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Chinese History: Find Primary Sources

use this guide to research the history of Imperial and Modern China

Primary Sources by Topic

Click here to generate a list of books and e-books that reproduce primary sources on Chinese civilization and history (all periods). For a selection of primary sources on various topics, click on the tabs directly above.

Primary Sources by Historical Era

All 20th Century Topics

Cultural Revolution

See the box immediately above this one.

Economic Policy (1976-2000)


Foreign Relations (1949-1976)

Japanese Invasion (Sino-Japanese War)

Mao's Writings

Political Prisoners (1976-2002)

Politics and Government

Tiananmen Square (1989)

See the box in the right-hand column of this page.

ILL (for Books) and WorldCat

Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request books and book chapters not held by our library. Chapters typically arrive within hours. Physical books take days.

WorldCat is a "union catalog" of millions of records for books held by thousands of libraries. Search WorldCat to find more books about your topic. Identify e-books available to read or borrow immediately by conducting an Advanced search. Look for the Library Code box toward the bottom of the page. Enter one of the following library codes:

  • INARC (e-books from Internet Archive)
  • HATHI (e-books from HathiTrust)
  • NJT (books/e-books from our Gitenstein Library)
  • OAPEN (open access e-books)

Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

The National Security Archive (NSA), George Washington University, makes available Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History, a collection of 35 documents relating to a critical event in late 20th century Chinese history.

See also the resources listed under the 20th Century (various topics) tab in the left-hand column of this page (e.g., FBIS, 1941-1996).