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Chinese Studies Resources - by type

Detailed directory of resources in Chinese Studies listed by type of resource

CADAL (China Academic Digital Associative Library)

CADAL (China Academic Digital Associative Library) is a government-sponsored cooperative project of some 120+ academic libraries (2020), about half of which are from China, to create electronic resources for the use of their patrons. The venture is led by and housed in Zhejiang University, and most major Chinese academic institutions such as Peking, Qinghua, Fudan and Nanjing universities were participants from the beginning. CADAL originally grew out of a China-American Digital Academic Library venture, but only from the mid-2010s  a select group of overseas libraries have received access.

The major resource created by CADAL is a collection of scanned books, both in and out of copyright: 240 thousand ancient texts (including the Xuxiu siku quanshu 续修四库全书), 180 thousand republican works, 155 thousand republican periodical issues, 40 thousand newspaper issues, 800 thousand post-1949 books, 690 thousand works in Western languages, 13 thousand special collection works, 4 thousand videos, 55 thousand audiobooks and 63 thousand images. The collection is constantly increasing. The titles are not full-text searchable; but tables of contents are provided for easy navigation. Lately CADAL has added some special sections for material connected to the Manchuria Railway 满铁 13 thousand titles, modern local gazetteers 17 thousand, material on overseas Chinese 侨批 50 thousand items, and oracle bones from various institutions including from Princeton scanned with Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) technology.

(In addition to the e-books database, the navigation bar also gives access to some other resources: calligraphic works (shufa 书法), a literary timeline (Zhongguo wenxue biannian shi 中国文学编年史), Chinese medicine (zhongyiyao 中医药), and Audio (yinpinku 音频库). Note that the video choice, available only in English, brings one to the main e-books database.)

Access to the books is dependent on the copyright status of the book: while some free access is available, especially to the ancient texts, access to in-copyright books is restricted to registered users at participant libraries: one borrows parts of books, which need to be returned in order to have them become available to other users. Hence, one first has to register (zhuce 注册), and in subsequent visits to log-in (denglu 登录). For this please select 登录/注册 from the upper right of the CADAL home page. To register then click on 快速注册. Please note that it is not necessary to add a mobile phone number 手机号 in order to the register and it is also not necessary to retrieve a verification code if one does not want to connect the personal account to a Chinese mobile phone number. The registration process can be soley finished via a valid email. After registration, the system will ask for an affiliation at the first login. Please choose IP range and select “Princeton University” as your affiliation (suozai danwei 所在单位). The system will connect your account to Princeton for 180 days. For this to work you must be either using the system from a university computer (including within the library), or access the database via the library link at the top of this database description.

Activities one performs when logged-in, including borrowing books, note-taking etc., are visible to all users from search pages etc.: hence, make sure to log-out especially on shared public computers. One is not logged out automatically, even not after days. To log-out, go to one’s personal account page (registeredname’s CADAL in the English, registerednameCADAL in the Chinese interface), and click on tuichu 推 出. This account page is available in the top navigation bar, and is also the page from where one returns  books, see one’s borrowing history, etc.  (One can choose to set the interface to English, but only a limited number of top-level screens have been translated.)

Once logged in, and directed to one’s account page, one can perform a simple search in the search box. On the resulting page, one can somewhat refine one’s search by limiting the result to title or author, and by selecting some rough facets of categories (such as ancient books or republican-period books—note that all categories are listed, even if not applicable), tags (biaoqian  标签 ) or publisher.
Under a cover image of each result, one can choose to see more details on the book, or decide to read it by clicking on the book. If choosing to read it, one is brought to a reader interface where one can display the table of contents, navigate forward and backward within a book, and change the display from one page to two pages at a time and vice versa. Printing (by right-clicking, one page at a time) does not work very well—it may be better to take screen shots.

Depending on the copyright status of the book, one will receive a request after viewing a couple of pages to check out the remainder of the chapter (jieyue 借阅). One receives a message that borrowing was successful (if the item was not borrowed by someone else), and can continue to read.

