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East Asian Library Electronic Resources: English Databases

Comprehensive listing and description of databases available through the East Asian Library

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Current trials and free access

There are currently no trials for English databases.

Ancient and Early Medieval Chinese Literature Online: A Research Guide

Reference guide on Chinese literature from ca. 700 B.C.E. to the early seventh century C.E. Alphabetically organized, it contains entries on major and minor writers, literary forms and Chinese literary terms. Includes detailed bibliographic and source information.

Archives Unbound

Also known as the Declassified Documents Reference Service. These Digital collections of historical material on many topics include manuscripts, printed books and periodicals, and government documents. The material comes from the U.S. National Archives, the U.K. National Archives, and many other libraries and archives. East Asian topics include:

East Asia

  • Earl George Macartney Collection - (letters, journals, logbooks 1792-1794)
  • Papers of Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929)
  • 19th Century English-Language Journals from the Far East
  • European Colonialism in the Early 20th Century: German Colonies in Asia and the Pacific: From Colonialism to Japanese Mandates (1910-1929)
  • Records of the Far Eastern Commission (1945-1952)



  • Evangelism in China: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, (1837-1911)
  • The Chinese Recorder and the Protestant Missionary Community in China (1867-1941)
  • Papers of American Missionaries to Asia: Missionaries associated with Fujian and Taiwan (1889-1976)
  • Papers of American Missionaries to Asia: Jay C. and Lucile C. Oliver and YMCA China (1905-1979)
  • Papers of American Missionaries to Asia: Arthur M. Guttery and YMCA China (1919-1981)

Chinese Maritime Customs

  • Chinese Maritime Customs Service Publications (1859-1948)
  • Chinese Maritime Customs Service: The Customs’ Gazette (1869-1913)
  • Service Lists and Reports of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and Whangpoo Conservancy Board (1890-1943)


  • Shanghai International Settlement: Urban Planning and Development (1845-1948)
  • Minutes of the Shanghai Municipal Council (1854-1943)
  • Policing the Shanghai International Settlement (1894-1945)
  • Shanghai Municipal Council: The Municipal Gazette (1908-1942)
  • Papers of Old Shanghai: Societies and Clubs (1860s to 1940s)
  • Papers of Old Shanghai: Press, Education, Healthcare, and Charity (1863-1949)
  • Papers of Old Shanghai: Business, Banking, and Insurance (1870s-1940s)
  • Papers of Old Shanghai: Social Shanghai (1906–1912)
  • Papers of Old Shanghai: Miscellanies (1920s-1940s)

International Politics

  • Papers of British Consulates and Legation in China (1722-1951)
  • Political Relations Between China, the U.S. and Other Countries (1910-1929)
  • German Foreign Relations and Military Activities in China (1919-1935)
  • Political, Economic, and Military Conditions in China: Reports and Correspondence of the U.S. Military Intelligence Division (1918-1941)
  • China: Records of the U.S. Department of State (1930-1939)
  • China: Records of the U.S. Department of State (1940-1944)
  • Country Intelligence Reports on China (1941-1961)
  • Records of the U.S. Information Service in China: Chinese Press Reviews and Summaries (1944-1950)
  • General George C. Marshall's Mission to China (1945-1947)
  • China: Records of the U.S. Department of State (1945-1949)
  • Chinese Civil War and U.S.-China Relations: Records of the U.S. State Department's Office of Chinese Affairs (1945-1955)
  • Records of US State Department’s Division of Chinese Affairs (1944-1961)
  • Subject Files of US State Department’s Office of the Republic of China Affairs (1951-1978)
  • Tiananmen Square and U.S.-China relations (1989-1993)


  • Economic Cooperation Administration’s Relief Mission in Post-War China (1946-1948)
  • Records of the National Council for United States-China Trade (1973-1983)

Biographic Material

  • Norman Bethune Papers (1911-2000)
  • FBI File on Owen Lattimore



  • Evangelism in Japan: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions (1859-1911)

