Chinese periodical full-text database

An important database has been purchased to aid research into modern China, explains subject librarian Xiaoju Liu.

The Chinese Periodical Full-Text Database, (1911-1949), developed by Shanghai Library, is one of the most important Chinese language primary source databases for research on modern China.

The collection covers around 10,000,000 pieces of literature in about 20,000 different kinds of periodicals published between 1911 and 1949.The database has significant academic and historical values. It not only helps reproduce historical features of China between 1911 and 1949 and restore historical memories, through digitisation it greatly facilitates academic research on the history of this period.

Why it is important?

The resources in this database provide excellent insight into modern China society, covers basically every aspect of social life. You can limit your search to a specific periodical, eg. Wanxiang zhoukan (万象周刊) is a great source for research on Shanghai daily life in 1940s, with a special focus on art, literature and film; Mingguo ribao supplement (民国日报·妇女评论) dedicated to gender issues; Guoli Wuhan daxue zhoukan (国立武汉大学周刊) reveals details of the management of a leading higher education institution in Republican China; whilst Xin qingnian (新青年), with its advocacy of Science and Democracy, functions as the driving force of Chinese modernization before and after the May Fourth Movement (1919).

How it was purchased and what is its research value?

The complete Chinese periodical full-text database (1911-1949) 民国时期期刊全文数据库 has 11 series and Monash library has purchased perpetual access to series 1 since 2017. For series 1, it covers 1,100 periodicals, with 31,000 volumes and 810,000 pieces of literature.
The purchase is purchased upon very positive feedback from the faculty during the trial.

The resources covered are valuable primary sources for both teaching and research.  For example, if the teaching/research topic is the modern Chinese literature movement and communities, then in  series 1 there are periodicals initiated by a number of prestige communities, as it was quite popular then for each community to have their own periodical(s) to publicise ideas and make their voices heard. Examples include:

  • Chuangzao yuekan《创造月刊》(1922-1924) by Chuangzao She 创造社. 创造社. One of the most influential literary communities in modern China, it was set up in Tokyo 1921 by leading writers and scholars. The periodical is well-known for translated foreign language literature.

  • XinYue 《新月》(1928-1933) by the romanticism-focussed poetry community Xinyue She 新月社. The discussion in this pioneering periodical is focused around poetic rhythm.
  • Chunliu《春柳》, the first periodical dedicated to theatrical performance, is said to have a close association with the theatrical group Chunliu She 春柳社, which marks the start of modern Chinese drama. The journal examines the significance of the visit to Japan of Mei Lanfang (梅兰芳, great Peking Opera artist) and its impact on the reform of drama in China.
  • Mengya yuekan 《萌芽月刊》(1930), initiated by leftist literary community Zuolian 左联, is a far-reaching revolutionary periodical, featured in literary criticism.
  • Xinchao 《新潮》(1919-1922) was initiated by a student group Xinchao She 新潮社 in Peking University in the eve of the May Fourth Movement. The editors, who were students, then became the mainstay of the New Culture Movement, which critically interrogated traditional Chinese culture and advocated Western concepts: science and democracy.

How to access

In the database, you can either do a keyword search to search across everything that we have or browse by periodical title to have a close look at a particular periodical.
Want to explore more about this database? Access it from the Chinese Studies Library guide, or via library Search.

Having trouble accessing this database? Please contact your friendly librarian Xiaoju Liu or Hueimin Chen.

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