Chinese Resources

This list of Electronic Resources for Research on Late Imperial Chinese History was compiled by Ying Zhang, Ting Zhang, and Ke Ren with additional contributions from  Bruce Rusk. Emily Mokros provided the latest round of additions and edits. 

Subscription-Based Full-text (Chinese History Specific)

Link
Chinese Name
Notes

Digital Gazetteers (National Library of China)
数字方志-中国国家图书馆
This NLC database of historical gazetteers can be used outside of China provided you have a NLC reader card.

Republican-era Periodicals (National Library of China)
民国期刊-中国国家图书馆
This NLC database of Republican-era publications can be used outside of China provided you have a NLC reader card.

Scripta Sinica (Academia Sinica)
中央研究院-漢籍電子文獻
Academia Sinica: Scripta Sinica includes 25 histories, Taiwan local histories, Jingshi wenbian, and other materials. (Full text searchable) Some resources require subscription (such as the 25 histories), some do not (such as the Jingshi wenbian).

Palace Memorials and Grand Council Archives (NPM, Taiwan)
清代宮中檔奏摺及軍機處檔摺件全文影像資料庫
Searchable database of Qing palace memorials and archives of the Grand Council. Searchable by date, author, subject (brief), etc. No subscription required to search database, but subscription required to access full documents. Links to Ming-Qing biographical database. An individual account (with some limitations on printing) can be purchased cheaply (500NTD/year). Individual links to NPM-hosted biographical database.

Grand Secretariat Archives (Academia Sinica)
內閣大庫

Both free and paid editions. Free access allows one to search the Grand Secretariat Archives by name, position, subject, or item number. "Subject" is often a lengthy excerpt from the text. Paid subscriptions give access to images of the full document, some of which are damaged and cannot be viewed. A small plug-in may need to be downloaded before the image viewer will work properly. Individual results link to the Ming-Qing biographical database.

Zhongguo jiben guji
中國基本古籍庫
Access can be purchased by institutions, no free portals on the web. Purveyor is Erudition (爱如生). A guide to the database contents is posted on the website of 爱如生. Individual results link to the Ming-Qing biographical database.

Dacheng
大成老旧刊全文数据库
Access can be purchased by institutions, no free portal on the web. Dacheng a database of scanned articles of over 7,000 Chinese journals and magazines from the late Qing Dynasty (pre-1911) through the Republican period (1911-1949).

Non-Subscription Full-Text Sources

Link
Chinese Name
Notes

China-US Million Book Digital Library Project
高等学校中英文图书数字化国际合作计
Uses scanned PDF images and does not support full text searching. A good source for local gazetteers of Ming-Qing.

Chinese Text Initiative (University of Virginia Library)
 
Incomplete, but includes 300 Tang Poems, Gu Yao Yan ,Shi Jing, Hong Lou Meng, Yu Xuan Ji, Lienü zhuan, with some in bilingual editions.

Digital Gujin tushu jicheng (NPM and Soochow University, Taiwan)
數位古今圖書集成
Full-text searchable digitized edition of this important Qing dictionary project, scanned from the YZ 4 copy held at the National Palace Museum.

Ming-Qing Women's Writings (McGill University and Harvard-Yenching Library)
明清婦女著作
Contains digitally scanned images of 90 titles of collections of writings by women from the holdings of the Harvard-Yenching Library.

Chinese Maritime Customs Digitization Project (Harvard Univeristy)
中國舊海關資料
99 works from the Maritime Customs collection, dating from late Qing through early twentieth century. Links to fully digitized books in Harvard Library catalog, which can be browsed and downloaded in high quality PDFs by any user.

Fu Ssu-nien Library-Harvard Yenching Library Chinese Rare Book Digitization Project (Harvard University)
哈佛燕京圖書館中文善本特藏(傅斯年圖書館合作計劃)
273 "unique or rare Chinese works" digitized from the Harvard-Yenching collection. Links to fully digitized books in Harvard Library catalog, which can be browsed and downloaded in high quality PDFs by any user.

Harvard-Yenching Library Bao Juan 寶卷 Collection
 
86 bao juan digitized, 74 from the Hanan collection, and 7 Ming-dynasty titles. Links to fully digitized books in Harvard Library catalog, which can be browsed and downloaded in high quality PDFs by any user.