International Politics

  • Political Relations and Conflict between Republican China and Imperial Japan: Records of the U.S. State Department (1930-1939)
  • Japan: Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to Political Relations (1930-1939)
  • Japan: Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to Political Relations (1940-1944)
  • Japan: Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to Political Relations (1945-1949)
  • Country Intelligence Reports on Japan (1941-1961)
  • Japan at War and Peace : U.S. State Department Records on the Internal Affairs of Japan (1930-1949)
  • Japan: U.S. Naval Technical Mission (1945-1946)
  • Japan and Korea: Summation of Nonmilitary Activities (1945-1948)
  • Records of the Far Eastern Commission (1945-1952)
  • Japan: Records of the U.S. Department of State (1950-1959)

Japanese American Internment

  • Japanese-American Relocation Camp Newspapers: Perspectives on Day-to-Day Life
  • Japanese American Internment: Records of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
  • Final Accountability Rosters of Japanese-American Relocation Centers (1944-1946)


  • Japan: Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to Commercial Relations (1910-1949)
  • Japan: Records of the U.S. Department of State Relating to Commercial Relations (1950-1963)
  • Japan-U.S. Economic Relations Group Records (1979-1981)


  • Evangelism in Korea: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions (1884-1911)
  • Korea: Records of the U.S. Department of State (1930-1963)
  • Country Intelligence Reports on Korea (1941-1961)
  • Japan and Korea: Summation of Nonmilitary Activities (1945-1948)

Bibliography of Asian Studies

The on-line version of the Bibliography of Asian Studies contains more than 700,000 records on all subjects (especially humanities and social sciences) pertaining to East, Southeast, and South Asia published worldwide from 1971 to the present. Through the 1991 printed version, the BAS included citations to western-language periodical articles, individually authored monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies, and Festschriften, etc. Since 1992, newly published individual monographs are no longer being added to the database, and users seeking monographs are urged to consult other general resources and databases.

The online BAS contains the full data of all printed editions of the BAS issued from 1971 up to the 1991 edition (published 1997), as well as thousands of entries compiled since. To quickly bridge the gap in coverage from 1991 to the present, the BAS staff have identified the most important 100+ periodicals in Asian Studies, and have given these high priority for indexing to make their coverage as up-to-date as possible. For any particular journal, full information on years of coverage should be provided through the Journal Title Browse function, although this part seems often out of sync with the rest of the database.

You can search by phrase in specified field, can combine searches, and can specify your desired display, with or without diacritics; a downloadable font is provided. You can limit your searches to specific countries. Subject searching is also provided, but subject ranges are broad and have changed over the years. If you need assistance, consult the Western bibliographer (contact info found in the right column of this page).

Print back to 1946 at Firestone Reference (DR) & East Asian Library: (GEST) Z3001 .B49. Prior title covering 1936-40 at Gest Z3001.xB8; Cumulative bibliographies covering 1941-65 at GEST Z3001.C94 & Z3001.C93.

Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23 – 220 AD) Online

Biographical reference work for early China this biographical dictionary complements Michael Loewe's acclaimed Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Former Han and Xin Periods (2000). Compiled by Rafe de Crespigny, the dictionary includes more than 8,500 biographical entries based on historical records and surviving inscriptions. The entries, including surnames, personal names, styles and dates, are accompanied by maps, genealogical tables and indexes.

Biographical Dictionary of the Qin, Former Han and Xin Periods (221 BC - AD 24) Online

Biographical reference work for early China with almost 6,500 entries compiled by Michael Loewe. The work draws on primary historical sources as interpreted by Chinese, Japanese and Western scholars and is supplemented by archaeological finds and inscriptions.

Brill's Encyclopedia of China

A basic introductory encyclopedia to (largely, but not exclusively, modern) China, primarily for undergraduates. A paper version is also available. This work is the English adapted version of an original German-language encyclopedia, and most entries are written by well-known scholars (e.g., the Qing entry is written by Pierre-Etienne Will.)