To return the chapter to the CADAL library, navigate to the borrowing page (jieyue in the top navigation bar), where one can see the status of one’s checking in-and-out. Click, if not yet selected, on the weihuan 未还button, and then return chapters by clicking on guihuan 归还 after each chapter one has checked out. And remember to log-out (also possible from this page.)

One can look at one’s notes, tags, comments, messages etc.  from the navigation bar, and there may be recommendations listed based upon one’s readings.

Chinese Newspapers Collection (1832-1953)

This database, part of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers collection, combines in one search a selection of English-language newspapers and periodicals produced in China. Major titles included are the North China Herald (1850-1941, also available as a separate database) and the Chinese repository (1832-1851), but included are also large runs of the Chinese recorder (1868-1941) and the China weekly review (1923-1950), as well as some short runs of a handful of periodicals of mainly the Republican period: the Canton Times (1919-1920), China Critic (1939-1946), China Monthly Review (1950-1953), China Press (1925-1938), Millard's China National Review (1919-1919), Millard's Review of the Far East (1919-1921), Peking Daily News (1914-1917), Peking Gazette (1915-1917), Peking Leader (1918-1919), Shanghai Gazette (1919-1921), Shanghai Times (1914-1921), and Weekly Review (1922-1923). Ads, social notices etc. are all separately indexed and searchable.

CrossAsia Integrated Text Repository (ITR)

A discovery service for full-text cross-database searching in a number of East Asian Studies databases and full-text searching in printed books.

Note: Not all databases covered in this search engine are currently subscribed to by Princeton. The title list below shows titles that Princeton has access to (in green), database for which Princeton currently uses other providers than the ones linked from Crossasia ITR (in orange), and database currently not available in Princeton (in red).

Please use the grey “Provider Link” to gain direct access to the content from the search results. Direct access will only be available for databases currently subscribed to by Princeton. The direct links will only work on campus and via VPN. Princeton NetID is not supported!

The system currently includes:

Adam Matthew - China America Pacific
Adam Matthew - China Trade & Politics
Adam Matthew - Foreign Office Files China & Japan
Adam Matthew - Meiji Japan (only metadata)
Airusheng - Local Gazetteer (1, 2)
Brill - The Japan Chronicle (1902-1940)
Brill - Mobilizing East Asia (1931-1954)
Brill - North China Daily News
Brill - North China Herald
Brill - North China Standard (1919-1927)
Diaolong - Classical Works of Japan
Diaolong - Daozang jiyao
Diaolong - Dunhuang shiliao
Diaolong - Gujin tushu jicheng
Diaolong - Qingdai shiliao
Diaolong - Sibu congkan
Diaolong - Sibu beiyao
Diaolong - Siku quanshu
Dioalong - Yongle dadian
Diaolong - Xuxiu Siku quanshu
Diaolong – Zhengton Daozang
Diaolong – Zhongguo Fangzhi yiji
Diaolong – Zhongguo Fangzhi xuji
East View - China Comprehensive Gazetteers
Gale - China and the Modern World: Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China (1854-1949)
Gale - Missionary, Sinology, and Literary Periodicals (1817-1949)
Renmin Ribao
SBB digital: Asian language collection (selection)
SBB digital: Western language Asia collection
Ta Kung Pao 大公報 (1902-1949)

Ariti - eBooks (Princeton can acquire individual titles upon request)
Brill - The Chinese Student Monthly (1906-1931)
CNKI - eBooks (Princeton can acquire individual titles upon request)
Fulltext search in print books (links to catalog of the State Library Berlin)

Adam Matthew - Area Studies: China and Southeast Asia (content mostly available in microform)
Adam Matthew - Area Studies: Japan (content mostly available in microform)
ISEAS Publishing - Asian Studies eBooks
NLC - Early Twentieth Century Chinese Books (1912-1949) (Many titles available in Princeton via CADAL)

Da gong bao = 大公報

Database of the important newspaper (1902-1949) Da gong bao (or Ta Kung Pao, L'impartial).  All editions of this newspaper (Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hankou, Hong Kong) are included. The current Ta Kung Pao was established by the government of the People's Republic of China after the Chinese Civil War. Widely regarded as a veteran pro-communist newspaper, it covered a range of political, economic and cultural topics.Full-text search; results are available in snippets or full page pdf.

