What's New for Chinese Studies

Premiere Screening "Above the Drowning Sea" and Dialogue with Filmmakers, November 28, 2017

(Updated September 8, 2017)


Premiere Screening:  "Above the Drowning Sea" a documentary of Jewish refugees in Shanghai during WWII and meeting and discussion with the filmmakers René Balcer, an award-winning producer of "Law and Order" and Carolyn Hsu-Balcer, a designer, philanthropist and art collector.

Introducer and Moderator: Professor Ying Qian, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
5:00 pm-7:30 pm.
203 Butler Library

Registration required

China Knowledge and Library Sources: A Lecture Marking the 115th Anniversary of the Chinese Library (中文图书馆) at Columbia University, November 27, 2017

(Updated November 7, 2017)

China Knowledge and Library Sources:
A Lecture Marking the 115th Anniversary of the Chinese Library at Columbia University

Professor, Department of Information Management, Peking University

Moderated by Chengzhi Wang
C.V. Starr East Asian Library & Weathehead East Asian Institute, Columbia University

Monday, November 27, 2017 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918

The expansion of China knowledge in the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century resulted mainly from extraordinary efforts by both sinologists and bibliographers. Library historian and historiographer Prof. Wang Yuguang will share his research on how the early generation of Chinese American bibliographers in the U.S. such as Alfred Kaiming Chiu, Chao-ying Fang, and Tung-li Yuan made significant contribution by acquiring, classifying and cataloging, and researching Chinese source materials. Lecture in Chinese; PPT slides in Chinese & English.

“Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion – Fan Jian and Still Tomorrow (范俭纪录片《摇摇晃晃的人间 - 余秀华》) (2016)” November 10, 2017

(Updated November 8, 2017)

Fan Jian, Filmmaker
Ying Qian, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
Jane Gaines, Professor of Film, Columbia University

November 10, 2017, 6:00 – 10:00 pm. Dodge Hall, Room 511. No registration required.

Despite not having finished high school, Yu Xiuhua became an overnight internet sensation and China’s most famous poet in 2015. Her book of poetry has become the most widely distributed and sold poetry book in China for the past 20 years. As a young woman with cerebral palsy, she discusses her limited marriage options in rural China and shares her experience as a woman who was married off to a stranger when she was 18. Through her poems, she contemplates her fate, and writes about the human body, life, sex, and her yearning for true love.

Still Tomorrow won the IDFA Special Jury Award for Feature-Length Documentary and was an official selection of IDFA 2016, HotDocs 2017, Sheffield Doc Fest 2017, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Co-sponsored by the C.V Starr East Asian Library, MA Program in Film Studies (Columbia School of the Arts) and Dragon Summit Foundation

New Database Trial: North-China Daily News & Herald Newspapers and Hong Lists (1850-1951)

(Updated November 2, 2017)

The North-China Daily News & Herald Newspapers and Hong Lists 字林洋行中英文报纸全文数据库 (1850-1951)
on the same platform of the National Index of Chinese Newspapers and Periodicals; click on the shifting icon of 字林洋行中英文报纸全文数据库 (1850-1951) at the bottom after the link is opened, or on the search result page, choose it from the left column. Trial period: one month.

The North-China Daily News & Herald, Limited was the most important and largest British-founded press agency in Shanghai in the 1800s. The company published a number of Chinese and English newspapers, which recorded in detail the social events over a century in modern China, and interpreted the tortuous historical development from different perspectives. The database collection includes:

  • The North-China Herald(1850-1941) - English
  • The North-China Daily News(1864-1951) - English
  • The North-China Desk Hong List(1872-1941)- English
  • 上海新报(The Chinese Shipping List & Advertiser)(1862-1872)  - Chinese
  • 沪报 (1882-1908) - Chinese
  • 汉报 (1894-1900) - Chinese
  • 消闲报 (1898-1906) - Chinese

New Database Trial: Zhongguo di fang li shi wen xian (Chinese Local History Documents)

(Updated November 2, 2017)

Zhongguo di fang li shi wen xian 中国地方历史文献
Trial period: two months.  

