This seminar offers an overview of selected types of historical documents foundational to research projects in late imperial and modern Chinese history. It also pays attention to those institutions that produced and archived these materials. Included among the topics will be studies of palace memorials, local gazetteers, county archives, Republican municipal archives, official chronological compilations (shilu, shilue), Qing bibliographies, and Nationalist Party materials. Students are expected to make regular library visits and to familiarize themselves with database collections. Class assignments will include bibliographical essays and translation exercises. The term paper may be either an essay on a topic of the student’s choice that identifies sources and bibliographies in preparation for a research paper, or a critical evaluation of a historical genre as a source for research.
Proficiency in Chinese is required for participation in this seminar.