Cambridge Histories Online

This database contains full-text searching of all Cambridge Histories, usually with up to a year delay after the print publication. You can search in all or specific titles, and download individual chapters as needed. The Cambridge history of China, The Cambridge history of Japan, and The Cambridge history of ancient China are included.

China, America and the Pacific

An extensive range of archival material connected to the trading and cultural relationships that emerged between China, America and the Pacific region between the 18th and early 20th centuries. Manuscript sources, rare printed texts, visual images, objects and maps document this fascinating history.

The resource includes a wide range of manuscript, printed and visual primary-source materials as well as other key features to support research and teaching. One can use the fully searchable interactive chronology to discover facts and world events, explore voyages to China using an interactive map, find out about different merchants and the companies they formed in the Merchant Biographies and view online exhibitions to find out about aspects of the collection. A helpful tour of the collection is available.

China: Culture and Society

China: Culture and Society is a full-text searchable database of the often colorful pamphlets held in the Wason Collection of Cornell University, written mostly in English and published between c. 1750 and 1929. Types of material in the collection include addresses and speeches, annual reports, catalogues, examinations, guides, lecture notes, letters, magazine articles, minutes, etc. Some possible themes to be explored are: the arts, the Chinese diaspora, education, the foreign presence in China, foreign relations and diplomacy, governance, international conflict, language and literature, leisure, missionaries, opium, rebellion and revolution, science and medicine, trade, and travel and exploration.

China Multilingual Journals

The CMJ (China Multilingual Journals) database includes journals published in China for foreign consumption: Qiushi (2009-, English), China Pictorial/ Ren min hua bao (1999-2006, English and Chinese), Jinmin Chūgoku (Japanese, 1953-2007), Beijing Review (Peking Review; English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, 1958-), and China Today (English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese , 1952-2007). Images and news items can be searched for separate from articles.

China: Trade, Politics and Culture

This database is based mainly, but not exclusively, upon the holdings of the Library of the School for Oriental and African Studies and the British Library. It consists of all kinds of English-language textual and visual sources relating to China and the West, with key documents relating to the Chinese Maritime Customs service, letters, diaries, color paintings, maps, drawings, photographs, and fully searchable missionary periodicals such as the Chinese Recorder. Important subjects treated include the Amherst and Macartney embassies, the Opium, Boxer, Russo-Japanese and Sino-Japanese wars, events such as the Taiping Rebellion, and the Rape of Nanking, and the missionary movements.

Chinese-English Dictionary Online

This is the on-line version of Brill's A student's dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, which since its appearance has quickly established itself as the major dictionary for pre-1000 Classical Chinese in the English-speaking world. The Dictionary was compiled by Paul W. Kroll, Professor of Chinese at the University of Colorado, assisted by a small team of scholars including William Baxter, William G. Boltz, David R. Knechtges, Y. Edmund Lien, Antje Richter, Matthias L. Richter, and Ding Xiang Warner. 8,330 individual characters are included, with an abundance of alliterative and echoic binomes (lianmianci 連綿詞), assorted technical terms in various fields, and the identification of hundreds of plants and animals. The dictionary is meant to cover only the period from approx. 500 BCE to 1000 CE, not later usage; the various appendices, including one with reign eras and exact accession dates of emperors given according to both Chinese and Western calendars, are therefore restricted to the same period.

Chinese and English Newspapers of Modern China Comprehensive Collection

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.

CNKI Journal Translation Project

The CNKI Journal Translation Project provides English translations from the most important articles from a carefully selected group of Chinese academic journals. A wide variety of fields is covered, from humanities and social sciences to exact sciences including medicine, with international studies featured:  archaeology and cultural relics, biology, chemistry and materials,  ecology, agronomy, economics, finance, education, physical culture, engineering technology, ethnology, religion, geoscience, management, mathematics, physics, medical science, politics, law, military, psychology, sociology and demography. The original Chinese is also included.

