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East Asia Library Guides: China

English-Language Newspapers and Journals from Pre-Communist China [Presentation slides]


A number of English-language newspapers and periodicals were published in the pre-communist China. These serials can be used as primary sources in the study of various aspects of the late Qing and the Republican China.

Yale University Library has a small collection of English newspapers from China, in various formats and at different locations. Beinecke Rare Book Library has the original editions of two of the earliest English newspaers in China, Canton Register (later Hong Kong Register) and the Canton Press, both of which started publication prior to the Opium War (1842-1844). The American Oriental Society collection in SML appears to have the original editions of some newspapers, though its holdings are unclear at this moment.

English newspapers published in later periods are generally available in microfilm format, stored and to be used in the Microtext Reading Room at Sterling Memorial Library. Among them are the North China Herald, a very influential newspaper started in 1850 in Shanghai, and its various successors till 1940s. Some newspapers from Shanghai or Peking of the Republican Period (1912-1949) are also available in microfilm.

For the English newspapers of the late Qing, A Research Guide to China Coast Newspapers, 1822-1911, provides a fair account of their background, personnel, and editorial policy. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent work on the English newspapers in the Republican Period.

The Yale Divinity Library has one of the largest collections of China-related missionary records, which include the periodicals as well. The other periodicals may scatter in the stacks of the Sterling Memorial Library or the Mudd Library.

Outside of Yale, the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago has a bigger collection of English-language newspapers from China. Because Yale University Library is a member of the Center for Research Libraries, Yale students and faculty can request CRL materials be delivered to Yale through interlibrary loan services. To see a complete list of English newspapers in the CRL collection, go to the CRL foreign newspapers, select China in country list and choose English as language.

Title Lists

For researchers who are not on the Yale campus, you may find these two lists useful:

List of Newspapers in the Yale Collection
List of Periodicals in the Yale Collection