This is an old revision of the document!
Welcome. This wiki has been created as a central repository for maintaining an updated list of resources available to those researching the history of the People's Republic of China.
This wiki is publicly readable, but in order to maintain the integrity and rigor of the content, only registered users have permission to edit pages or upload items. If you would like to become a registered user please contact the admin. This wiki uses dokuwiki. For more on how to format text on a dokuwiki, see the syntax page on the main dokuwiki site.
Background and rationale for this wiki
Conducting research and fieldwork in China and on PRC history is in a constant state of flux. To date, however, there has been no attempt to keep scholars up to date with changes. Starting a new project or planning research trips often feels like a game of chance: will an archive be open to the public? Will I find anything on the topic I'm looking for, will they let me see anything? Are there new databases, websites of sources, or other avenues I can peruse? Where can I get what I need, and if I can't get it then what should I do next? In some unfortunate cases, the political situation in the ground in China changes so drastically in a short period of time that an archive, database, website, or other resource becomes inaccessible between the time a project is proposed and when it's funded, making original plans completely unfeasible. The goal of a wiki written and maintained by current researchers and scholars in the field is largely to help remedy these issues.
In addition to these issues, it is high time that a website such as this exist. Scholars of Chinese history have used the web as a space for accessing journal articles, book reviews, electronic books, library catalogs, and online databases (often through their affiliation with a specific library or university) at least since the late 1990s. These resources have all been and continue to be immensely helpful. In the 2000s, the UCSD Chinese history program created and maintained a website specifically for those studying “modern Chinese history” (roughly the late 19th century through the present) (UCSD Modern Chinese History website). This site includes, among other things, bibliographies, book reviews and essays, and general information on archival research, and is still immensely useful, but it is no longer updated despite major changes in the research landscape. At the same time, blogs became a popular tool for disseminating general information about China, such as the popular China Beat, also no longer maintained, and new websites and databases have continued to pop up. A particularly popular one is Dissertation Reviews, which began with a focus on China but that has since expanded to include many other areas. A section of that site titled Fresh from the Archives publishes short articles written by scholars currently working in the field. Most recently, a group of active historians working exclusively on the PRC have initiated prchistory.org, which includes the H-PRC listserv and a website that houses numerous extremely beneficial links. However, to date, there is no publicly available site that brings together all these resources in one place and includes timely updates. Thus, and given the flux of the current situation in PRC historical research, the goal of this wiki is to provide any registered user with the ability to modify the site in order to add pertinent information.
It is likely that at some point in the future this wiki will no longer be the best platform for delivering timely information and allowed users to update it. The admin of this site is always open to suggestions or ideas for what a future site would look like and how it would function.