The question of what headings the Library of Congress should use arose as the result of the Library's deliberations on changing its romanization system from Wade-Giles to pinyin. These recommendations are based on an examination of the following sources:

GEOnet (http://164.2.59/gns/html/index.html)
Thesaurus of Geographic Names (
Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 1997
The Statesman's Year-Book, 1994/95
The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1996
Academic American Encyclopedia, 1996
Encyclopedia Americana, 1997
Collier's Encyclopedia, 1997
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1997
The World Book Encyclopedia, 1996

Based upon this examination, I recommend the following principles:

  1. Choose as the heading for a place name in China (including Hong Kong) and Taiwan, the form approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). If the board approves a conventional form in English, choose that form. If the conventional form in English has a brief form, prefer that form.
  2. If no approved BGN form is found, use a romanized form found on the item being cataloged.
  3. If no found-romanization form is available, use the systematically romanized form (pinyin).

This results in the below listed forms of headings from the list "Headings in the Name Authority File That Are Not Entered According to Standard Wade-Giles Form" to which I have added some additional headings, some of which are currently in the systematically romanized Wade-Giles form. The arrangement in the list below is different from the arrangement in the list from which the place names were taken. This list is arranged by country subarranged by ADM1 subdivisions (in current form) subarranged by local places (in current form).

I have made no recommendations on historical names as such names are generally not listed in current sources.

