East Asia Library acquires several large new Western-language databases

East Asia Library

The East Asia Library has recently purchased several important database collections of Western-language historical materials that are now available for Stanford users to access.  These databases include documents digitized from collections held at the British Library, the Second Historical Archives of China, and a number of other libraries and archives.

  • China and the Modern World - Formerly called China from Empire to Republic, this is a series of digital archive collections sourced from preeminent libraries and archives across the world, including the Second Historical Archives of China and the British Library.  It contains two prominent collections:
    • Missionary, sinology, and literary periodicals: A collection of 17 English-language periodicals published in, or about, China during a period of over 130 years, extending from 1817 until 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded. This corresponds to the periods of the late Qing Dynasty and the Republican Era (1911-1949), when China experienced radical and often traumatic transformations from an inward-looking imperial dynasty into a globally engaged republic with modern approaches to politics, literature, education, public morality, and intellectual life.
    • Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China: This collection provides primary source material for the study of China and its relations with the West in the late Qing and Republican periods. The records in this collection, including official correspondence, dispatches, reports, memoranda, and private and confidential letters, offer evidence of Chinese life, the economy and politics through the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, the Revolution of 1911, the May 30 Movement, the two Sino-Japanese Wars, and the Chinese Civil War.
  • China, America, and the Pacific - China, America and the Pacific explores the cultural and trading relationships that emerged between America, China and the Pacific region between the 18th and early 20th centuries. Sourced from twelve North American libraries that include the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum and the Massachusetts Historical Society, China, America and the Pacific offers unique insights into the history of North American trade. Coverage includes the Old China Trade, the Pacific Northwest fur trade, the whaling industry and the development of Pacific trading centres such as Hawaii. Manuscripts, rare printed sources, visual images, objects and maps from international libraries and archives document this fascinating history.
  • China: Culture and Society - The core of China: Culture and Society is the pamphlets held in the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia housed in the Carl A. Kroch Library of Cornell University. Mostly in English and published between c. 1750 and 1929, and amounting to around 1,200 items in 220 bound volumes. The pamphlets have all been digitised in colour and are full-text searchable. Types of material in the collection include: addresses and speeches, annual reports, assessments, catalogues, essays, examinations, guides and manuals, inquiries and studies, journals, lecture notes, letters, magazine articles, minutes of meetings, notes and records.
  • Foreign Office Files for Japan - Provides full-text searchable access to formerly restricted top level discussions and correspondence from the British Embassy and consulate in Japan. Includes memoranda, reports, minute sheets and correspondence, along with detailed assessments of key events, speeches and topics of special interest. Includes Japan-specific files from the FO 371 and FO 262 series and is supplemented by files from the Western and American Department papers in FO 371.
  • Meiji Japan - Edward Sylvester Morse Papers were given to the Peabody Museum in 1926 and consist of 99 boxes of personal and professional papers including diaries, correspondence, research files, drawings, lecture notes, publications, scrapbooks and manuscripts. Collection digitized in its entirety. Papers (ca. 1858-1925, 40 cubic feet), document the numerous and valuable contributions made by Morse to the areas of malacology, zoology, ethnology, archaeology and art history. Included are diaries, scrapbooks, correspondence, research files, drawings, manuscripts, publications and teaching materials and drawings.

Several other recently purchased database collections also contain material related to East Asia:

  • Church Missionary Society Periodicals, Module 2: Medical Journals, Asian Missions and the Historical Record: 1816-1986 - Module II focuses on the publications of CMS medical mission auxiliaries, the work of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society among women in Asia and the Middle East, newsletters from native churches and student missions in China and Japan, and ‘home’ material including periodicals aimed at women and children subscribers. Learn about the Society’s role in vaccination programmes in Africa, campaigns against foot-binding in China and against child-marriage in India, and the effects of natural disasters, revolution, war and changing political regimes on Christian communities and Europeans far from home.
  • Socialism on Film - Sourced from the British Film Institute (BFI), this collection of documentary, newsreel and feature films reveals the world as seen by Soviet, Chinese, Vietnamese, East European, and Latin American filmmakers. Ranging from the early 20th century to the 1980s, material encapsulates the themes of war, revolution, news, current affairs, culture and society. This project makes available the superb ETV-Plato Films collection put together by the British communist Stanley Forman in the years after the Second World War - produced almost exclusively in the communist world and then versioned into English for distribution in the West. The majority of the footage is previously unseen and provides an essential repository of research material for the study of key political and social events of the 20th century.

Stanford librarians are happy to work with students, faculty, and other researchers who are interested in learning more about these resources, including providing training and consultation on integrating archive material into teaching and research.  Datasets for some of these resources are also available.  For more information, please contact Joshua Capitanio at the East Asia Library.