The following selection offers a mixture of three
kinds of sites: basic “starter kits” that provide
nuts-and-bolts information about Chinese history and contemporary
society – usually with a practical tool such as bilingual
features; more advanced “user’s guides” that offer
in-depth bibliographies and background essays to aid further research;
and a small group of “special subject” sites on topics
that are especially important in Chinese history (with a focus on
the modern period), or that lend themselves particularly well to
web presentation. In addition, you will find the beginnings of a
Historian’s Toolkit section that will provide standalone reference
tools and study units built around primary source documents.
This section will continue to expand in the future, but the idea
is to create a set of resources that can be applied in a wide variety
of courses by instructors from different disciplines and backgrounds.
Chinaknowledge – A Universal Guide for Chinese
Studies, Ulrich Theobald http://www.chinaknowledge.de/index.html.
Nice, concise yet academically sound encyclopedia with entries on
the major developments of each historical period, as well as background
on language, literature, religion, etc. Though written in English,
entries provide a fair bit of information in Romanized Chinese and
characters, which makes this far more useful than ordinary internet
Donald K. Jordan’s China Resources Page,
University of California, San Diego http://weber.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/chin/china.html.
There’s a lot to be found here, including a comprehensive
table of dynasties and reign names (with characters and pronunciations);
background essays on language, the calendar, the lineage system,
etc.; and numerous other reference tools. Links are particularly
strong in the areas of religion and Taiwanese culture. Readers get
a dose of both Professor Jordan’s erudition and his strong
opinions, but the latter are not disguised -- some entries are helpfully
China the Beautiful, Ming L. Pei http://www.chinapage.com/china.html.
This site is a bit of a portmanteau, and organized according to
the idiosyncrasies of the webmaster. Recommended more for
a casual browse than for a reference for serious research, but can
be rewarding as such. The sections on the arts, for instance,
give useful basic introductions with visual or aural examples, and
the history sections collate some handy links, portraits of emperors,
and the like. Should be a starting rather than ending point,
The China Beat http://thechinabeat.blogspot.com/
A collective blog managed out of the University of Irvine, with
an ever-expanding roster of contributors from the worlds of China
scholarship and journalism. The blog's mandate is to provide additional
background on China stories in the news and analysis of China coverage,
but many essays go beyond that to offer fine short introductions
to scholarship and teaching materials on selected subjects.
History of China, Leon Poon, University of Maryland
Based on the Army Area Handbook for China, this is not a site for
specialists (nor does it claim to be), but rather a basic introduction
to Chinese history in a nutshell. The nicest feature of this
site is that its creator has added relevant Chinese characters to
the text, thereby rectifying an omission of nearly all English-language
Chinese history textbooks, and providing a useful learning tool.
Chinese History Research Site, University of California,
San Diego http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/chinesehistory/.
Focus is on modern Chinese history, with bibliographies, reviews
and guides to archival and other sources for researchers.
Students looking for introductions to the field might find especially
useful the book reviews and historiographical essays written by
doctoral students in the Chinese history program at UCSD.
Internet Resources for Chinese Studies, Fabrizio
Pregadio, Stanford University http://www.stanford.edu/~pregadio/chinese_studies.html.
A compact page with links to e-text repositories, online bibliographies,
univerity press and journal websites, dictionaries, and other sites
especially useful to students of religion, medicine and pre-modern
Classical Historiography for Chinese History,
Benjamin Elman, Princeton University, http://www.princeton.edu/~classbib/.
This site is mainly designed for the training of researchers in
Chinese history up to the 20th century, who will find here copious
bibliographic resources in Asian and Western languages, as well
as much practical guidance. There is a good deal here for
undergraduates and the general reader, however, especially in the
bibliographies of translations of and literature on the Chinese
Frog in a Well -- The China History Group Blog
An entertaining blog with a largely modern bent, run by professional
historians and students. Posts range from unusual takes on historical
topics that would interest general readers to useful tips for researchers
and grad students. See also site links to sister blogs on Korea
Chinese History Forum http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/
A moderated discussion forum which attracts participation from professionals,
students and learned amateurs. Membership is dependent on a passing
grade in the administrators' Chinese history examination!
Bibliography of China and Tibet Related Historical
Photography, Thomas Hahn http://gatheringmountains.net/Photoweb/
A valuable annotated list of print and web resources for historical
photographs, along with a news page. No search engine, but HTML
format enables searching via the browser. See also Hahn's albums
of historical and contemporary photographs at http://hahn.zenfolio.com/
China Local, Harvard University http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k7402&pageid=icb.page27867.