Selection and translation is done by specialists in the field from all over the world. Each article has an abstracts and press release. Articles on current hot topics can also be accessed through special folders.

Colonial Period Korea Online

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)

Current Digest of the Chinese Press

The Current Digest of the Chinese Press offers a weekly collection of Chinese press materials in English translation. Articles cover politics, international relations, security, economics, business, public health, environment, education, and culture. Included articles originate from major state news sources including Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily (Online and Print), and People's Liberation Army Daily.  All articles are full-text searchable. Coverage starts from 2012.

Other sources for Chinese news in English translation are Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) for 1941-1995 and World News Connection for 1995-2013.


Digital Dictionary of Buddhism

Charles Muller's Digital Dictionary of Buddhism includes in addition to Chinese, Japanese and Korean information, also Indian, Tibetan and other references. The link goes to the wider Resources for East Asian Language and Thought Web page; the restricted digital dictionary is available from that page.

Digital National Security Archive (East Asian Parts)

Below are listed the modules of the ProQuest Digital National Security Archive that are related to East Asia:


  • US Intelligence and China: Collection, Analysis, and Covert Action, 1945-2010
  • China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960–1998


  • Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, Part I, 1960–1976
  • Japan and the U.S.: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, Part II: 1977–1992
  • Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, Part III, 1961–2000


  • The United States and The Two Koreas, 1969–2000
  • The United States and the Two Koreas, Part II: 1969–2010

Diplomacy and Political Secrets (China and the Modern World 3)

Diplomacy and Political Secrets comprises over 4,000 China-related historical documents selected from the following India Office Records: the Political and Secret Department Records, the Burma Office records, and the Records of the Military Department. These documents consist of manuscripts and monographs in the form of reports, memoranda, correspondence, pamphlets and official publications, intelligence diaries, accounts of political and scientific expeditions, travel diaries, handbooks and maps, reflecting the security concerns of British India regarding the frontier regions of China bordering British India (Xinjiang, Tibet, and Yunnan.) They range from 1869 through the cooperation between China and Britain during WWII.

Dissertation Abstracts (ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: Full Text)

Access to citations and abstracts for every title in the Dissertation Abstracts database, including those on East Asia. Dissertations written from 1997 forward are available full text; many earlier ones as well. The database includes citations to dissertations from 1861 to those accepted last semester. Citations for dissertations and master’s theses published from 1980 forward have abstracts.

Encyclopedia of Buddhism

Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive overview of the languages of China and the different ways in which they are and have been studied. It provides authoritative treatment of all important aspects of the languages spoken in China, today and in the past, from many different angles, as well as the different linguistic traditions they have been investigated in.

Encyclopedia of Taiwan Studies Online


Full-text database of many major national and regional newspapers, including selected full-text and abstracts of many industry and general interest publications, as well as web pages. Includes many publications from East Asia and Asia in general, both in English as in original languages. Specify searching material in Japanese, simplified and traditional Chinese scripts by choosing the appropriate language in "Publications-by language", add by clicking on the triangle that code to your search, and then search directly in characters. make sure to first set the "Language setting" at the bottom of the page to "All languages" by clicking the X after English, if English is set as the default.

Includes among others: China Daily (1993- ), People's Daily Online (Chinese, English, Japanese) (2010- ), South China Morning Post (1984- ), Xinhua News Agency (Chinese, English) (1989- ).

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports

Translation service of the U.S. Government, usually attributed to the Central Intelligence Agency. It covered political, military, economic, environmental and sociological news and commentary, as well as scientific and technical information between 1941 and 1996 (the earliest years of this range are still to be added at the moment of writing this note). Searchable by region or country. For later years (1995-2013) see World News Connection. No later years will be made available.