Early Chinese Periodicals Online (ECPO) (free)

Hosted at the University of Heidelberg, ECPO collects newspapers and other periodicals from the late Qing and Republican era. So far the emphazis has been on Chinese Women’s Magazines in the Late Qing and Early Republican Period and Chinese Entertainment Newspapers (Xiaobao 小報).

Hongkong Weekly Press Online

Internet Archive (Historical Chinese Newspapers) (free)

The Internet Archive collects scans of various historical Chinese newspapers and journals.
A geographic discovery tool for the newspapers and journals put together by Yan He from George Washington University and is available here: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/yanhe/viz/PeriodicalsinLateQingandRepublicanEraOpenAccess/sheet2

The newspapers are not full-text searchable. Included are:
Beijing ribao 北京日報 (Peking Daily News)
Bianjiang ribao 濱江日報 (Binjiang Daily)
Dianying ribao 電影日報 (Film daily)
Funü xinduhui 婦女新都會 (Woman World Newspaper)
Guowen bao 國聞報 (Kwo Wen Pao)
Hongse Zhonghua 紅色中華
Jichang Ribao 吉長日報
Jiefang ribao 解放日報
Kangzhan ribao 抗戰日報
Libao 立報
Manshū Nippō 滿洲日報
Min Bao 民報
Minbao 民報 (Minbao - Taiwan)
Minguo ribao 民國日報 (Republic of China Daily)
Nanjing Ribao 南京日報 (Nanjing Daily)
Renimn Ribao 人民日報 (People's Daily)
Shengjing Shibao 盛京時報 (Shengjing Times)
Shibao 時報 (The Eastern Times)
Shishi Xinbao 時事新報 (China Times)
Subao 蘇報
Tiaowu Ribao 跳舞日報 (Dancing Daily)
Xin shen bao 新申報 (New Declaration Newspaper)
Xin shu bao 新蜀報 (New Sichuan Daily)
Xin Zhonghua bao 新中華報
Xinxin xinwen 新新新聞 (New New News)
Yongbao 庸報 (The Yung Pao)
Zhongyang Ribao 中央日報 (Central Daily)

Kangzhan wenxian shuju pingtai = 抗战文献数据平台

Even though this free database by the Institute of Modern History of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is mainly focused on the Sino-Japanese War and Sino-Japanese relations, it gives access to a wide range of resources from the Republican Period. These include archives, books, newspapers, journals, communist publications, audio recordings, photographs and even musical scores. Reading access is free.

Late Qing and Republican-Era Chinese Newspapers

This database collects 292 local Republican newspapers covering the period of 1911-1949. The newspapers are full-text searchable. Different from most other databases the OCRed text is visible in this database and can be copied. Included are:

東南日報 (Shanghai), 華北新報  (Beijing), 華光日報 (Nanchang), 立報 (Shanghai), 南京晚報 (Nanjing), 羣力報 (Jiaodong (Shandong)), 時事新報 (Shanghai), 實報 (Beijing), 蘇州明報 (Suzhou), 鐵報 (Shanghai), 武漢日報 (Hankou), 西南日報 (Chongqing), 新華日報 (Hankou), 新申報 (Shanghai), 中山日報 (Guangzhou), 中央日報 (Shanghai).

As a member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), Princeton University Library supports the development of this database.

Minguo wenxian daquan = 民国文献大全

This database is based on the Republican era collection of CADAL (China Academic Digital Associative Library). For this database the books, journals and newspapers from CADAL have been processed with OCR (optical character recognition) which allows full-text searching. Most of the search results from books and journals can be directly opened from 民国文献大全. Results from some journals and most of the newspapers however are currently not open to Princeton.

Missionary, Sinology, and Literary Periodicals (China and the Modern World 1)

Full-text database comprised of 17 English-language periodicals published about China from 1817 until 1950, only a few of which were available in other database previously. Major historical events such as the Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, the Revolution of 1911, the second Sino-Japanese War, the founding and development of Christian higher education in China, and the Chinese Civil War, are covered. The periodicals illuminate the thoughts of both Chinese intellectuals and Western missionaries and diplomats about China. Notable contributors include Robert Morrison, Walter Henry Medhurst, James Legge, Herbert Allen Giles, Cai Yuanpei, Wu Liande, Lin Yutang and Wen Yuanning.

