East Asia Collection (Wason) / China

Historical Documents (Western Languages)

China: Trade, Politics and Culture 1793-1980
Catalog Title: China: Trade, Politics and Culture
This database includes full-text English-language sources related to the historical interactions between China and the West during the period of 1793-1980 from the British Library, the University of London Library, Cambridge university Library, Duke University Library, Yale Divinity Library, the British National Archives, the National Library of New Zealand, the Church Missionary Society, and the Council for World Mission Library. 
China, America and the Pacific: Trade & Cultural Exchange
Catalog Title: 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. Manuscripts, rare printed sources, visual images, objects and maps from international libraries and archives document this fascinating history.
China: Culture and Society
Catalog Title: China: Culture and Society
The China: Culture and Society database is the digitized China Pamphlet Collection held in the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia housed in the Carl A. Kroch Library of Cornell University. The collection contains 1,215 pamphlets in 216 volumes, mostly in English and published between c. 1750 and 1929. The materials contained in the Wason Pamphlet Collection are extremely rare. Their writers were Western diplomats, government officials, missionaries, merchants, scholars, sailors, and travelers. Their works, in the form of letters, journals, reports, notes, records, meeting minutes, speeches, lectures, essays, and magazine articles, represent early Westerners’ observations of China, Chinese people, and Chinese culture. These materials touch on myriad aspects of China, including its philosophy, religion, governments, laws, taxation, trade, industry, commerce, transportation, communication, education, literature, language, social life, social upheavals, political struggles, and international relationships. They cover the vast expanse of the Chinese territory, from its political center in Beijing to its remote frontiers neighboring Himalayan nations and Russian Siberia and from its bustling treaty ports in the coastal areas to its rather isolated towns and villages in the heartland. As a whole they depict a vivid panoramic picture of Chinese society in the 19th century and the early 20th century. The collection also contains first-hand accounts of Western contacts with China during this period involving travels and adventures, missionary work, charitable activities, diplomatic maneuvers, military operations, foreign settlements, export and import trade, foreign investments, mining, opium smuggling, and the coolie trade. These materials possess an important research value of providing an excellent insight into the Western perception of China as the country made the slow transition from a traditional society into one of the modern time.
British Foreign Office Files for China 1949-1980 (FO371 and FCO 21)
Catalog Title: Foreign Office Files for China

The six parts of this collection make available all British Foreign Office files dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan between 1919 and 1980.

  • 1919-1929: Kuomintang, CCP and the Third International
  • 1930-1937: The Long March, civil war in China and the Manchurian Crisis
  • 1938-1948: Open Door, Japanese war and the seeds of communist victory
  • 1949-1956: The Communist revolution
  • 1957-1966: The Great Leap Forward
  • 1967-1980: The Cultural Revolution

The revolution which overthrew the millennia-old imperial system heralded a period of turmoil in China which would last for the best part of forty years. Encapsulated by the rivalry between the Nationalist Chiang Kai-shek and the Communist Mao Zedong, the turmoil of warlordism, competing governments, civil wars and Japanese invasion ended only when the Communist Party emerged as masters of a reunified China in 1949. Throughout most of this period the major European powers, the United States and Japan maintained considerable political and economic interests in China, most notably in the foreign concessions in Shanghai and other ‘treaty ports’. The years following the communist revolution were to see upheavals of a similar magnitude, as the civil war was followed by the economic chaos and mass starvation of the Great Leap Forward, and then Mao’s efforts to return to prominence through the socio-political alterations of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Due to the long-unique nature of the relationship between Britain and China, these formerly restricted British government documents, consisting of diplomatic dispatches, letters, newspaper cuttings, maps, reports of court cases, biographies of leading personalities, summaries of events and diverse other materials, provide unprecedented levels of detail into one of the most turbulent centuries of Chinese history.

Digital National Security Archive (DNSA) China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960-1998
Catalog Title: Digital National Security Archive
China and the United States: From Hostility to Engagement, 1960-1998 is one of the collections in the Digital National Security Archives database that provides public access to the declassified U.S. government documents. The over 2,000 original, full-text documents derived from a number of different sources, including the U.S. State Department, the CIA, the Commerce Department, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
The Earl George Macartney Collection
This is a collection of a great variety of records related to Earl George Macartney's historic mission to China during 1792-1794. The mission was dispatched by King George III of Britain in the name of congratulating Emperor Qianlong's 83rd birthday. The mission's goals included the opening of new ports for British trade in China, the establishment of a permanent embassy in Beijing, the cession of a small island for British use along China's coast, and the relaxation of trade restrictions on British merchants in Guangzhou (Canton).
Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) daily reports1974-1996 
Catalog Title: Information Service (FBIS) daily reports
This database includes the United States’ principal record of political and historical open source intelligence covering the period of 1974-1996.