Companion to FBIS is the Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) an English-language archive (1957-1995) of U.S. government translations of foreign scientific, technical, and social science monographs, reports, journal and newspaper articles, and radio and television broadcasts:

Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980

The database "Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980" contains complete digitized images of all British Foreign Office files dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during published during the period 1919-1980. There are six subsections: 1919-1929: Kuomintang, CCP and the Third International; 1930-1937: The Long March, civil war in China and the Manchurian Crisis; 1938-1948: Open Door, Japanese war and the seeds of Communist victory; 1949-1956: The Communist revolution; 1957-1966: The Great Leap Forward; and 1967-1980: The Cultural Revolution.

Foreign Office Files for Japan, 1919-1952

This collection makes available British Foreign Office files dealing with Japan between 1919 and 1952. There are three subsections: Japan and Great Power Status, 1919-1930, Japanese Imperialism and the War in the Pacific, 1931-1945, Occupation of Japan, 1946-1952.

Consisting of diplomatic dispatches, correspondence, maps, summaries of events and diverse other material, this databases collects documents from the FO 371 and FO 262 series and a smaller selections of the FO 371 Western and American Department and Far Eastern papers. The content has been digitized and is full-text searchable.

Grand Ricci Online

Le Grand Ricci is to all purposes the most comprehensive bilingual dictionary of Chinese (into French) in the Western world. It covers three millennia of the Chinese language, from the Classics to the modern age, and is encyclopedic in its scope. The compilers were able to draw on the full range of French sinological expertise in completing the project, and has paid especially attention to specialized terms in a wide variety of fields (religion, medicine etc.) It contains 13,392 main entries (single characters) and 280,000 expressions (or Chinese words composed of a set of characters). Entries can be looked up by Chinese character, by romanization (pinyin), by radical and strokes, and by the total number of strokes.

History Vault (East Asian parts)

Below are listed the modules of the ProQuest History Vault database that are related to East Asia:

CIA Cold War Research Reports and Records on Communism in China and Eastern Europe, 1917-1976
This module consists of two major series of records: CIA Research Reports from 1946–1976 and records collected by Raymond Murphy on Communism in China and Eastern Europe from 1917–1958. Beginning in 1946 with reports of the CIA's predecessor, the Central Intelligence Group; The module includes reports on security, international questions, and biographical reports (including profiles of relatively unknown leaders). The Murphy Collection provides information on war recovery efforts, international aid, and the formation of countries and substantial information on the Chinese Communist Party.

Confidential U.S. State Department and Diplomatic Post Special Files, Asia, 1945–1966
Contains documents State Department officials considered too sensitive or important to forward to the general Central Files. The set of State Department and Diplomatic Post records covers the U.S. occupation of Japan following World War II, development of postwar Japan, the San Francisco Peace Conference of 1951, and economic conditions in Japan; the Korean War, peace negotiations, U.S.-Korea relations, and the rebuilding of South Korea after the end of fighting in the Korean War; military and economic relations between Japan, Korea, and the U.S. in the 1950s.

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Asia, 1960–1969
These modules collects exclusively those U.S. State Department Central Files that have not been microfilmed by the National Archives: special reports on political and military affairs; studies and statistics on socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; court proceedings and other legal documents; cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers; and countless translations of high-level foreign government documents. The countries covered in this module are: China, Far East (general), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Philippine Republic, and Vietnam.

Immigration: Records of the INS, 1880–1930
The files cover Asian immigration, especially Japanese and Chinese migration, to California, Hawaii, and other states.

Japanese American Incarceration: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942–1946
The Records of the War Relocation Authority document the day-to-day running of the relocation camps from 1942–1946. The collection is organized by relocation center.

Hong Kong, Britain and China 1841–1951 (China and the Modern World 4)

A collection of documents from the British Colonial Office on colonial Hong Kong, providing detailed information on the political, military, social, economic, and external development of Hong Kong in the context of modern China, the British Empire in Asia, and the international politics of East Asia.

