Skip to Main Content

China Studies Primary Sources: Open Access

Guide overview

Open access (OA) refers to materials that are freely accessible online and easily discoverable in an Internet search. Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed academic journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, and monographs.

Resource Catagory

E-Book resources of a variety of subjects provided by the National Library of Public Information. Downloading is unavailable.

A national preservation effort in digitizing print books published before 1949 was hosted by Taiwan National Library. In 2015, the database was expanded to include all Open Access authorized materials published after 1950 in Taiwan. The database includes all subjects in the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences.


A powerful digital library containing books from libraries in China and the United States. ​

A collection of more than twenty Daoist texts of the Qing Dynasty; maintained by the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library. Downloading is unavailable.

A collection of open access e-books maintained by the National Taiwan University Library.

An open-access database containing available publications by the Center of Chinese Studies.

The collection of the eminent scholar and educator Xu Dishan [许地山 (1893-1941)], who’s works in literature, religious studies. The portion of the collection held by the Australian National University consists of 469 titles in 1,224 volumes and contains many rare editions and suspected orphaned sacred books on Buddhism, Taoism and other missionary publications of the time, including translations of the Bible. Items on Daoism and Buddhism make up the larger part of this collection and are of special interest since not many of those have survived in China and are sought after by researchers world-wide.

An open database of social science academic articles by the National Social Sciences Database. 

Digital archive of books, rare books, images, and series on Silk Road,

Digital archives of women's writing produced during the Ming-Qing dynasties.

Digital collection of Chinese rare books.

Digital collection that documents the activity of Oberlinians in Asia from the 1880s to the 1950s

Digital archives of Chinese Buddhist Temple Gazetteers.

Digital archives of the Buddhist Tripitaka.

Digital archives of the Daizōkyō.

Digital collection of oracles, bronze inscriptions, and bamboo scripts from the Yin Zhou to the Warring State Epoch.

Records consist of administrative materials, including newsletters, annual reports, minutes from meetings, memoranda, funding and grant proposals, and a correspondence file, and research materials, including photographs and audio-visual recordings relating to the Council's traveling exhibit and presentation, North Carolina's China Connections, 1840-1949. 

Author: 忽思慧; Dynasty: Yuan 


This Collection is published by the National Library of Publick Information. It contains image files of more than 20 Taiwanese old newspapers published between 1940 and 1970, as well as old photos, ancient books, Japanese books during the occupation of Japan, and nearly 2 million news materials. 

Database focus on a special type of newspaper known as the 小報 xiaobao (entertainment newspaper).

Collection of major national decrees & regulations. Unavailable for download.

Database of digitized documents on the spatial history of advertising in modern Shanghai (1905-1949). Unavailable for download.

Collection of digitized maps from as early as 1199 to present days. 

The collection comprises 22 newspapers published in Beijing, Chongqing, Hankou, Jiaodong (Shandong), Shanghai and Guangzhou between 1911 and 1949. It provides researchers a richly comprehensive perspective on Chinese life, culture, and politics throughout the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the years of provisional government and civil war, and the birth of the People’s Republic. Database is searchable in both Simplified and Traditional Chinese.


Database for Buddhist cave temples; Dunhuang Mogao, Bezeklik, Kizil Caves. Unavailable for download.

Database containing works of contemporary artists in Taiwan. Unavailable for download.

Database of digitized manuscripts of contemporary celebrities and authorities.

Archive of digitized photographs, negatives, postcards, rare books, and slides related to East Asia. 

CR/10 (Cultural Revolution: 10) is an experimental oral history project. It aims to neutrally collect ordinary people’s authentic memories and impressions of China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

The Memory Project Oral History collection comprises digital video recordings and written supporting documentation of interviews spanning 2009 to 2016. Memory Project interviews were conducted with Chinese people about mid-20th century rural life, primarily experiences during the Great Famine (1958-1961), but also the Land Reform and Collectivization (1949-1953), the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960), the Four Cleanups Movement (1964), and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). 

A collection of reviews on databases and resources for a variety of studies. Unavailable for downloads. aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions.

An international organization supporting the Open Access movement dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination, and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).

Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598, combines Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and European primary sources in order to understand the impact of the Imjin War and its implications for seventeenth-eighteenth century East Asia.

Collection of individual-, family-, and community-level longitudinal data in contemporary China.

Database of Chinese and international archives since 1949.

Statistical databases on a wide range of themes relating to the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Collection of international statistical databases covering a wide range of statistical themes.

Statistical databases on a wide range of themes relating to mainland China.