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Chinese Studies - Digital/Electronic Sources: Digital Collections for Chinese Studies Database

This research guide helps you to find resources related to China studies including China's foreign relations, history, politics, military, economy, culture, language, religion and etc.

Digital Collections for Chinese Studies

This digital platform is a web portal for open access digital collections. All linkable digital collections are open access and free. Please browse the sources by collection title, institution or time period. The advanced search also allow you browse or search by language, subject area, subject, format, or keyword. This project is designed and created by the Digital Collections for Chinese Studies team which is led by Dr. Khamo Khamo. The project is funded and supported by Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at GWU.  Please see the platform and the user guide below. 

Project Advisors: 

Dean Geneva Henry, Libraries and Academic Innovation, George Washington University 
Prof. Peter Bol, Harvard University

Team Members:

Dr. Yan He (PI), China Documentation Center Librarian 
Dr. Ann James (Co-PI), Data Science Librarian 
Mr. Kahang Ngau, MS student 
Ms. Sophie Muro, MA student  
Ms. Xinzi Dinghe, Ph.D. student 


Prof. Marc Matten, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany 
Prof. Baihui Yao, Capital Normal University, China 
Dr. Henrike Rudolph, University of Göttingen, Germany

User Guide for the Dashboard


This user guide provides instructors for utilizing GWU’s Chinese Studies Mapping Tool – Digital Collections for Chinese Studies. Included in this dashboard are various search and filter features, to allow students and researchers to quickly and easily gather information regarding where digital collections to Chinese Studies are held throughout North America.

The dashboard can be accessed here:



  1. Search for institutions by name or browse via a drop-down menu.
  2. Search for collections by filtering a start and/or end year.
  3. Conduct advanced searches by clicking on “Advanced Search and Browse Function” and visit our webpage app.
  4. Analyze collections featured on the map by various categories, as visualized in pie chart format.
  5. Utilize the “filtered count” feature to understand how many digital collections are present within the map related to your current search specifications.
  6. View collection metadata related to a search specifications; metadata can be viewed by clicking on any of the collections which appear under the “List of Collections” widget.
  7. View collections on the map according to their host. This feature can be used in planning research trips through discovering if multiple relevant host institutions are located closely to one another.

To begin a search by institution:  Select an institution from the dropdown menu or begin to type it into the search bar.   To begin a search by time period: Select a start and end period for your search.   You may combine these two search features for a more dynamic query.

For this example, “Columbia University” has been selected as the institution. The number in green represents how many digital collections from Columbia are included in the tool.   All of the collections related to Columbia are featured on the left-hand side. Metadata for these collections can be viewed by clicking on the collections.

Bookmark and chart

Search App for Digital Collections Database


This webpage app was designed as a way to improve searchability and browsing for users. This app also allowed our team to expand the ways in which the mapping tool could function for students and researchers alike. Because this webpage is accessible through both desktop and mobile devices, we are able to offer users greater accessibility to the mapping tool.

While all of the same digital collections present in the dashboard can be found in the webpage app, there are several key features which differ from the desktop version. This specific guide has been created using a Mac, however there may be slight differences in the app when using a PC. The greater difference between these two platforms that the webpage app allows for users to conduct a keyword search.

This feature was important to us as it ensures that users are not limiting their searches to only the terms which are provided in a drop-down menu. All keyword searchers pull directly from the collections metadata and displays relevant collections on the map, just as the dashboard does.

The webpage app can be accessed here:

Search app

search app

search app

search app


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