The database of Chinese Local History Documents contains collections of property and land transaction records, and deeds and titles from Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties, and some from Republican Period (1912-1949), in both full text and scanned image. The documents come from the Shicang Village, Songyang County, Zhejiang Province, villages and townships from multiple counties of Huizhou area, Anhui Province and Jiangxi Province, and east part of Fujian Province. They are generally called 石仓文书,徽州文书,江西文书 and 闽东文书 in Chinese.

New York International Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, October 27 to November 27, 2017

(Updated October 24, 2017)

201710 ChineseCaligraphyExhibition

The Second New York International Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition (2017) will be hosted from October 27th 2017 to November 27th 2017 at C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University and Asian Culture Center. The exhibition is organized by a group of organizations including North American Chinese Calligraphers Association; Calligraphy Research and Innovation Center of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing University of the Arts; C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University, Dragon Summit Foundation, Asian Culture Center, New York Young Entrepreneurs Roundtable, and Zhejiang University of Finance & Economics.

The event will be co-sponsored by New York Chinese Opera Society, I-wing press, UADC NY, Confucius Classroom of Denver, Columbia Confucius Institute. And supported by Chinese University Alumni Alliance.

The exhibition reception will be held 4-7:00 pm, Friday, October 27, 2017. Registration required for participation in the reception.

Film Screening and Discussion: Minority Media in Taiwan, September 28, 2017

(Updated August 10, 2017)

20170928 Panay_poster

This program includes a film screening Children of the Sun (Panay, 2015, Taiwan) and a panel discussion on indigenous and minority media practice in Taiwan. It is co-sponsored by the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, Columbia's Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library.

Children of the Sun (Panay, 2015, running time 99min) is a feature film directed by Cheng Yu-Chieh and Lekal Sumi Cilangasan.

C.V. Starr East Asian Library Makes 3D Images of Ancient Oracle Bones Available to the Public

(Updated September 5, 2017)

Columbia University Libraries’ C.V. Starr East Asian Library is pleased to announce that digital images of 126 bone fragments engraved with the earliest-surviving Chinese script are now available to the public, an agreement that was reached just this summer. Images of the fragments were digitized in collaboration with the Chinese Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL) at Zhejiang University Library.

Work to digitize the oracle bones, a collection that includes authentic, forged, and unconfirmed bones, began in 2015 and was completed last summer. The pieces were digitized using reflective transformation imaging (RTI), which captures the surface color and shape of the bone and allows users to “re-light” the bone from any direction, creating an interactive reproduction of each fragment.

The original bones date to the Shang Dynasty, which reigned from 1600 to 1046 B.C.E., and will likely prove an invaluable resource to scholars of early Chinese history and language.

“I have no doubt that this is the best possible presentation of the oracle bones and shells,” said Faculty Director of Columbia’s Tang Center for Early China, Feng Li, a professor of early Chinese history and archaeology. “The photographing is perhaps more telling when done on the oracle bones…given the fact that the inscriptions were hand-engraved…on natural materials [such] as bones and shells, which produced very subtle traces of writing that are best revealed [by RTI].”

New Database Acquisitions

(Updated July 31, 2017)

Thanks to recommendations and support from members of WEAI/EALAC and authorities and colleagues of Columbia University Libraries, the following databases have been acquired and are ready for use:

Theses databases and the brief descriptions about them can also be found in E-Resources for Chinese studies.

Chinese Designated Computer Removed

(Updated July 27, 2017)

The Chinese Designated Computer uploaded with with some Chinese databases in the Reading Room computer area, including Zhongguo li dai shi ke shi liao hui bian 中国历代石刻史料汇编, was removed permanently. The web-based online database of Zhongguo li dai shi ke shi liao hui bian 中国历代石刻史料汇编 has been acquired and can be used online.  


Chengzhi Wang, Ph.D.
Chinese Studies Librarian
307M Kent Hall
(212) 854-3721