Periodicals included are The Chinese Recorder (1867–1941, including its predecessor, The Missionary Recorder), The West China Missionary News (1899–1943), The China Mission / Christian Year Book (1910–1939, including The China Mission Hand-book and A Century of Protestant Missions in China), Educational Review: continuing the monthly bulletin of the Educational Association of China (1907–1938), Canton Miscellany (1831), Chinese Miscellany (1845–1850), The Chinese and Japanese Repository (1863–1865), Notes and Queries on China and Japan (1867–1869),  The China Review: or Notes and Queries on the Far East (1872–1901), The New China Review (1919–1922),  Indo-Chinese Gleaner (1817–1822),  Bulletin of the Catholic University of Peking (1926–1934, before it became the Monumenta Serica), The Yenching Journal of Social Studies (1938–1950),  The China Quarterly (1935–1941), T’ien Hsia Monthly (1935–1941),  The China Critic (1928–1946),  and The China Year Book (1912–1939).

When searching, make sure to use period-appropriate spellings: Tsai Yuan-pei instead of Cai Yuanpei or Ts’ai Yuan-p’ei.

Mobilizing East Asia

A tightly organized series of pivotal English-language newspapers, books and magazines reporting and commenting on developments in East and South-East Asia from the turn of the century to the early 1950s, showing the route from the first defeat of a major European power by an Asian nation to the calamitous defeat of that nation, Japan, systemic change in China and the onset of seismic upheaval in Asia.


Materials, sourced from hard-to-find and in some cases unique originals, include Contemporary Japan, the Japan Advertiser Annual Review, the Japan News-Week, and the Shanghai-based Israel's Messenger. More material on Manchuria, including the Manchuria Daily News (1912-1940), is being added.There are gaps for many titles, some of which had only short runs, and therefore are difficult to find anywhere.

NewspaperSG (free)

Hosted by the government of Singapore, NewspaperSG is a free website that gives access to a wide range of historical newspapers from Singapore, including Chinese, English, Malayan, and Tamil newspapers.
Titles include but are not limited to
Lianhe wanbao 联合晚报
Lianhe zaobao 联合早报
Nanyang shangbao 南洋商报 (Nanyang Siang Pao)
Xinming ribao 新明日报
Xingzhou ribao 星洲日报
Zhaonan ribao 昭南日报
Straits Times

North China Herald

The English North China Herald is the prime English-language source for the history of the foreign presence in China from around 1850 to the 1940s. It was published in Shanghai. As the official journal for British consular notifications, and announcements of the Shanghai Municipal Council, it is the point of reference for a range of foreign and Chinese activities; translations of Chinese official notifications and news were regularly included. This database is fully text-searchable.

North China Daily News Online

Published as the Daily Edition of the weekly North China Herald from 1864 to 1950 with a wartime break 1941-45, the North-China Daily News (in Chinese: Zilin Xibao 字林西報), was the most influential foreign daily in East Asia, and is the key source for the history of Western interests in China and the transnational history of East Asia. This collection offers most of the Daily edition from 1869-1949. Included are also significant runs of The North-China Sunday News Magazine, the Sunday Magazine Supplements and Special Supplements, the weekly Municipal Gazette, (organ of the Shanghai Municipal Council from 1908-1940), and a selection of rare books from the imprint of the North-China Daily News and its parent, the North-China Herald. The contents have been OCR’d mechanically (very useful though not perfect.) Also useful for more ephemeral material: advertisements, announcements, wanted notices, woman’s pages. Color is available where relevant, such as in the Sunday Magazine and Special Supplements. Much of the material is not available in its parent weekly, the North-China Herald otherwise available.

North China Standard Online

The North-China Standard (in Chinese, Huabei zheng bao 華北正報) presented Japan’s case for expansion in Asia from 1919 onwards. Despite its character as a ‘propaganda rag,’ at times it was a more serious newspaper engaged with the polemic debate about Japan’s role.  Today it constitutes a valuable source exemplifying the ‘scramble for China’ in the 1920s.It was influential also through its distribution at international conferences. The database contains issues from 1919-1927.

