Asian Archives and Resources






Frank Glass (Li Fu-jen) online archive - including bibliography, provided by the Marxists Internet Archive (Glass was a prominent Trotskyist who travelled in China as a journalist and who helped to establish the Communist League in China, see also MIA’s ‘Chinese Trotskyism’ section of their Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line)

Henk Sneevliet collection - HS represented the Comintern in China in 1921-23 (using the pseudonym Maring), online archive of documents relating to GMD, CCP, Sun Yat Sen etc.


China Coast Family History (University of Bristol) -  includes links and resources for finding individuals and groups, including information on probate (wills), staff lists of the Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs Service, directories and burial lists

Fordham East Asia Sourcebooks - translated sources on “cultural origins,” “religious traditions,” “imperial china,” “the western intrusion,” “China's disaster,” “China since World War II,” and “East Asian Genders and Sexualities”


China Digital Times - online resources for contemporary China, includes insightful reporting, news in translation, the Grass Mud Horse lexicon of Chinese net-speak, collated banned and sensitive words, leaked censorship instructions by Chinese authorities, and a collection of translated news-making citizen-authored pieces under Netizen Voices

Chinese Record - online access to this missionary newspaper, 1868-1941

Ling Long Women's Magazine (published in Shanghai, 1931-1937)

Peking Review, 1958-2006 - provided by the Marxists Internet Archive (Chinese propaganda publication published in English for international audiences)


Transnational China Project Image Archive: “China's Public Advertising Culture Spiritual Civilization, Local Development, Privatization and Public Service”

Cambridge Digital Library, for rare Chinese books and artwork (better for those with Chinese language skills)

China Heritage - blog, journal and resources on Chinese culture and contemporary events

China Posters Online - University of Westminster (see below for information on using the archive in person)

The Chairman Smiles - International Institute of Social History collection, Soviet, Chinese, and Cuban posters

The East Asia Image Collection - archive of digitized images of imperial Japan (1868-1945), its Asian empire (including China) (1895-1945) and occupied Japan (1947-52), Lafayette College). A blog accompanies the collection containing research notes and links to other collections of this sort

Four Months of War: Shanghai 1937 - online collection of photos of 1937 conflict in Shanghai by Karl Kengelbacher

The Giles Pickford Collection - Australian National University (images of the Boxer Siege of Peking c.1901)

International Centre of Photography - image collection, includes covers of the China Pictorial (CCP English language propaganda magazine, 1966-77).

International Mission Photography Archive

China 1974-76 image collection - Flickr collection of over 400 images of China from the point of view of Michael Rank, a foreign student at Peking University and Fudan University, Shanghai. Includes travel to Guangzhou, Tianjin, Shaoxing

60 Years of China - Magnum Photos, includes iconic images by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson from the 1940s-1950s, but also later

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture Resource Centre - bibliographies of mostly English-language materials on modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film, art, music, and culture, course handbooks, lists of internet resources, etc.

National Library of Denmark and Copenhagen University Library - Chinese posters collection

Chinese Public Health Posters, 1933-1970 and Chinese Family Planning Posters, 1950s to present (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD)

Joseph Needham Photographs – Wartime China, 1942-1946 - c. 1,000 photographs, courtesy of the Needham Research Institute

Photography of China - Images and interviews profiling the work of famous and lesser-known photographers working in China from the Qing to the present. See also Thomas H. Hahn’s online collection

Red-color News Soldier - Cultural Revolution image exhibition, photos by Li Zhensheng

Songs of the Cultural Revolution - provided by the Marxists Internet Archive

Virtual Museum of Cultural Revolution

Virtual Shanghai - images, maps, primary sources, secondary materials, bibliographies, etc., developed by Christian Henriot. Includes excellent glossaries and research tools

Visualizing China - enormous collection of images, developed by Robert Bickers

Visualizing Modern China - extensive list of visual resources for East Asian history

Chinese Literature and Film Links (Yomi Braester)

General or Subject

Internet Guide for Chinese Studies - list of resources on contemporary China and broader themes related to culture and history

Morning Sun - Cultural Revolution online resources

Chinese Pamphlets: Political communication and mass education in the early period of the People's Republic of China - Mass education materials published in Hong Kong and in Mainland China, particularly Shanghai, in the years 1947-1954. Contains a number of series, including ‘heroes’, ‘soldiers’, ‘anti-imperialism,’ and ‘marriage reform’

China-Spain Archive - open-access, digital archive that brings together textual and visual documents on the interactions between Spain and China between the mid-19th century and mid-20th century. Virtual exhibits and itineraries, interactive images and maps, chronologies and bibliographies.

