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The following are some of the most extensive and useful websites for libraries and archives specializing in resources contributing to the study of China.  It is not an exhaustive list of all Chinese-language collections, but covers many of the major ones, especially those useful for the study of modern history.  Also included are the web pages of some smaller college libraries that have made considerable efforts to build both their Asian studies collections and sets of tools for students and librarians newly acquainted with the field.  For a more comprehensive listing of East Asian libraries around the world, visit the websites of the library associations below, or UCLA’s links page:

The subject guides of East Asian libraries are often the best places to find up to date references to print and online resources in the subject areas introduced in this website; I encourage users to browse these sites on a regular basis.  In addition, UNESCO maintains two extremely valuable pages:  the UNESCO Libraries Portal and the UNESCO Archives Portal  Guides to general and topic-specific resources and links to worldwide sites can be found in both these places.

Library Associations and Union Catalogs

Council on East Asian Libraries  Here users will find a directory of East Asian libraries in North America and links to their websites, the very handy “Ask an East Asian Librarian” online reference service, and several extensive portals to internet resources on Asia and China as filtered and evaluated by librarians.  Be sure to consult the individual page of the Committee on Chinese Materials as well as the main CEAL site.

Chinese Academic and Library Information System (中国高等教育文献保障系统) Library and information systems news and access to online union catalogs for member institutions (organized by educational level and resource type.) Chinese language only.

European Association of Sinological Librarians Information on and links to member libraries, the SSELP union catalog of Chinese-language periodicals, and more.

Major Chinese Collections and Reference Sites

North America:

C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley This major new library building brings together what was previously two collections.

Rudolph East Asian Library, University of California, Los Angeles

C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University

Wason Collection on East Asia, Cornell University

Harvard-Yenching Library, Harvard University;
Fairbank Center collection, H.C. Fung Library, Harvard University Harvard’s main East Asian collection is housed in the Harvard-Yenching library, with the Fairbank collection specializing in the economics and politics of contemporary China.

Library of Congress, Asian Reading Room

Asia Library, University of Michigan

Gateway Service Center of Chinese Academic Publications, University of Pittsburgh This service will assist researchers in obtaining full-text articles in Chinese-language academic journals unavailable in the United States.

East Asian Library and the Gest Collection, Princeton University

East Asia Library, Stanford University

Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, University of Toronto


Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (中国社会科学院), Beijing.

Fudan University Library, Shanghai (复旦大学图书馆)

Nanjing University Library (南京大学图书馆)

National Library of China (中国国家图书馆), Beijing

Peking University Library (北京大学图书馆) 

Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (上海社会科学院)

Shanghai Library (上海图书馆)

Hong Kong:

University Library System, Chinese University of Hong Kong (香港中文大學)

Fung Ping Shan Library (馮平山圖書館), Hong Kong University

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library (香港科技大學圖書館)


Academia Sinica Library Service (中央研究院圖書館服務) Start with this general section (available in both the Chinese and English versions), but information on specific libraries can also be found via the pages of the relevant individual research institutes, accessed by browsing

National Central Library (國家圖書館)

National Taiwan University Library (國立台灣大學圖書館)

Links to other library websites in Taiwan (via NTU site) 

Europe and Australia:

Asia Pacific -- Menzie Precinct, Australian National University See also Coombsweb, an online research portal and home of the Asian Studies WWW Monitor:

Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg


Users are recommended to start with the following two print sources: 1) Endymion Porter Wilkinson, Chinese History: a Manual (Revised & enlarged edition. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center for the Harvard-Yenching Institute; dist. by Harvard University Press, 2000); 2) Ye Wa and Joseph W. Esherick, Chinese Archives: An Introductory Guide (Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1996).  Then proceed to the Chinese archives site at UCSD: This gives updated information to the Ye and Esherick guide, user reports, and links.  Finally, below are websites for some of the major repositories of Chinese archives.

Jindai Zhongguo waijiao (近代中國外交) A comprehensive guide to archival holdings in Taiwan, China and abroad on Chinese foreign relations, as well as information on important institutions and figures, and the results of ongoing research projects undertaken by the Academia Historica and the Institute of Modern History, Academic Sinica. Chinese-language site.

Academia Historica (國史館), Sindian, Taiwan Holdings for the Qing,  history of the Republic of China and for Taiwanese history. Extensive website with searchable online catalogue covering a good portion of the holdings, access to a growing digitization project, and lists of monographs, reprints and other publications.

Beijing Municipal Archives (北京市档案局/馆)

KMT Party Archives (中國國民黨黨史館), Taipei, Taiwan  Holdings on the history of the KMT and to some extent the CCP, but also Chinese periodicals and newspapers from the Republican era. Microfilms of some holdings are being deposited in the Hoover Institution, below.

Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University Holdings focusing on twentieth century politics and society, and also China and Taiwan materials in its poster collection.

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica (中央研究院歷史語言研究所), Taiwan  Holdings in the archives of the Qing Grand Council (內閣).

Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica (中央研究院近代歷史研究所), Taiwan (Chinese) or (English). Holdings primarily in economic and diplomatic history.

National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院), Taiwan. Information on the museum’s holdings of Qing palace memorials and military archives, rare books, genealogies, etc., digitization projects, and some materials and search engines are already accessible online. More is available through the Chinese version of the website, linked above, although the English site provides basic access and collection information.

Repository of National Historical Materials (國家歷史資料庫) A research portal being developed by Academia Historica and the National Digital Archives Program to provide direct access to materials on Taiwan's postwar history. Site includes simple and complex search capabilities as well as hotlinks for popular names and keywords. Chinese-language only, registration required.

State Archives Administration of China (中华人民共和国国家档案局) Archives regulations, news and limited directories, including very basic information on the central national archives.
• First Historical Archives (第一历史档案馆), Beijing. contains catalog descriptions for the major categories of its holdings of Ming and Qing records, as well as information on publications and scholarship, and links to other major archives.
• Second Historical Archives (第二历史档案馆), Nanjing. Republican holdings, including the Beijing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Wang Jingwei governments. The Chinese-language site is more extensive than the English version; web search capabilities include the tables of contents of the journal Republican Archives, but not, as yet, the archival holdings themselves.

Shanghai Municipal Archives (上海档案信息网) Perhaps the most extensive archival website in China. Features include online exhibitions of documents and photos, searchable indexes to archival holdings and online services for registered users. A few corners of the website are available in English.

Sichuan Provincial Archives (四川省档案馆), Chengdu Important holdings range from the Qing Baxian archives and records of self-strengthening enterprises to central and local government records from the anti-Japanese and civil war periods. The website also provides information on county and company archives, but doesn't function in all browsers.

Suzhou Municipal Archives (苏州市档案局/馆)

Taiwan Historica (國史館台灣文獻館), Nantou Archives and exhibition space for Taiwan history before retrocession, including records from the Japanese colonial administration. Digitization projects are underway, and some holdings can be searched online.


  Copyright 2004 The China Gateway. All rights reserved. Questions, comments, and content submission should be directed to Rebecca Nedostup at
China in Boston Culture and History China at BC Travel and Study Abroad
China in Boston Culture and History China at BC Travel and Study Abroad