Current Heading Recommended Heading
Anhwei Province (China)
Hofei (China)
Anhui Sheng (China)
Hefei (China)
Chekiang Province (China)
Hang-chou (China)
Zhejiang Sheng (China)
Hangzhou (China)
Fukien Province (China)
Amoy (China)
Fu-chou shih (China)
Lin Village (Fukien Province, China)
Fujian Sheng (China)
Xiamen (Fujian Sheng, China)
Fuzhou (Fujian Sheng, China)
Lin Village (Fujian Sheng, China)
Hainan Province (China)
Hai-k ou shih (China)
Hainan Sheng (China)
Haikou (Hainan Sheng, China)
Heilungkiang Province (China)
Harbin (China)
Tsitsihar (China)
Heilongjiang Sheng (China)
Harbin (China)
Qiqihar (China)
Honan Province (China)
Houhua Village (China) [provisional]
Cheng-chou shih (China)
Henan Sheng (China)
Houhua Village (China) [provisional]
Zhengzhou (China)
Hong Kong (China)
Ha Tsuen (Hong Kong)
Kowloon (China)
Kwun Tong (Hong Kong)
Mong Kok (Hong Kong)
New Territories (China)
New Kowloon (Hong Kong)
Sai Kung (Hong Kong)
San Tin (Hong Kong)
Stanley (Hong Kong)
Tsim-sha-tsui (Hong Kong)
Sha Tin (Hong Kong)
Sham Sui Po (Hong Kong)
Tai Po (Hong Kong)
Tsuen (Hong Kong)
Tuen Mun (Hong Kong)
Victoria (China)
Wanchai (Hong Kong)
Wong Tai Sin (Hong Kong)
Yau Ma Twi (Hong Kong)
Yuen Long (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong (China)
Ha Tsuen (China)
Kowloon (China)
Kwun Tong (China)
Mong Kok (China)
New Territories (China)
New Kowloon (China)
Sai Kung (China)
San Tin (China)
Chek Chue (China)
Tsim Sha Tsui (China)
Sha Tin (China)
Sham Sui Po (China)
Tai Po (China)
Tsuen Wan (China)
Tuen Mun (China)
Victoria (China)
Wan Chai(Hong Kong,China)
Wong Tai Sin (China)
Yau Ma Tei (China)
Yuen Long (China)
Hopeh Province (China)
Kalgan (China)
Shih-chia-chuang shih (China)
Hebei Sheng (China)
Zhangjiakou (China)
Shijiazhuang (China)
Hunan Province (China)
Ch'ang-sha shih (China)
Hunan Sheng (China)
Changsha (Hunan Sheng, China)
Hupeh Province (China)
Wu-han shih (China)
Hubei Sheng (China)
Wuhan (China)
Inner Mongolia (China)
Darhan Muminggan Lianeqi (China)
Hexigten Qi (China)
Hu-ho-hao-t e shih (China)
Hulun Buir Meng (China)
Jungar Qi (China)
Ongniud Qi (China)
Otoq Qi (China)
Urad Zhongqi (China)
Zalantun Shi (China)
Inner Mongolia (China)
Darhan Muminggan Lianeqi (China)
Hexigten Qi (China : Banner)
Hohhot (China)
Hulun Buir Meng (China)
Jungar Qi (China : Banner)
Ongniud Qi (China : Banner)
Otoq Qi (China : Banner)
Urad Zhongqi (China)
Zalantun (China)
Kansu Province (China)
Lan-chou shih (China)
Gansu Sheng (China)
Lanzhou (China)
Kiangsi Province (China)
Nan-ch ang shih (China)
Jiangxi Sheng (China)
Nanchang (China)
Kiangsu Province (China)
Kaixian gong (China)
Nan-ching shih (China)
Jiangsu Sheng (China)
Kaixian gong (China)
Nanjing (Jiangsu Sheng, China)
Kirin Province (China)
Kirin (China)
Jilin Sheng (China)
Jilin (China)
Kwangsi Chuang Autonomous (China)
Nan-ning shih (China)
Guangxi Zhuang Zizhiqu (China)
Nanning (China)
Kwangtung Province (China)
Canton (China)
Swatow (China)
Guangdong Sheng (China)
Guangzhou (China)
Shantou (Guangdong Sheng, China)
Kweichow Province (China)
Kuei-yang shih (China)
Guizhou Sheng (China)
Guiyang (Guizhou Sheng, China)
Liaoning Province (China)
Dairen (China)
Port Arthur (China)
Shen-yang shih (China)
Liaoning Sheng (China)
Dalian (China)
Lüshun (China)
Shenyang (Liaoning Sheng, China)
Ningsia Hui Autonomous Region (China)
Yin-ch'uan shih (China)
Ningxia Hui Zizhiqu (China)
Yinchuan (China)
Peking (China) Beijing (China)
Shanghai (China) Shanghai (China)
Shansi Province (China)
T'ai-yüan shih (China)
Shanxi Sheng (China)
Taiyuan (China)
Shantung Province (China)
Feng-chia (China)
Tsinan (China)
Tsingtao (China)
Shandong Sheng (China)
Fengjia (Shandong Sheng, China)
Jinan (China)
Qingdao (China)
Shensi Province (China))
Sian (China)
Shaanxi Sheng (China)
Xi'an (Shaanxi Sheng, China)
Sinkiang Uighur Autonomous Region China)
Aksu Shi (China)
Barkol (China)
Karamai (China)
Kashgar (China)
Kuqa Xian (China)
Manas Xian (China)
Markit Xian (China)
Tashqurghan Tajik Aptonom (China)
Urumchi (China)
Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu (China)
Aksu (China)
Barkol (China)
Karamay (China)
Kashi (China)
Kuqa Xian (China)
Manas Xian (China)
Markit Xian (China)
Nahiyisi Taxkorgan Tajik Zizhixian (China)
Ürümqi (China)
Szechwan Province (China)
Barkam (China : District)
Ch'eng-tu (China)
Ch'ung-ch ing shih (China)
Zoige (China : District)
Sichuan Sheng (China)
Barkam Xian (China)
Chengdu (China)
Chongqing (China)
Zoigü Xian (China)
Tibet (China)
A-mdo (China)
Ba'ba (China) [provisional]
Brag-g yab (Tibet, China)
Bro pa cho dgu (China) [provisional]
Cha-phre (China)
Dingri (Tibet, China)
Jü nagaüja ashrams (China)
Ko-ra (China)
Lhar-tse (China)
Lhasa (China)
Lhasa (China : District)
Lhatog (China)
Lodrak Karchu (Tibet, China)
Mi-üag (Tibet, China)
Ma-ris (China)
Mya-yul (China)
Üag-ro (China)
Nyemo (China)
Nyütang (Tibet, China)
Rgyal-mo-ro (China)
Rma-chu (China)
Sna-bza-sde-ro-rdzo (China)
Spo-bo (China : District)
Spru-hre (China))
Tien-chu Tibetan Autonomous Hsien (China)
Za-lu (China)
Zamtang (China : District)
Tibet (China)
Pagnag (China)
Ba'ba (China) [provisional]
Brag-g yab (Tibet, China)
Bro pa cho dgu (China) [provisional]
Cha-phre (China)
Tingri (China)
Jü nagaüja ashrams (China)
Ko-ra (China)
Lhar-tse (China)
Lhasa (China)
Lhasa (China : District) [provisional]
Lhatog (China)
Lodrak Karchu (China)
Mi-üag (Tibet, China)
Ma-ris (China)
Mya-yul (China)
Üag-ro (China)
Nyümo Xian (China)
Nyütang (China)
Rgyal-mo-ro (China)
Rma-chu (China)
Sna-bza-sde-ro-rdzo (China)
Bomi Xian (China)
Spru-hre (China
Tianzhu Zangzu Zizhixian (China)
Za-lu (China)
Zamtang Xian (China)
Tientsin (China) Tianjin (China)
Tsinghai Province (China)
Hsi-ning shih (China)
Qabqa (China)
Qinghai Sheng (China)
Xining (Qinghai Sheng, China)
Qabqa (China)
Yunnan Province (China)
K'un-ming shih (China)
Yunnan Sheng (China)
Kunming (China)
Current Heading Recommended Heading
T'ai-chung hsien (Taiwan) T'ai-chung hsien (Taiwan)
T'ai-nan hsien (Taiwan) T'ai-nan hsien (Taiwan)
T'ai-tung hsien (Taiwan) T'ai-tung hsien (Taiwan)
T'ai-pei hsien (Taiwan)
Taipei (Taiwan)
Tansui (Taiwan)
T'ai-pei hsien (Taiwan)
Taipei (Taiwan)
Tan-shui (Taiwan)
Kao-hsiung hsien (Taiwan) Kao-hsiung hsien (Taiwan)
Ankang (Taiwan) [provisional] Ankang (Taiwan) [provisional]

Originally posted on eastlib on April 21, 1998.