Imperial China 

Welcome to the Research Guide for Imperial China.
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Imperial China is generally understood to begin with the Qin Dynasty in 221 B. C. continuing to approximately 1800. In the PHC Library catalog, you can search a variety of resources by title, author, keyword, or phrase, linking you to ebooks, print books in the on-campus collection, and journal articles from both general and subject specific databases. The more specific your search terms, the more specific the results will be.  For our Distance Learning (DL) students, excerpts from print items held in the on campus library can be provided on request.

If you are accessing electronic resources from off-campus and are required to log in, use your student portal user name and password to gain access. If you have difficulty with the website or accessing any resources, please let library staff know by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu or  library@phc.edu. 

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu.


  • JSTOR - contains complete back issues of 241 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent three to five years for each title may not be included in the collection. If you locate an article that is not available in full-text, check to see if the journal is available on any of PHC's other databases.

  • ProQuest - contains the citations and abstracts of over 1,000 titles in the broad areas of social sciences and law. Of those 1,000 titles, 710 provide users with full-text, images and graphics online. Indexing and full-text coverage begins in the early 1990s for most titles.

Internet Resources

  • Chinese Text Project is an open access digital library that makes pre-modern Chinese texts available.
  • China Knowledge provides access to a wide range of topics in Chinese history, literature, art, religions, and philosophy. 

Selected Journals

You can search for articles in the catalog by title, author, keyword, or phrase or you can browse a specific journal linked from the library's Periodical Listing.

  • Chinese studies in history (Online, 2001-present)

  • Early China (Online, 2014-one year ago)

  • Late Imperial China (Online, 2002-one year ago)

Research Tips

  • Citation help needed? Try OWL (Online Writing Lab) for Chicago/Turabian, MLA, and APA styling formats. 

  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar, subjects. 
  • Once you have located a helpful source, additional potential sources may be found in the item's bibliography.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL): If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly in the library catalog.

Created:  Ngai, 2017.  Reviewed by Dr. Cherri Wemlinger/Thornhill, 2019. Last updated: Thornhill, 2023.

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