Textual Analysis Tools allow for the identification and visualization of patterns, trends, and relationships, while the applied HTR (Handwritten Text Recognition) allows handwritten documents to be full-text searchable.

Hongkong Weekly Press Online

Imperial China and the West (1815-1881, part I & II)

Digitized in two parts from the FO 17 series of British Foreign Office Files held at the UK National Archives, Part 1 of Imperial China and the West provides General Correspondence relating to China from 1815–1905. The FO 17 series provides a vast and significant resource for researching every aspect of Anglo-Chinese relations during the nineteenth century, ranging from diplomacy and war, to trade, piracy, riots and rebellions within China, international law, treaty ports and informal empire, transnational emigration, and translation. The files provide archival sources which cover the Canton System, the Opium Wars of 1839–1842 and 1856–1860, and the presence of Britain and other foreign powers in China in the 19th century. The hand-written documents of FO 17 have been processed with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology, as well as item-level information drawn from the Foreign Office Indexes in series FO 605.

A detailed review of this database and its content is available from the Journal of East Asian Libraries

Japan Chronicle Weekly

The English-language Japan Chronicle Weekly (1902–1940) is the newspaper of record for Japan’s engagement with modernity and its emergence, through war, political and social upheaval and seismic social change in East Asia, onto the world stage in the first half of the twentieth century.

Founded and based in Kobe, the well-informed, controversial but always readable Chronicle provides a unique perspective not only on the settler communities in Japan and East Asia but also to the historical development of East Asia as it happened.

The weekly Commercial Supplement is included.

For other views, please also consult the Japan Times

Japan Times

The Japan Times is the only English newspaper database in Japan that daily reported on Japanese people, places, and news from the world since 1897. The Japan Times merged with The Japan Mail in 1918 and purchased The Japan Advertiser and The Japan Chronicle in 1940. The Japan Times Archives database itself covers the Japan Times, from March 1897 on-wards with a a one year embargo period.

Princeton users also have access to the most current issues of the newspaper via the Japan Times website via the above link.

Please contact in case you experience problems with the subscription access via the link above.

Japanese Literature in Translation Search

Korea Pro

Korea Times 1950–2016

Lexis-Nexis Academic

Comprehensive full text database of many major national and regional newspapers, as well as legal materials, company news and country profiles. Includes English-language newspapers, magazines, news agencies and other databases including some from East Asia (such as the Xinhua General News Service, China Daily , and the South China Morning Post). It is therefore very useful to search for recent people or events often unavailable in printed reference works (e.g., a recent death date).

Currently (2015) does not include East Asian Languages, but has English language material from the region. One can do a search, and then use the geography facet to limit to e.g. East Asia; or one can set a country (no region) limit first, by clicking on “browse” (very top line, after) “source directory,” then select sources, and perform a search by clicking on the “OK, continue” button.

Meiji Japan: The Edward Sylvester Morse Collection from the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum

This English-language multidisciplinary collection contains the diaries, sketches, travel journals, scrapbooks, publications and correspondence of the polymath and collector Edward Sylvester Morse, known for his work in natural history (zoology, evolution, astronomy, methodology), ethnography (material culture, music, games, printing, Ainu, religion) and art history (including archaeology, architecture) bridging Japan and America from the 1880s to the 1920s. It was previously called America, Asia and the Pacific; the current name more accurately reflects the content.

Edward Sylvester Morse (1838-1925) was one of the earliest and most important mediators between American and Asian societies, and one of the first Americans to live in Japan (he became Chair of Zoology at the new Imperial University of Tokyo). In addition to his scientific interests, in 1882 he turned his attention to ethnology and the documentation of life in Japan before it was transformed by Western modernization. An accomplished draughtsman, his pencil and ink drawings, enliven his diaries and correspondence and make his papers a pleasure to read. Morse’s collection of Japanese pottery is still a prized possession of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and his ethnological specimens form the core of the oriental holdings at the Peabody, where he was Director from 1880 to 1916.