History of Western Medicine in China Resources Portal (IUPUI) - PRC History Group’s online discussion forum and blog with mailing list for cutting-edge research; see also a very full links and resources page

Marxists Internet Archive: Important Writings in the History and Development of Chinese Communism, 1853-1981. Site also includes collections of individual’s works from Li Dazhao to Deng Xiaoping. Also whole-book pdfs, e.g., Dolson’s The Awakening of China

United States China Institute, Assignment: China - Documentary series on American reporting on China

Memórias d’África e d’Oriente - digitized primary and secondary sources in Asian and African history, especially related to the Portuguese Empire

Internet Guide for Chinese Studies (Leiden University) - list of resources on contemporary China and broader themes related to culture and history


East and Southeast Asia

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Southeast Asian Visions (Cornell University Library)

Online Museum Resources on Asian Art

Digital Archival Sources for Historians of Southeast Asia - Useful list of materials with links to other databases and websites

Database of 6,500 Korean Photo Picture Postcards - at Nichibunken

South Asia Open Archives (SAOA) - JSTOR

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Multimedia Information System - includes oral histories and old newspapers

Hansard LegCo records

Yearbooks - after 1997 retrocession to China

Hong Kong Historical Laws and Ordinance

The PRO website - includes some historical images and digitized records



Israeli State Archive

Historical Jewish Press - historical Jewish and Israeli newspapers in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish

Archive of the Israeli Left


National Archives of India

Passport Archive Guide to India


National Archives

Japan Center for Asian Historical Records--National Archives of Japan (in English) and (in Japanese) - includes official documents of the Japanese Cabinet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Army and Navy

Documents on Japanese Foreign Policy (1860s-1950s)

University Collections

Hiromi Mizuno's site - for students of Japanese history at the University of Minnesota, with links to many digital archives

Visualizing Cultures (MIT) - an outstanding collection of images, articles, and teaching resources dealing with East Asian history

East Asian History Sourcebook (Fordham University) - Hundreds of images and translated source documents on East Asian history (some broken links)

Japanese and Chinese Classics (Waseda University) - online access to bibliographic information, images, and other materials in Waseda University Library's collection of Japanese and Chinese classics

Asia for Educators (Columbia University) - Hundreds of translated source documents relating to the history of East and Southeast Asia

East Asia Image Collection (Lafayette College) - "an open-access archive of digitized photographs, negatives, postcards, and slides of Imperial Japan (1868-1945), its Asian empire (1895-1945) and occupied Japan-52."


Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection

Cultural Institutions and Resources

East Asia Image Collection Blog - has many interesting articles based on the collection

Bauduin Collection of photographs from the 1860s (Nagasaki University Library)

ReEnvisioning Japan: Japan as Destination in 20th Century Visual and Material Culture - Large collection of visual and written materials, (University of Rochester)

Old Photos of Japan - A collection of photos from the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras

Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period -  A collection of old photographs based at Nagasaki University Library

National Diet Library Digital Collections

Color images of the US Occupation of Japan - National Diet Library, Robert V. Mosier collection

The Meiji and Taisho Eras in Photographs - National Diet Library

Ochanomizu Women’s University Digital Archives (in English) and (in Japanese) - includes graduation photographs from the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods

Vincent van Gogh's collection of over 500 Japanese prints - Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

The Art of the Japanese Postcard - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Library of Congress collection of Japanese prints

James Davidson Collection of Japanese photographs - University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

General or Subject

History of Euro-Japanese Cultural Relations - source texts and information of European texts about Japan from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries

Database lists at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies - Nichibunken

The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895: As Seen in Prints and Archives - a collaboration between the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records and the British Library


Middle East

Qatar Digital Library

The Packard Humanities Institute - Persian Literature in Translation

A guide to resources available online in Syriac - including some English translations

Arabic manuscripts (Wellcome Library)

Middle East Research and Information Project - freely available through 31 August 2020

Passport Archive Guide to Beirut

South Korea

National Archives of Korea

Taiwan (Republic of China)

National Archives Administration, National Development Council


National Archives