Primary Sources: China and the Modern World: Missionary, Sinology, & Literary Publications

chinese characters on magazine pageChina and the Modern World: Missionary, Sinology, and Literary Periodicals, 1817–1949 is a collection of seventeen 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.

Periodicals included in the collection:

  1. The Chinese Recorder (教務雜誌, 1867–1941) was produced by the Protestant missionary community in China that enjoyed a run of 72 years, longer than any other English-language publication in that country. The complete set of the journal, along with its predecessor, the Missionary Recorder, is available in this collection. The journal is regarded today as one of the most valuable sources for studying the missionary movement in China and its influence on Western relations with and perceptions of the Far East.
  2. West China Missionary News (華西教會新聞, 1899–1943) was established and published in Sichuan, China by the West China Missionary News Publication Committee. The journal aimed to enhance communication among missionaries based in western China and published many articles on the missionary activities in the region.
  3. The China Mission / Christian Year Book (中國基督教年鑑, 1910–1939) was published under an arrangement between the Christian Literature Society for China and the National Christian Council of China. It started in 1910 as The China Mission Year Book and changed its title to The China Christian Year Book in 1926. This digital version also includes The China Mission Hand-book (1896) and A Century of Protestant Missions in China (1807–1907).
  4. Educational Review: continuing the monthly bulletin of the Educational Association of China (教育季報, 1907–1938) was the official journal of the Educational Association of China which later changed its name to China Christian Educational Association. Founded in Shanghai in 1907, it was published first as a monthly during 1907–1912 and then as a quarterly during 1913–1938. The journal publishes minutes of the meetings of the Association and reports of affiliated local associations. There were also articles covering Christian colleges and universities founded across China.
  5. The Canton Miscellany (廣州雜誌, 1831) was a literary journal published in Guangzhou (Canton) between May and December 1831. Anonymously edited, it targets the well-educated English elite. The last two issues contain lengthy articles on the history of Macau, the first ever to be written in English.
  6. Chinese Miscellany (中國雜誌, 1845–1850) was founded by Walter Henry Medhurst (1796–1857), an English Congregationalist missionary to China. The journal consists of four volumes, introducing China’s silk and tea industry, geography, manufacturing, trade, and customs.
  7. The Chinese and Japanese Repository of Facts and Events in Science, History, and Art, Relating to Eastern Asia (中日叢報, 1863–1865) was edited by James Summers (1828–1891), a professor of Chinese language of the University of London. The journal documents China and Japan’s often violent reactions to the presence of foreigners from a Western perspective.
  8. Notes and Queries: on China and Japan (中日釋疑, 1867–1869) was one of the earliest sinology journals. Edited by Nicholas Belfield Dennys (1840–1900) and published in Hong Kong, it focuses on topics such as Chinese history and culture. Japan and Korea are also covered.
  9. The China Review: or Notes and Queries on the Far East (中國評論, 1872–1901) was arguably the first major Western sinology journal; many of the renowned sinologists of the nineteenth century contributed articles, including James Legge, Herbert A. Giles, Joseph Edkins, John Chalmers, Ernst Faber, Edward L. Oxenham, W. F. Mayers, Alexander Wylie, Edward Harper Parker, and Frederic Henry Balfour.
  10. The New China Review (新中國評論, 1919–1922) was established by British sinologist Samuel Couling in Shanghai in 1919, aiming to inherit the mantle of The China Review, which was discontinued in 1901. Contributors to its four volumes include such prominent sinologists as Herbert A. Giles and Edward H. Parker.
  11. The Indo-Chinese Gleaner (印中搜聞, 1817–1822) was a quarterly journal founded by Robert Morrison (1782–1834) and William Milne (1785–1822) in Malacca in 1817. This periodical covered missionary activities, reported on the social, political, religious, military, economic, and cultural affairs of China and other Asian countries, and introduced the literature, philosophy, and history of Asian countries, especially those of China and Southeast Asia.
  12. Bulletin of the Catholic University of Peking (輔仁英文學志, 1926–1934) was founded in September 1926 and published a total of nine volumes. Each volume contains articles on the university’s developments and achievements, as well as sections devoted to the study of Chinese culture. It ceased publication in November 1934 and gave way to a purely academic journal titled Monumenta Serica.
  13. The Yenching Journal of Social Studies (燕京社會學界, 1938–1950) was founded in June 1938 and published semi-annually. This journal, which ceased publication in 1950 after releasing the first part of Volume five, provides significant research materials on the history of social studies in China during the Republican period (1911–1949).
  14. The China Quarterly (英文中國季刊, 1935–1941), founded and run jointly by the China Institute of International Relations, the Pan-Pacific Association of China, and the Institute of Social and Economic Research, was an authoritative journal discussing topics on China’s internal and external affairs. The journal had a stellar editorial and contributor team, including such prominent scholars as Tsai Yuan-pei (蔡元培), Chungshu Kwei (桂中樞), Wu Lien-teh (伍連德), John Benjamin Powell, Hollington Tong (董顕光), and Lin Yu-tang (林語堂).
  15. T’ien Hsia Monthly (天下月刊, 1935–1941) was published under the auspices of the Sun Yat-sen Institute for the Advancement of Culture and Education. Editors included John C. H. Wu, Wen Yuan-ning, Lin Yu-tang, and others. This cultural and literary journal was dedicated to introducing and interpreting Chinese literature and art for the West and promoting understanding between East and West.
  16. The China Critic (中國評論週報, 1928–1946) was a weekly founded on 31 May 1928 by a group of Chinese intellectuals who had studied in the United States. Despite the editors’ avowed preference for “nonpolitical” discourse, The Critic’s editorials and articles frequently discussed the presence of imperialism in Shanghai, debated the abolition of extraterritoriality, and advocated equal access to public facilities in the concessions. The editors also participated in wider-ranging discussions about urban affairs.
  17. The China Year Book (中華年鑑, 1912–1939) was edited by British journalist and publisher H.G.W. Woodhead (1883–1959) with H.T.M. Bell to provide information on China for Westerners. It was published from 1912 to 1939, incorporating documents related to each year’s events in China. Woodhead was the editor of the Peking and Tientsin Times from 1914 to 1930 before moving to Shanghai to write for the Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury and later edit his own journal, Oriental Affairs.