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.

Nikkei Asian Review

English-language economic-political weekly giving Japan's take on Asian news.

Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Also known as the Declassified Documents Reference Service. These Digital collections of historical material on many topics include manuscripts, printed books and periodicals, and government documents. The material comes from the U.S. National Archives, the U.K. National Archives, and many other libraries and archives. East Asian topics include:

East Asia

  • Missionary Files: Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Correspondence, 1846-1912 (China, Japan, Korea)
  • Missionary Files: Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Correspondence, 1846-1912 (China, Japan, Korea)
  • Missionary Files: Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Correspondence, 1912-1949 (China, Japan, Korea) Missionary Files:
  • Methodist Episcopal Church Missionary Correspondence, 1912-1949 (China, Japan, Korea)
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Singapore, Straits Settlements, 1833-1906 


  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to China, 1843-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Amoy, China, 1844-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Antung, Manchuria, China, 1904-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Canton, China, 1790-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Chefoo, China, 1863-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Chinkiang, China, 1864-1902
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Chunking, China, 1896-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Foochow, China, 1849-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hangchow, China, 1904-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hankow, China, 1861-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Hong Kong, 1844-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Macao, China, 1849-1869
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Mukden, Manchuria, China, 1904-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Nanking, China, 1902-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Newchwang, Manchuria, China, 1865-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Ningpo, China, 1853-1896
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Shanghai, China, 1847-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Swatow, China, 1860-1881
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Tientsin, China, 1868-1906
  • Notes from the Chinese Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1868-1906
  • Selected Records of the U.S. Legation in China, 1849-1931Evangelism in China: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, (1837-1911)


  • Selected Records of the U.S. Legation in Japan, 1855-1912
  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Japan, 1855-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Kanagawa, Japan, 1861-1897
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Nagasaki, Japan, 1860-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Osaka and Hiogo (Kobe), Japan, 1868-1906
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Yokohama, Japan, 1897-1906
  • Notes from the Japanese Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1858-1906
  • Minutes of Treaty Conferences between U.S. and Japanese Representatives, and Treaty Drafts, 1872
  • British Foreign Office: Japan Correspondence, 1856-1905
  • British Foreign Office: Japan Correspondence, 1906-1913: Dominance of the Genro
  • British Foreign Office: Japan Correspondence, 1914-1923: Emergence of Japan as a Pacific Power
  • Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period
  • Meiji and Taisho Eras in Photographs
  • Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures



  • Despatches from U.S. Ministers to Korea, 1883-1905
  • Despatches from U.S. Consuls in Seoul, Korea, 1886-1906
  • Notes from the Korean Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1883-1906

NK News / NK Pro (North Korea)

The NK News is an unrivaled independent, specialist database  focused on North Korea. It aims to be a one-stop-shop on North Korea, bringing together news, opinion & analysis, research tools, data, and subject specialists in one convenient place.

In addition to providing primary and secondary data on North Korea that is unavailable anywhere else, it offers research tools specifically tailored for users within government and academia.

Opinion writers include thought leaders such as B.R. Myers, Moon Chung-in, Jim Hoare, and Aidan-Foster Carter; other specialist include Dr. Andrei Lankov, Moon Chung-in, Aidan Foster-Carter, Tatiana Gabroussenko, Curtis Melvin and Jim Hoare.

Specialist journalists at NK News provide 24 hour news coverage on North Korea from locations around the world: Kosuke Takahashi (Tokyo), Subin Kim (Seoul), Chad O’Carroll (London), Rob York (Honolulu), Justin Rohlrich (New York City.

Finally, a wide-range of voices share their views and experiences about North Korea on a weekly basis. through the Ask A North Korean column.

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 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 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.

