Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Database: Foreign Office Files for China -- 1949~1976

The University of Toronto Libraries has recently acquired "Foreign Office Files for China: 1949-1976", a primary source database that makes available the complete British Foreign Office Files dealing with China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during 1949 and 1976.

The time coverage (1949-1976) is an immensely critical period in modern Chinese history: 1949 marked the founding of the PRC, and in 1976, Mao Zedong passed away. During the time, Britain was one of the few countries that recognized the Communist China, thus the British Foreign Office Files about China are valuable sources for scholars studying post-1949 China.

The Foreign Office’s reporting includes 3 sections with contents covering:
  • Eye-witness accounts and detailed reports on life in China, 1949-1976.
  • In depth analysis of the Communist Revolution and all the major figures.
  • Material on the Korean War, the Cold War, US relations and the Cultural Revolution.

The database currently makes available files in Section I (1949-1956). Section II and III are scheduled to be released in 2010 and 2011.

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