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| by Arabella Holzapfel

Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

Middlebury (Vermont) users now have access to almost twenty new collections of primary source material that pertain to China, and relations between China and other nations. Resources range from ancient Chinese texts to documentation of international relations through many eras of recent history.

Ancient Chinese texts

Si ku quan shu (Complete books of the four treasuries) is the largest collection of ancient books in China’s history, spanning from the Pre-Qin period to the early Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, covering many different fields. Commissioned in 1772.

Gujin Tushu Jicheng (Imperial Encyclopaedia) is a vast encyclopedic work written in China during the reigns of the Qing dynasty emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng. It was begun in 1700 and completed in 1725.

Documents pertaining to China from the U.S. State Department

State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research Reports: China consists of reports, studies, and surveys on various topics of interest to the Department of State. The reports vary from short memorandums to detailed, documented studies.

Subject Files of the US Department of State’s Office of the Republic of China Affairs, 1951-1978 consists of briefing books, correspondence, memoranda, policy papers, reports, statistics, and other miscellaneous records from the Office of the Country Director for the Republic of China.

Records Of The US Department Of States Division Of Chinese Affairs consists of inter- and intra-departmental memoranda, reports, position papers, summaries, maps, photographs, and dispatches (from US Foreign Service officers and military personnel) relating to the internal political affairs of China and United States foreign policy toward China.

Political Relations Between China, the U.S and Other Countries, 1910-29 The collection includes instructions to and dispatches from diplomatic and consular officials; also included in these records are the correspondence, reports, and journals of the commissions concerned with extraterritoriality in China

Political Relations and Conflict between Republican China and Imperial Japan, 1930-1939 The records in this collection of the U.S. State Department are mostly instructions to and dispatches from diplomatic and consular officials

China: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1930-1949 (in four parts)

Propaganda and the Chinese press

This collection features articles published by major communist Chinese newspapers from 1946-1996, collected and translated into English by the CIA.

Other primary sources pertaining to China

General George C. Marshall’s Mission To China/1945-1947 This collection comprises the full set of records held by the National Archives in the State Department’s Lot File 54 D 270 and includes War Department records; Records of the Marshall Mission relating to Political Affairs, and much more.

Tiananmen Square and US-China Relations, 1989-1993 This digital collection reviews U.S.-China relations in the post-Cold War Era, and analyzes the significance of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations, China’s human rights issues, and resumption of World Bank loans to China in July 1990.

Papers of British Consulates and Legation in China, 1727-1951  Includes embassy archives, 1727 to 1859; trade and intelligence reports; records of legal proceedings; miscellaneous papers, some in Chinese, of the Chinese Secretary’s Office, and more.

Chinese Maritime Customs Service Publications Archive ; Chinese Maritime Customs Service: The Customs’ Gazette, 1869-1924 ; Service Lists and Reports of the Chinese Maritime Customs and Whangpoo Conservancy Board Extensive collections of documents pertaining to Chinese maritime activities from 1854 until 1949. Much of the documentation relates to Shanghai. More Shanghai-focused resources will be highlighted in an upcoming news story.

Economic Cooperation Administration’s Relief Mission in Post-War China, 1946-1948  This collection demonstrates how officials of the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) looked for economic and cultural opportunities to promote U.S.-China relations, despite the prevailing Cold War suspicions of any and all communists in the early Cold War era.

Records of the National Council for United States-China Trade, 1973-1983 This collection documents the formation of the National Council for United States-China Trade and its role in the development of U.S.-China trade, and the Council’s library holdings relating to China’s trade and economy.

Records Of The US Information Service In China: Chinese Press Reviews And Summaries/1944-1950  This collection of essential U.S. Information Service collections on the Civil War period provides a unique opportunity to understand immediate post-World War II Chinese history, comparative revolution, and early Cold War history.

German Foreign Relations And Military Activities In China/1919-1935  This collection provides documentation on Germany’s relations with China during the interwar period. Germany was instrumental in modernizing China’s industrial base and provided a military training mission and equipment for the armed forces of the Republic of China prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Media Contact

Arabella is the Electronic Resources Manager & Library Systems Specialist.