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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Chinese Studies

Last updated December 2021

For a more comprehensive list and descriptions of electronic and print resources for research please visit the Cambridge University Library's Chinese Department web page.



Please visit the University Library's Electronic resources page for full listing of available e-resources in our subject areas.

Brill's Encyclopedia of Buddhism Online

Chinese ANcient Texts (CHANT)
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use VPDN.  (For the present it is not possibble to use Raven password to access the database.) Upon reaching the CHANT welcome page, access the databases by clicking on the button marked "机构用户登入".
The databases, compiled under the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) of the Chinese University of Hong Kong since 1988, give full-text access (single words, phrases and sentence patterns) to all traditional texts from the Pre-Han (pre 220AD) period up to the Six Dynasties (581 AD) (over 30 million characters.) During compilation, different versions of the same texts were carefully compared, and modern punctuation was added. Comparisons with other versions, parallel passages, as well as citations found in Leishuare shown in footnotes. CHANT also includes databases of excavated wood/bamboo and silk scripts (the Zhu-jian-bo shu database), oracular inscriptions (the Jiaguwen database, and bronze inscriptions (Jinwen). Includes a database of extant Chinese encyclopedias (Leishu).

China Digital Library (中华数字书苑)
Accessible from CAM DOMAIN. Members of the University of Cambridge can access the service off-campus by using the University's VPN. For further instruction on searching the database click HERE.
It comprises five full text databases: 
1. EBook Database comprising: 电子图书 (Ebooks) (144,670 titles); 国学要览 (Ancient Books) (6,294 titles); Beijing Review (1958-2008) (2,325 issues)
2. Newspaper Database (10 titles)
3. Reference Database (10 titles)
4. Yearbook Database (10 titles)
5. Fine Arts Database (1 category)


CNKI/CAJ Serial Database (China National Knowledge Infrastructure/China Academic Journals)
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain.
Cambridge University's access to the Literature/History/Philosophy, Economics/Politics/Law, Education/Social Sciences, and the Electronic and Information Series components of the CNKI includes access to the full-text China Academic Journals database (full text and/or full image articles from 2,000+ journals from first issue to date), as well as Century Journals Project. For a FULL LIST of available journals click HERE (Cambridge University Library's Chinese Department website). N.B. Cambridge University has a licence for TWO concurrent users only. If the connection is already in use, please try again later. When you have finished a session, please make the connection available to other users by clicking the "LOGOUT" button (at the top of the screen). Please note that the CNKI platform and CAJ database are designed to work with Internet Explorer only.


Digital Dictionary of Buddhism


Duxiu 读秀中文学术搜索 (Beijing Superstar Information Technology)
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login.
It contains over 2 million full-text Chinese e-books and many articles in all subjects dating from early 1930s to present with very flexible searches (full-text, books, articles, conference papers, theses, web pages, newspapers). For instruction on how to use the database click HERE.

Provides access to a wide range of information from newspapers, news wires, websites, company reports and more (over 36,000 sources) from 200 countries and 28 languages. Continuously updated. Searchable in Chinese by keyword via iDiscover. Alternatively, search Factiva itself by selecting the language.

North China Herald
The fully text-searchable North China Herald is the prime printed source for the history of the foreign presence in China from around 1850 to 1940s. No other newspaper existed over such an extended period, and covers it in such incredible depth and variety.

Oxford Bibliographies : Chinese Studies
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. 
For machines outside the University members may use their RAVEN password to login.

Oxford Chinese Dictionary online (within Oxford Language dictionaries Online)
Available on and off campus (RAVEN password). Input can be by radicals or Pinyin. 

Sinica Sinoweb (台湾经典人文学刊库)
ACCESSIBLE from machines with IP addresses within the domain. 
It contains full-text searchable contents of the following academic journals.

中央研究院历史语言研究所集刊 (1928-)
中央研究院中国文哲研究集刊 (1991-)
中央研究院近代史研究所集刊 (1969-)
中央研究院近代中国妇女史研究 (1993-)
中央研究院口述历史期刊 (1989-)
中央研究院近代中国史研究通讯 (1986-)
中央研究院台湾人类学刊 (2003-)
中央研究院台湾史研究 (1994-)
汉学研究 (1983-)
思与言 (1963-)
食货月刊 (1971-88)
鹅湖学志 (1988-)
鹅湖月刊 (1975-).

Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese

A Student’s Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese Online is the Chinese-English resource of choice for all those reading Chinese texts from the period of approx. 500 BCE to 1000 CE.