Old HK Newspapers (free)

The Old Hong Kong Newspapers Collection hosted by Hong Kong Central Library is a collection of major Hong Kong newspapers published from the mid 19th century to modern times.
Xianggang gongshang ribao 香港工商日報 (1926/04/01 – 1984/11/30)
Xianggang gongshang wanbao 香港工商晚報 (1930/11/16 – 1984/11/29)
Huaqiao ribao 華僑日報  (1947/05/01 – 1991/12/31)
Xianggang huazi ribao 香港華字日報 (1895/01/31 – 1940/12/31)
Xiangang huazi wanbao 香港華字晚報 (1937/01/28 – 1938/01/27)
Dagong bao大公報 (1938/08/13 –1991/12/31)
Tianguang bao 天光報 (1933/02/07 - 1940/11/30)
Xia er guan zhen 遐邇貫珍 (1853/08 – 1856/05)
Xunhuan ribao 循環日報 (1874/05/16 - 1886/01/30)
China Mail (1866/01/04 – 1961/12/29)
Hong Kong Daily Press (1864/01/04 – 1941/09/30)
Hong Kong Sunday Herald (1929/01/06 – 1950/10/29)
Hong Kong Telegraph (1881/06/16 – 1951/03/30)
Hong Kong Weekly Press (1895/01/03 – 1909/12/24)

Quanguo baokan suoyin = 全国报刊索引

The Quan guo bao kan suo yin 全 国报刊索引 (National Index to Chinese Newspapers & Periodicals) databases compiled by Shanghai Library are a group of databases giving access to articles published in Chinese periodicals from 1833 to current. Some are categorized index-only (in Chinese, pian ming shu ju ku 篇名数据库), some have the full-images of the indexed articles; the content itself is not text searchable (confusingly, and wrongly, this database is called in Chinese quan wen shu ju ku, 全文数据库). The image databases are restricted to the late Qing and Republican periods; post 1949 the database includes indexes only, and in most cases it would be better to serach the China Academic Journals database instead.

The two kinds of databases are integrated on one and the same platform. Downloadable articles show a pdf icon.

For most flexible search, click on the "search center" icon (进入检索中心.) You can then specify which database(s) to search, etc.

The full-image databases include the Late Qing and part of the Republican Periodical databases (Wan Qing qi kan quan wen shu ju ku 晚清期刊全文数据库,1833-1911, and  Minguo shi qi qi kan quan wen shu ju ku民 国时期期刊全文数据库, 1911-1949).The Late Qing databases includes more than 300 journals (270,000 articles, approximately all those published). The Republican full-image database will continue to expand in the next few years. A guide on how to best use the integrated platform is included here; you can ignore the section on “log-on”, which on the Princeton campus is IP-based and automatic.

The database also includes a large number of Chinese language newspapers that are indexed on the article title level. Full-text searches are not possible. One important feature of the database is that it indexes images (mostly news photography) and advertisements.

The index databases for the Late Qing and Republican databases are larger than the full-image databases. This database is to be complimented by the Dacheng laojiukan database. The index databases pian ming shu ju ku 篇名数据库 include more than 30 million citations.

To request articles not available in full-image please write to the Chinese Studies Librarian.

Shen bao = 申報

The Shen Bao (also spelled Shunpao) database is full-text searchable and contains PDF page images of this newspaper published from 1872 to 1949. This database, containing more than 2 million articles, works best on Internet Explorer.

Shengjing shibao (Shengjing Times) = 盛京時報 (1906-1944)

In 1906 this Japanese-owned Chinese newspaper was established in Fengtian (today's Shenyang) by the Japanese journalist Nakajima Masao. It was the highest circulation Chinese language daily newspaper and the most important instrument of Japanese press influence in Manchuria and so is a major news resource on events in North-East China. The database is part of Shanghai Library’s Quanguo baokan suoyin 全国报刊索引. Please note that it is not full-text searchable, it can only be searched on the article title level, but it also indexes advertisements and images.