A wealth of resources illuminating local history, primarily though
not exclusively from the former Jinhua prefecture in Zhejiang province.
These include maps (some with live links), translations of primary
texts (including genealogies, gazetteers, dedication tablets, etc.),
virtual tours of communities and structures, and pages on special
topics such as Wu regional drama. Newcomers are advised to consult
the "guides to the website" page for thematic links.
IAO Databases, Institute d’Asie Orientale,
Lyons. Several databases that are extraordinarily valuable for researchers
and students alike are housed here.
• The Virtual Shanghai site (http://virtualshanghai.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/index.php)
includes primary source texts and scholarly articles as well as
photographs and maps, all searchable by individual category. Eventually
a live map (GIS) system will be added.
• Historical Photographs of China http://chp.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/.
A collaborative project between IAO, University of Bristol, and
University of Lincoln, this database is strong in the history of
foreign relations, diplomacy and imperialism. At present its holdings
include photographs from the Shanghai Municipal Police and China
Maritime Customs service, and the collections of Fu Bingchang and
G. Warren Swire.
• Historical Chinese Postcard Project http://postcard.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/.
Fascinating collection of early photographs postcards from China
(1896-1920.) At present search engine is under construction.
• Chinese Torture/Supplice chinoises http://turandot.ish-lyon.cnrs.fr/index.php
Visual, multimedia and written sources (including fiction as well
as historical documents) and research essays make up this project
designed to examine critically the "cliché of Chinese
torture." The site is in both French and English.
Ling Lung Women’s Magazine, Starr East Asian
Library, Columbia University http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/digital/collections/linglong/.
A digitized run of a women’s magazine published in Shanghai
from 1931 to 1937, this resource provides a fascinating and endlessly
revealing glimpse into the changing mores of middle-class female
culture and consumption in China’s coastal cities. Even
those with no or marginal Chinese literacy will get a kick out of
the lavish (for the time) illustrations, photos, and advertisements
for everything from Hollywood and Shanghai movies to beauty products
and medicinal aids. No search capabilities, but each issue
has a table of contents.
Arnold Arboretum China and Tibet Photographs.
Two digital collections of photographs from botanical expeditions
also include documentation of social life and built environments
in the regions -- South Central China and Tibet: Hotspots of Diversity
and Botanical and Cultural Images of Eastern Asia, 1907-1927 (http://www.arboretum.harvard.edu/programs/eastern_asia/overview.html)
Hedda Morrison Photographs, Harvard University
5,000 photographs taken during Morrison's residence in Beijing,
1933-1946, depicting the city and other parts of north China.
Sidney D. Gamble Photographs, Duke University
More than 5,000 photographs from various regions of China and Japan
taken between 1917 and 1932 by the social scientist.
The Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr. Collection on
Muslims in China, Harvard University, http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/harvard-yenching/collections/pickens/
Over 1,000 photographs from the 1920s and 1930s of Muslims and Christian
missionaries, primarily in western China but also in Muslim communities
in the east.
Online Documentary: The Nanjing Atrocities, Masato
Originally derived from the author’s 2000 masters thesis in
the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Missouri,
this is the best-documented and most evenhanded Nanjing Massacre
site in English at present. The site has been enhanced with
brief video clips, photo galleries, and a message board. A
good starting point that can be supplemented with more recent scholarship.
Stefan Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda
Poster Pages. http://www.iisg.nl/~landsberger/index.html.
There are now several websites featuring Chinese propaganda posters
of the Cultural Revolution era and beyond, but this is by far the
most comprehensive. Artwork is helpfully organized by topic
and by artist, with useful background information on the relevant
political campaigns and citations for further reading. Move
your mouse over each poster for an English translation of the slogans.
Morning Sun, Long Bow Group http://www.morningsun.org/
A website built to accompany the Cultural Revolution documentary
of the same name, one could spend several days exhausting the resources
here. The site contains clips from propaganda films and TV
shows, sound files of songs and radio broadcasts, photos, essays
and other secondary readings, and even the record of one family’s
household confiscation. You should already know the basics
about the period to get the most out of this resource.
Tiananmen – The Gate of Heavenly Peace,
Long Bow Group http://www.tsquare.tv/.