National Library of China-Harvard Yenching Library Chinese Rare Books Collection
哈佛燕京图书馆中文善本特藏(中国国家图书馆合作计划)
Growing online digital archive of the entire set of rare books (善本) in the Harvard-Yenching Library, including 4,200 titles in 52,000 volumes. Note that the link provided does not access the entirety of the digitized collection due to limits on search parameters. Links to fully digitized books in Harvard Library catalog, which can be browsed and downloaded in high-quality PDFs by any user.

Harvard-Yenching Library Manchu 滿洲 rare books digitization project
 
Links to fully digitized books and manuscripts in Harvard Library catalog, which can be browsed and downloaded in high quality PDFs by any user.

Harvard-Yenching Library Mongolian 蒙古 rare books digitization project
 
Links to fully digitized books and manuscripts in Harvard Library catalog, which can be browsed and downloaded in high quality PDFs by any user.

Qing and Republican Documents Collection, Kyoto University
 
Searchable and indexed image files for almost 300 Qing and Republican items, including contracts and other private and official documents.

Siku quanshu on archive.org
欽定四庫全書
Scanned image files of entirety of the Siku quanshu, not OCR'd, so not full text searchable.

Taiwan Periodicals (National Central Library, Taiwan)
國家圖書館期刊文獻資訊網
 

Chinese Christian Texts Database (KU Leuven)
 
Bibliographical list of primary and secondary sources on cultural contacts between China and Europe, 1582 to ca. 1840.

Digital Archive of Tōyō Bunko Rare Books
『東洋文庫所蔵』貴重書デジタルアーカイブ
Digital archive of references on the Silk Road, including 203 rare books.

Chinese Entertainment Newspapers (xiaobao) (Heidelberg)
 
Database and scholarly guide to Chinese entertainment newspapers, ca. 1890s-1930s.

Colonial Taiwan Online Archives
臺灣總督府檔案
 

Taipics.com
 
Over 7000 historical Taiwan pictures, largely from 1895-1945. No longer updated.

Blogs, Forums, and Institutional Sites

Link
Notes

Dissertation Reviews
Features short, non-competitive peer reviews of recently completed dissertations, as well as a periodically updated series of field notes: "Fresh from the Archives."

China Beat (now defunct)
Now defunct, but with its full archive online, The China Beat was a group blog on academic issues and current events in China from 2008 through 2012.

UCSD Modern Chinese History
Maintained by faculty and graduate students at the University of California, San Diego, and featueing book reviews and historiographical esays, bibliographies, and source guides. Last updated in 2010.

Transnational China Project (Baker Institute, Rice)
Maintained by the faculty in Chinese at the Baker Institute at Rice University, the best features of this site are large image archives and curriculum resources for the study of modern and contemporary Chinese society and culture. Last updated 2010.

Frog in a Well
Academic group blog by scholars in Chinese history "broadly defined."

MCLC Resource Center (Ohio State and MCLC)
Offers several comprehensive bibliographies on modern Chinese literature, film and media studies, education, author/writer biographies, “e-books,” as well as links to numerous course websites on Chinese culture, history, literature and film.

Manchu Studies Group

This website houses a variety of digital resources (texts, links, dictionaries, bibliographies, etc...) useful for researchers working with Manchu language materials in fields, including (but not limited to) history, literature, linguistics, philology, anthropology, religious studies, art history, folklore, material culture, and cultural studies.

Catalogs

Link
Chinese Name
Notes

CALIS
学苑汲古:高校古文献资源库
Union catalog for old and rare book collections at many universities in China, and include some full-text images. Possible to browse by various parameters. Does not work with VPNs.

EVOCS-European Virtual OPAC for Chinese Studies (Heidelberg)
 
Union catalog for Chinese studies collections in European libraries. Search in pinyin.

UK Union Catalog of Chinese Books
 
Union catalog for Chinese books in British libraries. Search in pinyin or simplified characters.

NPM Archival Volumes
清代文獻檔冊目錄資料庫
General site of NPM archival volumes cataloged online and/or digitized; not exhaustive.

Webcat Plus (Japanese University Libraries)
 
Union catalog of university libraries in Japan.