Resources: Oxford Research Encyclopedias

Through an arrangement with the California Digital Library and Oxford University Press, the Library has access to the entire collection of Oxford Research Encyclopedias.  Oxford University Press works with international communities of scholars to develop comprehensive collections of in-depth summaries on a growing range of topics for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia (ORE). Articles are peer-reviewed and vetted by editorial boards of leading international scholars and researchers, and content is added and updated monthly and optimized for discoverability. Each ORE contains links to citations and related resources, creating a hub for deeper inquiry.

The topics include:

African History
American History
Asian History
Business and Management 
Climate Science
Criminology and Criminal Justice
Economics and Finance
Encyclopedia of Social Work
Environmental Science
Global Public Health
International Studies
Latin American History
Natural Hazard Science
Oxford Classical Dictionary
Planetary Science

Library Workshops: Advanced Zotero 2 offered October 5 & 6

zotero icon

Advanced Zotero 2 will cover:

  • Step-by-step instructions on using Zotfile to store attachments on a cloud server
  • Using the Zutilo add-on to manage tags, relate items, and bulk edit entries
  • Advanced editing of citations in word processing documents
  • Zotero 7 (beta) new features:
    • new annotation types in Zotero’s PDF reader
    • annotating EPUBs and webpage snapshots in the reader

Register at the Library Workshops site.