Another website made to accompany a Long Bow Group documentary,
this one on the 1989 student protests and crackdown. Not as comprehensive
as the more recent “Morning Sun” site, but still provides
a wealth of valuable visual and audio material, and bibliographic
references. The site also documents the controversy surrounding
the film itself, a worthwhile classroom discussion point of its
China News Digest Infobase (CND 资料信息库 ) –
enter via www.cnd.org.
Several “Virtual Museums” of major events and eras can
be accessed from the Chinese or English versions of the main China
News Digest site by scrolling to the links under “Infobase”.
The Cultural Revolution and China ’89 museums are especially
valuable, as they contain many primary sources from participants
Transnational China Project, Baker Institute,
Rice University http://www.ruf.rice.edu/%7Etnchina/.
Contains curriculum resources and transcripts of commentary on major
current affairs, but students and researchers may be most interested
in the image archives, which include contemporary advertising and
consumer culture, the Three Gorges project and more.
Frontline: China in the Red http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/red/.
A website to accompany the excellent 2003 Frontline documentary
examining the changes that rapid economic modernization has wrought
upon rural and urban lives at various levels of society during the
past ten years. The site offers access to the film itself,
as well as filmmaker and interviewee bios, roundtable discussions,
multimedia presentations and links for further reading.
Gender Research Centre, Hong Kong Institute of
Asia Pacific Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/hkiaps/grc/index.html.
In addition to information on the academic and community activities
of the center – the first such research unit established in
Hong Kong – the links section provides an extremely useful
list of connections to gender studies and women’s organizations
throughout Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and beyond.
Women Web (婦女聯合網站) Women’s Rights Promotion Foundation
(婦女權益租金發展基金會) Taiwan http://www.womenweb.org.tw/.
A bilingual clearinghouse of information related to women’s groups,
activism, gender studies and more in Taiwan and in Asia more broadly.
Here users will find reports on the status of women, news, sociological
data, databases of experts and institutions, and links.
Institute for Tongzhi Studies ( 華人性別研究中心 ) http://www.tongzhistudies.org/.
The site of a research and exchange program based at the City University
of New York, and devoted to issues of gender, sexuality and the
rights of sexual minorities.
Formosa: 19th Century Images, Reed College http://academic.reed.edu/formosa/.
A digital library of engravings, woodcuts and other visual representations
of Taiwan, mostly from Europe and America. Accompanied by
an annotated bibliography of traveler’s accounts of Taiwan
in Western languages from this time period.
Taiwan Documents Project http://www.taiwandocuments.org/.
A collection of documents relating not to Taiwan in general, but
specifically to the “Taiwan Straits Situation,” i.e.
the present-day national and international status of the island
and its historical evolution. Focus is therefore on treaties,
international communiqués, and other statements of international
policy. Though the editorial commentary of the site tends
to favor independence, overall its presence is relatively muted.
Research Unit on Taiwanese Literature and Culture,
Bochum University http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/slc/taiwan.html.
Bibliographies, research notes, online publications and links in
English, German and Chinese. The disciplinary focus here is
literature, but many of the links and resources are also general
North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA)
This site mainly serves to connect scholars and announce the organization’s
annual conference, but the Links section leads to a nice variety
of academic, community, news and general cultural and social resources.
Government Information Office, Republic of China
The official site of the ROC government now dispenses quite a bit
of useful basic information on Taiwan history and culture.
Statistics, historical essays and links can be found in the “About
Taiwan” section, and the “Audio Visual” page contains
a treasure trove of contemporary and historical photos, streaming
video of political speeches, documentaries on local culture, religion
and natural history, and recorded performances, not to mention choice
artifacts of past ROC political propaganda.
Hong Kong Culture and Society Programme, University
of Hong Kong. http://www.hku.hk/hkcsp/index.html.
A wealth of resources for scholars and students to reward the assiduous
browser. Especially valuable are the sites for various Hong
Kong oral history projects, and the “Cyber Culture Express”
(CCEX) section, which contains a number of useful study guides to
Hong Kong history and society. Some project pages are bilingual;
some are available in either Chinese or English only.
In addition to the general international human
rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights
Watch, the following focus particularly on issues related to greater
Human Rights in China http://www.hrichina.org/public/index.
This is a Chinese NGO in exile, with offices in New York and Hong
Kong, and extensive networks within China. Their bilingual
website offers reports on current work, publications, and some archival
China’s Human Rights www.humanrights-china.org
Worth exploring to gain an understanding of how a counter-narrative
of human rights to that of the international NGOs has been constructed
by official sources in China. A bilingual site sponsored by
the China Society for Human Rights Studies, a government-sanctioned