Rare Books, Shanghai Library
上海图书馆-古籍书目查询
Catalog of rare and old books held at the Shanghai Library. Search in simplified or traditional characters.

Union Catalog of Premodern Chinese Books in Japan
全國漢籍データベース(日本所藏中文古籍數據庫)
Possible to search in Chinese or Japanese.

Archives

Link
Chinese Name

Archives, Institute of Modern History (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
中研院近史所檔案館

Second Historical Archives of China
中国第二历史档案馆

First Historical Archives of China
中国第一历史档案馆

Scholarship and Bibliography

Link
Notes

Elman Bibliography
 

Ming Studies Bibliography (Taiwan)
 

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS)
 

Nineteenth Century Books on China
Based on Cordier's Biblioteca Sinica, 1904-07, and Supplement, 1921, and the British Library collections.

Reference Tools and Databases

Link
Chinese Name
Notes

Electronic Index to the Early Shenbao (Institution of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg)
 
An online index of important articles from the first decades of Shenbao (1872-1895). Article titles are in Chinese character and Pinyin. It also provides a brief content summary of each title in English. The index is freely accessible, the full-text database is not, and institutional access must be purchased through Green Apple (link) or Erudition (link).

National Palace Museum Biographical Database
清代檔案人名權威資料查詢
Database of biographical information for individuals found in archival materials held at National Palace Museum, Taiwan; links to NPM's other databases. Database's search function only supports traditional characters. No subscription required.

Academia Sinica Biographical Database
明清人物傳記資料查詢
Database of biographical information for individuals found in archives held at Academia Sinica, Taiwan (currently nearly 18k records). Links to Academia Sinica's other databases. Database's search function only supports traditional characters. No subscription required.

Chinese-Western Calendar Conversion Tool (Academia Sinica)
兩千年中西歷轉換
Conversion of dates between Chinese and Western calendars.

Library of Congress Romanization Guide
 
Handy guide to pinyin romanization standards and exceptions.

CHGIS (Harvard)
地理圖史
China Historical GIS Project, database of populated places and historical administration units for imperial Chinese history (221 BCE-1911 CE); provides base GIS platform for resaerchers.

Chinese Civilization in Time and Space (Taiwan collaborative project)
中華文明之時空基礎架構
Contains search portals for historial place names, bibliography of local gazetteers, and maps.

Chinese Names of Western Scholars
 

Directory of Chinese names of Western-based scholars of China, compiled and maintained by Philip Clart, University of Leipzig.

Glossary of Terms in Chinese Bibliography
版本學
Useful list of terms used in traditional Chinese bibliography.

China Biographical Database Project (CBDB) (Harvard)
中國歷代人物傳記資料庫
Online relational databse with biographical information for over 128,000 individuals, based on the work of Professor Robert M. Hartwell.

Qing Gazetteers of Taiwan
台灣地方志寶鑑

This neat site indexes 21 Qing-era gazetteers for Taiwan and its administrative districts; a database of "products" (wuchan 物產) allows you to search and browse by product, date, or locale, and access transcriptions from the text.

Song Research Tools
 
Research guide for work in Song History (no longer updated). The site is based on Peter Bol's Research tools for the study of Sung history, of which it is the third edition.

Online Dictionaries

Link
Chinese Name

Chinese Character Search (Kyoto University)
漢字検索

Lin Yutang Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage (CUHK)
林語堂《當代漢英詞典》

Handian
汉典

Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants (Taiwan MOE)
異體字字典

Dictionary of Taboo Characters
唐以後帝王避諱名表

Other Lists of Online Resources

Link
Chinese Name
Notes

National Palace Museum Online Text Resources
圖書文獻處資料庫
List of online portals to digitized archival resources maintained by the National Palace Museum. Some require subscription to use, some do not.

Digital Resources for Chinese Studies (Harvard)
 
Harvard-hosted guide for research in Chinese Studies.

CrossAsia
 
Portal and resource hosted at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, especially useful for European users.

Digital Resources from A to Z (Institute of Chinese Studies, Heidelberg)
 
Extremely extensive searchable list of digital resources. Items listed as "local" not available to remote users. Items listed as "CrossAsia" only listed to users with CrossAsia login.

Library Guide to East Asian Studies (JHU)
 
Research guide to online primary sources hosted at Johns Hopkins.