Wade-Giles/Pinyin Conversion Tables

Use this interface to search for printed and online resources (ebooks, ejournals, articles within online databases) across Cambridge University libraries. This platform can be searched in CHINESE but transliteration is advised since not all bibliographic records have been updated to include Chinese script. 

TRANSLITERATION: Click HERE for how to search iDiscover catalogue in transliteration.

Once you input your search terms you can limit your search by using various filters on the right hand side of the catalogue. Use Advanced Search for exact hits. 

In order to be able to harvest articles from ALL databases, it is advised that you always log in to iDiscover (top right corner) 

Cambridge University/Chinese Collection
Provides comprehensive information on how to find Chinese publications (printed or online) held at Cambridge and in the UK. It also provides links to databases subscribed to by the University of Cambridge  and to useful, free websites (dictionaries, online bookshops, online books and journals, maps, government websites etc.)

Library Hub Discover  (Union catalogue of UK and Irish university/research libraries - previously called COPAC)
It exposes rare and unique research material by bringing together the catalogues of c.90 major UK and Irish libraries (and growing). In a single search you can discover the holdings of the UK’s national libraries (including the British Library), many University libraries, and specialist research libraries. 
Contains the Cambridge University Library's Chinese material. Searchable in Pinyin but links to full Chinese vernacular bibliographic records.

UK Union Catalogue of Chinese Books - Chinese & Romanised search 
Contains all Chinese publications (including serials) available in participating UK libraries.You can perform simultaneous search of all library catalogues or select the library of your interest. (use 'HELP' button for instructions).

Union List of Chinese Serials in Cambridge

Includes a vast number of Chinese monographs as well as European publications on China. It also lists the holding libraries of a particular monograph worldwide (most libraries in the States, in the UK or Europe.) Searchable in Chinese.



Han dian 漢典
Classical Chinese dictionary.

Juhai Chinese-English/English- Chinese dictionary 
Good for examples/usage. Includes 'Instant Grammar Checker' to improve your writing.

Chinese-English/English-Chinese dictionary designed to help students in their study of Chinese language and reading Chinese online. Here you can add Mandarin pronunciation to any Chinese text as either Hanyu Pinyin, often called simply Pinyin, Zhuyin Fuhao also known as Bopomofo or other, less well-known Chinese phonetic systems. You can use both Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters as long as you don't mix them inside one word. Paste in Chinese text to get character-by-character Pinyin. Hover over for definitions or print out a vocab list of HSK vocab.

MDGB Chinese-English Dictionary 
Searchable in simplified or traditional characters. You can also draw the characters you would like to look up by yourself. The character dictionary contains information about single Chinese characters. Each entry in the character dictionary consists of a Chinese character, radical/stroke count, English definition, Mandarin pinyin pronunciation, Yale & Jyutping Cantonese pronunciation, simplified/traditional variants and cangjie.

PeraPera Chinese 
Free add-on for Firefox and Chrome. Once downloaded, an icon will appear on the top right-hand corner of your desktop which you can activate by one click each time you would like to read something from a Chinese website. Hover over any Chinese characters on the Internet and its English meaning and Chinese reading will appear in a window.

This application offers free Chinese (Cantonese) dictionary, flashcards, and document reader software for smartphones and tablets, including iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches. You can look up characters by drawing them on the screen of your device or by using your device’s camera. You can look up words by simply tapping on them. Very fast and well-supported.

A Student’s Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese Online

Zhongwen Dictionary 

Good dictionary for looking up traditional characters. Can search by radical. Also has etymology.

Click HERE to view some more online Chinese dictionaries recommended by the Chinese Department at the Cambridge University Library




BBC NEWS in Chinese (中文)

Chinese Text Project 
The Chinese Text Project is an online open-access digital library that makes pre-modern Chinese texts available to readers and researchers all around the world. The site attempts to make use of the digital medium to explore new ways of interacting with these texts that are not possible in print. With over thirty thousand titles and more than five billion characters, the Chinese Text Project is also the largest database of pre-modern Chinese texts in existence. A web-based e-text system designed to present ancient Chinese texts, particularly those relating to Chinese philosophy.  Character look-up function; dictionary; title + full-text search function. Searchable in simplified and traditional Chinese + in English. Contains English translation of some texts.

Professor I. Galambos’ Blog 
Lots of interesting themes about Dunhuang.

History Timeline
Useful reference tool for looking up brief description and map of each dynasty, dates and the Chinese characters of dynasties and emperors.

Internet guide to Chinese studies
Contains essential full text databases (classical and modern), digital research libraries such as the National Library of France and others, research papers and theses online. Searchable by keywords.

China Education and Research Network

Chinese portal. Contains Reuters news from China, Japan etc. 

Wade-Giles/pinyin Conversion Tables