China: Trade, Politics and Culture 1793-1980 is a digital database that provides a wide variety of China: Trade, Politics and Culture, 1793-1980original source material detailing China’s interaction with the West from Macartney’s first Embassy to China in 1793, through to the Nixon/Heath visits to China in 1972-74. It provides multiple perspectives—from politicians, diplomats, missionaries, business people and tourists—and documents many of the key events that happened in this period. There are also significant sources describing the lives and work of missionaries in China from 1869-1970, including extensive and fully searchable runs of missionary periodicals, e.g., The Chinese Recorder, Light and Life Magazine, The Land of Sinim: The North China Mission Quarterly Paper.

This online collection includes substantial collections of unique manuscript materials and rare printed materials including missionary periodicals, atlases and books which help to contextualize the other sources. In addition, this project offers over 400 color paintings, maps and drawings by English and Chinese artists, as well as countless photographs, sketches and ephemeral items, depicting Chinese people, places, customs and events, which provide a striking visual accompaniment to the documentary images.

The manuscript materials were developed from collections held at the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the British Library in London, and supplemented by additional sources from Cambridge University Library, the Church Missionary Society Archive, the Council for World Missions Library, Duke University, the National Archives at Kew, the Alexander Turnbull Library at the National Library of New Zealand and Yale Divinity Library.

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