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HIST 147B: Modern China (Hu): Primary Sources

Primary Sources for the History of China, Japan, and Korea

Depending on your topic and the time period you are interested in, you will use different types of primary sources:  documents, letters, speeches, memoirs,literary texts, photographs,  articles written at the time, etc.  You  also need to find the documents in English translation.  Fortunately, there are several collections of documents related to the history of China that have been collated, translated,  and published.   In addition many primary sources have been digitized and made available on the web.   Below are some examples.

How to Search the Web for More Primary Sources

  If you do a Google search, be sure to add the terms "primary sources" or "documents" or "archives" to your search:

For example:  

  • China and cultural revolution and documents
  • China and women and primary sources

Be careful when you find primary documents on the web.  You need to make sure that the site is a reliable one (university, research project, etc.) and that the source of the document is cited.

What is a primary source?

Not sure about the difference between primary and secondary sources? Watch this video:

Primary Sources on the Web

The sources listed on the right are  examples of what's available in the library.  You can also find many primary sources on the web.  Here are just a few examples:

Chinese Pamphlets:  
Political Communication and Mass Education in the Early Period of the Peopole's Republic of China

The East Asian Collection
More than 500 historic photographs of China

Historical Photographs of China
More than 1000 photographs of China from the mid 19th to mid 20th century.

Hong Kong Government Reports Online (1842-1941)
Digital collection of four major government publications

Ling Long's Women's Magazine
Women's magazine published in Shanghai 1931 - 1937.