October 5, 12:10-1:30 in 223 Doe Library (80 minutes, as in-person workshops seem to take longer)

October 6, 12:10-1:00 via Zoom (50 minutes, the zoom link will be sent to registrants 24 hours in advance of the workshop)

Primary Sources: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements

drawing of faces

The Library has invested in the creation of Reveal Digital’s Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement and now has access to the first batch of digitized content on the JSTOR platform. The following information about the collection was shared in Reveal Digital’s announcement:

Covering primarily the 1950s and 1960s, Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movements provides access to primary source documents that focus on how ordinary citizens in the smaller communities viewed, participated in and lived through this historical era. When completed in 2025, the collection will include letters, general correspondence, logs, demonstration plan outlines, transportation logs and plans, meetings, worship services, photographs, newsletters, news reels, interviews and musical recordings from Black, Latine, Native American and Asian American Pacific Islander communities.

The eight compilations from the Atlanta History Center include:

  • Alert Americans Association broadside “Martin Luther King…At Communist Training School”
  • Atlanta American Council of Christian Churches documents on the Black Manifesto
  • Clarence Bacote papers
  • Coretta Scott King documents
  • Herman L. Turner papers
  • Jones family papers of Lovett School
  • Roland M. Frye papers
  • Southern Regional Council documents

A link to this collection can be found in the History: America guide under Parimary Sources by Topic > Civil Rights and in the Library’s A-Z Database list.

Primary Sources: Reports of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry Palestine, 1944-1946

A recent acquisition of the Library, Reports of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry Palestine, 1944-1946, provides access to the papers of this committee created in 1945 to “study the situation of Jewish survivors in Europe and the problems connected with their resettlement in Palestine.

“The committee was charged with gathering information and making recommendations on 1) the effect of Jewish immigration and resettlement on the political, economic, and social conditions in Palestine; and (2) the position of surviving Jews in Europe and the possibility of relieving the problem by repatriation or resettlement of the survivors in Palestine and other non-European countries. The committee called for a unitary state rather than partition based on ethnicity or religious profession. The records include AACI reference files, evidence submitted to the committee, transcripts of hearings, AACI reports, and papers of the Anglo-American Cabinet Committee.”


Primary Sources: Testaments to the Holocaust, Documents and Rare Printed Materials from the Weiner Library, London

A recent acquisition, Testaments to the Holocaust, Dococuments and Rare Printed Materials from the Weiner Library, London, provides access to the “first archive to collect evidence from the Holocaust and the anti-semitic activities of the German Nazi party. It contains documentary evidence collected in several different programmes: the eyewitness accounts which were collected before, during and after the Second World War, from people fleeing the Nazi oppression, a large collection of photographs of pre-war Jewish life, the activities of the Nazis, and the ghettoes and camps, a collection of postcards of synagogues in Germany and eastern Europe, most since destroyed, a unique collection of Nazi propaganda publications including a large collection of ‘educational’ children’s’ books, and the card index of biographical details of prominent figures in Nazi Germany, many with portrait photographs. Pamphlets, bulletins and journals published by the Wiener Library to record and disseminate the research of the Institute are also included. 75% of the content is written in German.”



Primary sources: Russian language historical ebook collections

This post highlights some of the Library’s acquisitions of Russian-language historical ebook collections that may have escaped your notice.

Anti-religious alphabet bookSoviet Anti-Religious Propaganda ebook collection

East View has digitized a collection of 280 e-books that are most emblematic of Soviet anti-religious fervor. They were published mainly in the 1920s and 1930s on a variety of atheist or anti-religious topics, with titles including Christianity versus Communism, Church versus Democracy, and The Trial of God.

Early Soviet Cinema

Another collection from East View of 116 ebooks, originally published from 1928 to 1948, relating to the golden age of Soviet Cinema.

