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HIST 13184 - History University Seminar: Where East Meets West (Cai)


This course guide assists Professor Liang Cai's students in writing their final essay.

  1. Getting Started (reference sources): background information for your topic(s) of interest
  2. Finding Historical Evidence (primary sources): the images of official records, letters, periodicals, photos, and maps, created by  Western missionaries and diplomats, who visited or lived in China during the Qing Period
  3. Finding Articles & Books (secondary sources): scholarly information that you can use to develop and support your theses.

Off-campus access to electronic resources

During the Covid-19 lockdown, the Hesburgh Libraries won't be able to provide print materials, but ND users should be able to access the electronic resources that the Libraries subscribe to. If you access these resources through the library website, you will be prompted to log in with your netID and password.

There are also electronic books that have become temporarily available to ND users through the HathiTrust Library, and to the general public through the of the National Emergency Library of the Internet Archive. See Finding Articles & Books below.

Getting Started

  • Volume 1: The Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 BC–AD 220 
  • Volume 2: The Six Dynasties, 220–589  
  • Volume 3: Sui and T'ang China, 589–906 AD, Part One
  • Volume 5: The Sung Dynasty and its Precursors, 907–1279, Part 1
  • Volume 5: Sung China, 960–1279 AD, Part 2
  • Volume 6: Alien Regimes and Border States, 907–1368
  • Volume 7: The Ming Dynasty, 1368–1644, Part 1
  • Volume 8: The Ming Dynasty, Part 2: 1368–1644
  • Volume 9: Part 1. The Ch'ing Empire to 1800
  • Volume 9: Part 2. The Ch'ing Dynasty to 1800
  • Volume 10: Late Ch'ing 1800–1911, Part 1
  • Volume 11: Late Ch'ing, 1800–1911, Part 2

Finding Historical Evidence

With manuscripts encompassing events from the earliest English embassy to the birth and early years of the People’s Republic, students are given an insight into the changes wrought upon China during this period. Key documents relating to the Chinese Maritime Customs service – from Robert Hart to Frederick Maze – are accessible and searchable alongside original reports of the Amherst and Macartney embassies. There are letters relating to the first Opium War, survivors’ descriptions of the Boxer War and glimpses of life in China from the collected diaries and personal photographs of the Bowra family. 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: The Chinese Recorder; Light and Life Magazine; The Land of Sinim: the North China Mission Quarterly Paper. In addition, 400 colour paintings, maps and drawings by English and Chinese artists provide a rich visual seam to the collection. Photographs, sketches and ephemeral items depicting Chinese people, places, customs and events, and providing a striking visual accompaniment to the documentary images.

Finding Articles & Books

Electronic books that are temporarily available

  • HathiTrust Library Click “LOG IN” (yellow button on the right upper corner), and select the University of Notre Dame on the dropdown menu. Once logged in, you will see a “Temporary Access” link for books available for ND users. Click the link, then, click the “Check Out” button.

For most books, access is limited to one user at a time. When you are not using the book, please click "Return Early" so that the book can be checked out by another ND user.

A collection of books that the Internet Archive has made available for emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed. Anyone can create an account to borrow books for 14 days.