I'm likewise intrigued by the origins, so to speak, of document form. Having just spent a few weeks with the KMT files in the Hoover Institution library and archives this summer, followed an even more recent survey of 1949-1953 上海市军事管制委员会文化教育管理委员会 files, one immediate parallel between the two "parties of a new type" is that internal communications within both bureaucratic structures use the same "...字...号" log number format.
Jacob’s comment is very valuable, and the book on archival science he is referring to is clearly a “must have” item.
As Michael said, form is content with official Chinese documents. I found the following handbook very helpful:
黄存勋，刘文杰，雷荣广： 档案文献学 (高等学校教材）
Tim's insightful comment made me think of possibilities for extending the space of comparison. It would be interesting, for example in a grad seminar, to start with this document and similar examples of bureaucratic production in the past (Qing and Republican) but then add examples from other bureaucracies. And not just the socialist ones.
Last month on the original PRCHistory email list Felix Wemheuer asked about reviews of Dikötter's Tragedy of Liberation. A joint review of Mitter's China's War with Japan and Dikötter's book was just published here:
This document is an absolute delight. Of course, we all see the similarity in layout to Repbulican administrative documents and echoes of Qing documents.
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