Russian Avant-garde Online

An ebook collection of 778 works from Brill Online. It represents works of all Russian literary avant-garde schools, most published betwen 1910-1940. According to the publisher, “the strength of this collection is in its sheer range. It contains many rare and intriguingly obscure books, as well as well-known and critically acclaimed texts, almanacs, periodicals, literary manifests. This makes it a gold mine for art historians and literary scholars alike. Represented in it are more than 30 literary groups without which the history of twentieth-century Russian literature would have been very different. Among the groups included are the Ego-Futurists and Cubo-Futurists, the Imaginists, the Constructivists, the Biocosmists, and the infamous nichevoki – who, in their most radical manifestoes, professed complete abstinence from literary creation.”

Workshop: Advanced Zotero

zotero iconAdvanced Zotero will be offered in-person in 223 Doe Library on Thursday, September 14 from 12:10-1:30pm and via Zoom Friday, September 15 from 12:10-1:30.

This session covers:

  • The many different techniques for adding items to your Zotero library
  • Linked files vs. stored files
  • Zotero storage vs using Zotfile to store attachments in another cloud app
  • Creating and managing groups
  • Zotero 6.0 PDF viewer and annotation extractor
  • Zotero 6.0 Add note feature
  • Indexing and searching your Zotero library and attachments

Registration is required so that you can receive the Zoom link 24 hours in advance of the workshop. Register at

The Library attempts to offer programs in accessible, barrier-free settings. If you believe you may require disability-related accommodations, please contact Jennifer Dorner at

Primary Sources: Sources of 20th century British public opinion

The Library has recently acquired British Political Opinion Polls and Social Surveys, 1960-1988.
A digitized collection of the complete political and social opinion polls of five major social survey organizations — MORI (Market and Opinion Research International), NOP (National Opinion Polls Market Research); HARRIS (The Harris Research Centre), MARPLAN and GALLUP, covering 1960-1988. Subjects covered include: AIDS,  the Channel Tunnel, education, general elections, homosexuality, the miner’s strike, police, poll tax, and many others.

Other resources for British public opinion include:

Mass Observation Online
Digitized archive of the Mass-Observation Project, a “pioneering social research organization,” documenting everyday life and ordinary people in Britain from 1937 to 1972.

BBC Listener Research Department reports, 1937-c.1950
Includes the entire available collection of weekly Audience Summaries, together with the weekly then daily Listening Barometers. Also included are the Audience Reaction Reports on specific programmes and Special Reports on particular themes or issues for the period, as well as some key policy documents produced by the LRD.

Reports (UK Ministry of Information)
These reports were created by the British government’s Ministry of Information during the Second World War for the purpose of monitoring public opinion, and for researching aspects of wartime life of interest to the government. They were a valuable source of information for the ministers and civil servants charged with steering the country through a total war, and give a vivid picture of life on the home front.

Primary Sources: Propaganda collections

The Library recently acquired three collections of propaganda materials: two from World War II a collection of anti-Semitic materials published before the war.

Psychological Warfare and Propaganda in World War II: Air Dropped and Shelled Leaflets and Periodicals

This publication collection consists of over 1,000 air dropped and shelled leaflets and periodicals created and disseminated during the Second World War. The majority of items in this collection were printed by the Allies then air or container dropped, or fired by artillery shell over German occupied territory. Many leaflets and periodicals have original publication codes and were printed in over 10 languages. Only shelled leaflets, Germans to Allies (115 items), are in English.

Allied Propaganda in World War II and the British Political Warfare Executive

This collection presents the complete files of the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) kept at the U.K. National Archives as FO 898 from its instigation to closure in 1946, along with the secret minutes of the special 1944 War Cabinet Committee “Breaking the German Will to Resist.”

German Anti-Semitic Propaganda, 1909-1941

Comprised of 170 German-language books and pamphlets, this collection presents anti-Semitism as an issue in politics, economics, religion, and education. Most of the writings date from the 1920s and 1930s and many are directly connected with Nazi groups. The works are principally anti-Semitic, but include writings on other groups as well, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Jesuits, and the Freemasons.