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East Asian Studies

Explore library resources for East Asia related research.

Library Guide for Primary Sources in English on East Asia

Primary sources in Catalyst

  • Catalyst: use Advanced Search and search Subject in the format of personal name, location, topic or event plus one of the following Subdivisions: Sources /Personal narratives /Correspondence /Biography /Interviews /Diaries /Early Works to 1900 /Speeches /Manuscripts /Pamphlets.
    For example: 

    China -- History – Sources
    Women –China- Biography

    China-- Interviews

Note: "Primary Sources" is not a valid Subject Heading. Use "Sources" instead or one of the more specific subdivisions above. 

Notable: a Hopkins-China connection: 3rd president of Johns Hopkins University,  Frank J. Goodnow served as constitutional advisor to China's president during 1913-1914. Our library holds Frank Johnson Goodnow Papers1880-1940; we have photos of him in Peking; we  also have the book on China written by Goodnow, called China, an Analysis (1926). A good many scholarly essays have been published  on Goodnow's work in China and here is an example


Digital Archives

English language archives mostly consist of government (foreign office) files and declassified documents; missionary publications; trade and commercial communications; travel accounts (diplomats, missionaries, etc); and general descriptions of Asian peoples and cultures

Notable: Chinese Students' Monthly Online 1906-1931 (a publication by Chinese Students Alliance in the US during the time). Here is the magazine background

For more primary sources, check out Primary Sources in English in the research guide.