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Chinese Studies: Home

A guide to resources for the study of China

Introduction to China Related Resources in the HBLL

This page provides general information about accessing China-related resources in both Chinese and English.  

Clicking the tabs near the top of this page will take you to more specialized research guides.


The CNKI Database (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) is an indispensable database for finding full-text scholarly articles in Chinese. Use this database to access 1,574 academic journals in Chinese that focus on literature, history, and philosophy.

Finding Secondary Scholarship & Primary Sources

A List of Useful Databases for Finding Scholarly Articles

Use the databases listed below to search for scholarly articles on your research topic.  Hovering over the "info" icon  will reveal detailed information about each database. For some very helpful tips on how to conduct a successful database search, click Here.

TIP: Use multiple databases when searching for articles related to your research project as each database has different coverage and unique features.

Google Scholar Search

The CNKI Database (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) is an indispensable database for finding full-text scholarly articles in Chinese. Use this database to access 1,574 academic journals in Chinese that focus on literature, history, and philosophy.

Wangfang COJ

China Online Journals (COJ) by Wanfang Data provides access to thousands of scholarly articles from Chinese academic journals. Topics covering include Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Computer Sciences, Medicine, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Most articles can be downloaded directly to your device from the site. Searching is done in Chinese. 

National Social Sciences Database (Chinese Journals)



National Social Sciences Database (China) Provides current access to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) core journals. Many journals provide full text links to article PDF files, others just provide citations (use Interlibrary Loan to get a copy of the article). To make use of some features, and to download some full text articles, you will need to create a personal username and password.




Airiti Library: Search this database to find citations for articles published in academic journals from Taiwan. After discovering an article you want, order it through Interlibrary Loan; this database does not provide access to full text articles.

Open Access Records for Chinese Studies Open access digitized Chinese texts, journal articles, and books from China, Japan, Macau, and Hong Kong.

The Chinese Text Project is an extensive online, open-access, full-text searchable, digital library of pre-modern Chinese texts from the four major categories of the Chinese bibliographic tradition: (Classics 經, Philosophy 子, History 史, Literature 集)

Visualizing Cultures: Image Driven Scholarship was launched at MIT in 2002 to explore the potential of the Web for developing innovative image-driven scholarship and learning. The mission of Visualizing Cultures is to use new technology to reconstruct the past as people of the time visualized the world (or imagined it to be). Topical units to date focus on Japan in the modern world and early-modern China.

China, America, and the Pacific (18th–20th Centuries). This database contains 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. Maintained by Adam Matthews Digital.

Asia and the West: 19th Century Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange. 19th Century British Foreign Office and United States consular and diplomatic records from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. These records reflect the day-to-day activities with the indigenous populations, the expansion of trade, the exercise of extraterritorial rights and treaty provisions, and a substantial selection of missionary correspondence and journals Maintained by Gale-Cengage.

Empire Online World Empires from 1492-1969. Includes a wealth of primary sources including manuscripts, rare printed materials, letter books, missionary papers, slave papers, travel writing, periodicals, diaries, photographs and more. Supplementing the primary sources are secondary resources such as essays, interactive maps, chronology and an image gallery. Materials in the collections spans five centuries, charting the story of the rise and fall of empires, gathered from a wide range of reputable institutions, with a core from the British Library. Maintained by Adam Matthew Digital.

The China Mission History Repository holds original materials and reproductions relevant mainly to the history of Roman Catholic missionary activities in China from the late-imperial era to the present.


The North China Herald Online Newspaper (1850–1940) is the prime printed source for the history of the foreign presence in China from around 1850 to 1940s. No other newspaper existed over such an extended period or covers the era with such depth and variety. Full-text searchable.

The Chinese Foreign Policy Database maintained by the Wilson Center Digital Archive enhances the ability of contemporary observers and historians to gain broader perspectives on Chinese policies. Agregating 1000s of documents from Chinese and international archives, it offers insights into China’s foreign policy since 1949 and its relationship to ideology, revolution, the economy, and traditional Chinese culture. The Database is supported by the MacArthur Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Happy Family Chairman Mao PortraitChinese Propaganda Posters 

Click on "Themes" to view posters related to such topics as "The Long March," "The Sino-Japanese War," "The Great Leap Forward," "The Cultural Revolution," Mao Zedong and other leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, Models and Martrys, Working Women, Villains, etc.

Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1: From Earliest Times to 1600 (2000). A collection of seminal primary readings on the social, intellectual, and religious traditions of China compiled by Wm. Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom. This anthology is divided into four chronological parts, beginning with the earliest Chinese writing—bronze age Oracle-Bone inscriptions of the late Shang dynasty (1571-1045 BC)—and continuing through the end of the Ming dynasty (1644 AD). A substantial part of the volume is dedicated to the Neo-Confucian revival of the Song and Ming.

The China Journal (1995–present) The China Journal is a cutting-edge source of scholarship, information and analysis about China and Taiwan. TCJ has published informed and insightful commentary from China scholars worldwide and stimulated the scholarly debate on contemporary China for more than thirty years. Interdisciplinary in scope, TCJ provides deep coverage of important anthropological, sociological, and political science topics.

The China Quarterly (1960–present) The China Quarterly is the leading scholarly journal in its field, covering all aspects of contemporary China including Taiwan. Its interdisciplinary approach covers a range of subjects including anthropology/sociology, literature and the arts, business/economics, geography, history, international affairs, law, and politics. Edited to rigorous standards by scholars of the highest repute, the journal publishes high-quality, authoritative research, keeping readers up to date with events in China. 

Journal of Asian Studies (1956–present) The Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed empirical and multidisciplinary work on Asia, spanning the arts, history, literature, the social sciences, and cultural studies. Coverage includes South and Southeast Asia, China, Inner Asia, and Northeast Asia, JAS welcomes broad comparative and transnational studies as well as essays emanating from fine-grained historical, cultural, political, and literary research. The journal also publishes clusters of papers that present new and vibrant discussions on specific themes and issues.

Journal of Contemporary China (1992–preent) The Journal of Contemporary China is a peer-reviewed journal providing exclusive information about contemporary Chinese affairs for scholars, business people and government policy-makers. The journal's fields of interest include economics, political science, law, culture, literature, business, history, international relations, sociology and other social sciences and humanities.

Foreign Affairs (1922–present) is a leading forum for the serious discussion of American foreign policy and global affairs. Published by the non-profit and nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Foreign Affairs tolerates a wide difference of honestly held and convincingly expressed opinion. Its articles do not represent a consensus of beliefs. CRF believes that Foreign Affairs can do more to guide American public opinion by a broad hospitality to divergent ideas than it can by identifying itself with one school.


Full-text, digital access to The New Yorker magazine (1992–present). Paper copies are available in the library covering 1933–2018 at this call number AP 2 .N6763 in the periodicals reading room (Level 2 North).

Full text access digital access to The Atlantic (1988–present). EBSCO Academic Search Premiere provides full color PDF files of each article.

Foreign Policy (1970–present) is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. 

Asian Affairs (London; 1970–present) covers the whole region of Asia—Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia. The journal generally consists of articles on specific countries, locales, or historical episodes, as well as contemporary affairs. The Journal favors articles of a practical and general character above those which are highly technical, or which concentrate on academic theory. A substantial section of each issue consists of book reviews of new publications.

ProQuest Global Newsstream provides one of the largest collections of full-text news resources from the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Australia covering content from 1980 to the present. You can set a date range to get the most recent news. You can also limit your search to specific newspapers by title.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers provides full-text searchable content ranges from 1849 to 2005. The newspapers indexed in this database include: the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as well as the Atlanta Constitution, Austin American Statesman, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Toronto Star.

Free Access to the current issue of the New York Times is available to BYU students and faculty. You will need to create a free account using your email address. To access news about China, type "China" In the search box of the NYT homepage.

Renmin ribao 人民日报 (The People's Daily) is the most influential and authoritative newspaper in China. It is the official voice of the central government of the People's Republic of China for the last 71 years, the People's Daily has published daily issues that provide the single location where the central government and the Communist Party of China announce their respective policies and disseminate governmental, political, and economic messages to the public and the world. Click for the English version of the site.