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Buddhism

Detailed annotated bibliographical guide to many aspects of Buddhism, by major scholars signing their individual articles. Links to find citations in other databases are provided. New articles are added regularly.

Oxford Bibliographies: Chinese Studies

Authoritative bibliographies on a wide variety of Chinese topics.

Party and Government Documents in English (PR of China)

The Party and Government Documents in English (PGDiE) is a unique collection of official documents in English, covering various levels of Chinese government, Communist Party of China (CPC) and National People's Congress (NPC) from authoritative sources from 1921 onwards. Featured contents include documents on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution; the Taiwan Question, the National Congress of the CPC, Five-year plans, The First session of the First National People's Congress, reports on the Work of the Government, government communiqués, government White Papers, and Policies and Activities of the Foreign Ministry. The White Papers include also documents in other languages than English (Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.)

Some of the English material is machine-translated.

Policy Commons

Policy Commons is a one-stop discovery platform for the research output of international organizations, think tanks, IGOs, and NGOs.

Pyongyang Times (2018 -

Rafu Shimpo (L.A. Japanese Daily News) Digital Archive = 羅府新報

"The Rafu Shimpo" (羅府新報, L.A. Japanese Daily News) is the preeminent and longest-running Japanese American newspaper in the United States. The paper was first published in 1903 supporting the Japanese community in Los Angeles, California and became the most widely circulated paper in the region by the 1940's. It also included a weekly English section for second generation Japanese Americans. The coverage of the Rafu Shimpo Digital Archives runs through 2018 with various resources for Japanese history and the Japanese American émigré community and its history, such as announcements of births, marriages, and deaths mainly from California. This digital archive contains content from 1914 onward, with an additional year’s worth of content added on an annual basis.

Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China (China and the Modern World 2)

The Maritime Customs Service of China was a predominantly British-staffed bureaucracy under the control of successive Chinese central governments from 1854 until 1950. At the heart of Chinese trade, communications and international affairs, it was the only bureaucracy in modern China which functioned uninterruptedly between 1854 and the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

The records in this collection - official correspondence, despatches, reports, memoranda, and private and confidential letters - constitute often unique evidence of Chinese life, economy and politics through the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, the Revolution of 1911, the May 30 Movement, the two Sino-Japanese Wars, and the Chinese Civil War.

The records are arranged into five sections: 1. Inspector General's Circulars; 2. London Office Files; 3. The Policing of Trade; 4. Semi-Official Correspondence from Selected Ports; and 5. The Sino-Japanese War and its Aftermath, 1931-1949. They are in manuscript format, and were scanned from the microfilms Princeton also possesses.

Ricci Dictionary of Chinese Law

Trilingual (Chinese, English, French) dictionary on Chinese law with approximately 24,000 legal terms. Includes ancient law. Part of BrillOnline Chinese reference library. Has separate versions in Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters.

Seoul Press Online

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.

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).

U.S. Intelligence on Asia, 1945-1991

Declassified documentary records of the U.S. intelligence community in the Far East during the Cold War (1945-1991). With focus on People's Republic of China, North Korea and North Vietnam. Also covered are Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.

World Language Map

Geographic data set of the locations of the world's 6,900 ethno-linguistic peoples.

World News Connection

Foreign News Alert Service from the U.S. Government. Compiled from thousands of non-U.S. media sources, focusing especially on local media sources. Covers significant socioeconomic, political, scientific, technical, and environmental issues and events. 1995-2013.

Other sources for East Asian news in English translation are Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) for 1941-1995 and Current Digest of the Chinese Press for 2012+.

World Newsreels Online

Streaming video of international newsreels produced between 1929 and 1966. All are accompanied by transcripts, with those in foreign languages translated into English. E.g., one of the subjects is the Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Martin Heijdra
317 Frist Campus Center

Chinese Studies

Profile Photo
Joshua Seufert
Room 314,
Frist Campus Center,
East Asian Library
Subjects: Chinese Studies

Korean Studies

Japanese Studies