The Society for Qing Studies has developed a number of resource collections to aid researchers. We hope to continually add to this section in order to provide a comprehensive collection for scholars studying the Ming-Qing eras. Please contact the editors if you have any feedback on these resources or if you have additional resources to recommend.
Using On-line Public Digital Libraries and Free Databases for Research on Late Imperial China
Ting Zhang, Ph.D. Candidate, Johns Hopkins University
July 28, 2011
Scholars of late imperial Chinese history are increasingly able to make use of digitized books and documents. More books have been digitized and many institutions, including both libraries and archives, are offering open access to their newly digitized holdings. In China, Japan, and the United States, major libraries and archives have put at least some of their digital holdings into searchable databases making them not only abundant and accessible but remarkably easy to use and making possible research of a type that would have been unimaginable even in the relatively recent past. Even were one to have had the financial wherewithal to visit all of these institutions in person, locating specific information in unpunctuated string-bound books would have been a daunting task. Because these resources have been made available relatively recently, they may not be familiar to colleagues. Here, I offer a brief introduction to the open-source on-line digital libraries and databases which I have found useful for research on the history of late imperial China.