On July 1, 2006, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China approved the launch of “The People’s Network” (Renmin wang 人民网, the Chinese Communist Party News Network) hosted by The People's Daily Online, which became an authoritative website for propagating and introducing the Chinese Communist Party's ideas, theories, policies, and information.

Historical Newspaper Archives

Historical Newspaper for Expats in China (1850–1940)

The North China Herald Online Newspaper (1850–1940) is the prime printed source for the history of the foreign presence in China from around 1850 to 1940s. No other newspaper existed over such an extended period or covers the era with such depth and variety. Full-text searchable.

ProQuest's Alexander Street is the world’s leading provider of academic streaming media to libraries. They have partnered with top video producers around the world to deliver more than 60,000 video titles across all disciplines. They are particularly strong in the fields of anthropology, history, diversity studies, theatre, film, music, dance, news, current affairs, and the social sciences. For video related to Asian Studies, click Here.

FRONTLINE produces works of investigative journalism that both question and explain complicated and controversial aspects of our modern world. Frontline has been one of American television’s top long-form news and current affairs series since 1983. They have won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 91 Emmy Awards and 22 Peabody Awards. You can watch more than 200 documentaries online, for free, any time.

Kanopy partners with public libraries and universities to stream thoughtful entertainment to your preferred device with no fees and no commercials. Click the logo above and log in with your BYU NetID to enjoy Kanopy's diverse catalog with new titles added every month. You can search for films on Asian topics and in Asian languages.

An extensive collection of streamable documentary video. Maintained by Infobase.

Sydney D. Gamble Photography Collection, Duke University

Sidney D. Gamble (1890-1968), sociologist, renowned China scholar, and avid amateur photographer, began taking pictures in China during his first trip to the country with his family in 1908. He returned three more times between 1917 to 1932 and continued photographing the daily life of Chinese citizens. He traveled throughout the country to collect data for social-economic surveys and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside. Gamble used a few of the photographs from his extensive collection in his scholarly publications and in slide lectures, the majority of images were never published or exhibited during his lifetime.

Historical Photographs of China is an open-access resource for more than 8,000 digitized photographs taken in China between 1850 and 1950.  Users may search or browse across the collections and conduct Boolean searches, refining results by date, viewing geo-tagged map results, and exploring connections between results. Users may download images of interest and save them to "My Workbench."

Searching for Books in Chinese

How to search for a book in Chinese:

Use Pinyin or Chinese Characters 漢字 to search the Library Catalog for author or title.

If you search by Pinyin, leave a space between every syllable except when searching with place names.


Pinyin Title Search: San guo yan yi  NOT  Sanguo yanyi

Pinyin Title Search that Includes a Place Name: Zhongguo NOT Zhong Guo; Henan NOT He Nan

Additional Research Help

For additional help, try these excellent resources from the BYU Library:

China Websites

Asian Studies Librarian

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Tim Davis
I am happy to meet with you in person or virtually to help you with any research questions.

Office: 5449 HBLL
Phone: 801-422-4061

Get Help

Humanities Reference
Level 5
Hours: M-Th: 8am-9pm; 
F: 8am-6pm; Sat:10am-6pm


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Asian Collection 4th Floor Map (Click to Enlarge)

Chinese Reading Database

Call Numbers for Books About China

Your research process should always involve Browsing the Book Stacks.

Books on similar topics are shelved next to each other.  If you visit a call number location in person, I guarantee you will find relevant materials that you did not know existed.

All Chinese Language Books are found in the Asian Collection on the 4th Floor. Click the map at the right for details. ---->

English language materials about China are located in several different parts of the library as noted below (in parentheses).

Call number categories are the same for materials in the Asian Collection and English language materials shelved in other parts of the library.

BL 1900 Daoism (2nd Floor, Religion & Family History Library)

BQ Buddhism (2nd Floor, Religion & Family History Library)

DS 700–799 History of China (1st Floor, Social Science Library)

GR 335–340 Fables, Myths, Legends, Folklore (1st Floor, Social Science Library)

JZ 1730–1734 Chinese Politics and Government (1st Floor, Central Stacks)

PL 1001–3300 Chinese Language and Literature (5th Floor, North Stacks)