Shenzhou ribao (The National Herald) = 神州日报 (1907-1946)

Established in Shanghai in 1907 this newspaper is among the first larger revolutionary newspaper published in China and was shortly among the most widely sold newspapers in Shanghai. After the foundation of the Chinese Republic the newspaper lost some of its republican fervor. The newspaper changed hands several times and was later acquired by Yuan Shikai. Its publication was interrupted between 1926 and 1937 and again between 1941 and 1945 and finally seized publication in 1946. The database is part of Shanghai Library’s Quanguo baokan suoyin 全国报刊索引. Please note that it is not full-text searchable, it can only be searched on the article title level, but it also indexes advertisements and images.

South China Morning Post (1903-1995)

Major English-language newspaper in Hong Kong from the very beginning of the 20th century. Issues after 1995 are available in the regular newspaper databases, such as ProQuest Central, Factiva, LexisNexis, and Wiser’s News. Alternative titles used over the years include South China Morning Post & the Hongkong Telegraph and for the Sunday editions, South China Sunday Post-Herald, South China Sunday Morning Post, and Sunday Post-Herald.

Tabloids 小報 (1897-1949)

The Tabloids (1897-1949) is a sub-section of the Quan guo bao kan suo yin 全國報刊索引 (National Index to Chinese Newspapers & Periodicals). This section gives access to more than 400 individual titles of tabloids form the collections of Shanghai Library. The database includes among other titles like Youxi bao 《遊戲報》, Shijie fanhua bao 《世界繁華報》, Jingbao 《晶報》, Fuermosi (Holmes)《福爾摩斯》Luobinhan (Robin Hood)《羅賓漢》, Libao《立報》and Shehui ribao《社會日報》. These popular newspapers are a great resource for research into popular culture and modern city life in late Qing and Republican China. Much more than broadsheet newspapers the tabloids are focusing on leisure, entertainment, literature, film, theater and dance and also offer the latest gossip.  Please note that the database is not full-text searchable, it can only be searched on the article title level, but it also indexes advertisements and images.

Taiwan Shinminpō

Available on the traditional Chinese computer in the Catalog Room are the Chinese-language editorials from 1932-1935 of this Japanese-language newspaper. Some Japanese-language appendices (評壇) and (月曜評壇), and the serial 中國經濟與帝國主義的攻勢 are also available.

Translations of the Peking Gazette Online

English translations of official edicts and memorials from the Qing dynasty dating from the Macartney Mission in 1793, to 1912. The translations are from contemporary English-language sources such as the Indo Chinese Gleaner, the China Mail or the North China Herald, and ultimately go back to items published in the Peking Gazette (Jing bao).

Xin Wen Bao (Sin Wan Po) = 新聞報, 1893-1949

Along with Shen Bao, this early Shanghai newspaper was one of the most widely circulating Chinese newspapers in Shanghai during the Republican period. The newspaper was established by Chinese businessmen in Shanghai, with the British businessman A.W. Danforth as general director, and Cai Erkang as Editor-in-chief. In 1899 John Calvin Ferguson gained ownership and appointed Wang Hanxi as general director. The newspaper includes the famous literary supplement Kuai Huo lin 快活林 (published from 1914, from 1932 published as Xin yuan lin 新园林). The supplements are part of the database. Please note that it is not full-text searchable, it can only be searched on the article title level, but it also indexes advertisements and images.

Yi shi bao (Social Welfare) = 益世报 (1915-1949)

The newspaper was founded by the Belgian priest Frédéric-Vincent Lebbe in Tianjin on October 1st, 1915.  On September 15, 1937, it was forced to suspend publication until December 8, 1938, when it resumed in Kunming. On March 24, 1940, it relocated to Chongqing, and after the Second Sino-Japanese War, it resumed publishing in Tianjin on December 1st, 1945, until its closure in January 1949. The database is part of Shanghai Library’s Quanguo baokan suoyin 全国报刊索引. Please note that it is not full-text searchable, it can only be searched on the article title level, but it also indexes advertisements and images.

Zhongyang ribao (Central Daily News) 1928-1949 = 中央日報

A database with pdf's of single pages of the 1928-1949 issues of the Zhongyang Ribao (Central Daily News), Taiwan. You can search by heading keywords or dates.