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China and the Modern World, Imperial China and the West, Part I, 1815‐1881

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China and the Modern World, Imperial China and the West, one of several Gale Primary Sources databases, consists of two parts and this database is the first, covering 1815‐1881. The documents are drawn from the FO 17 and FO 605 series of British Foreign Office files held at the UK National Archives. The database contains correspondence relating to China from missionaries, interpreters, the factories of Canton (modern Guangzhou), interpreters, envoys, legations, consulates, and missions sent to China from Britain. Included are materials on war, diplomacy, international law, rebellions, trade, piracy, treaty ports, cross-cultural communication, and emigration. Also included are materials regarding the internal politics and relationship between China and Britain, as well as the relationships between other Western powers involved in East Asia. While this database is relatively easy to navigate, its search functions, though understandable, frequently do not provide results that are apparently relevant to the query submitted. Nevertheless, it provides an impressive collection of primary sources on the history of China in this time period, especially with regard to its relationship with Britain and the West. The database can be subscribed to or purchased. The starting purchase price ranges from $5,405 (with an annual hosting fee starting at $49) to $7,721 (with an annual hosting fee of $69). Libraries and other institutions may or may not find this pricing reasonable, depending on their budgets and need for materials on Chinese and British history in this time period. The licensing agreement for this database is too long and detailed, but has average provisions and presents little reason for concern.

Publication date: April 1, 2023

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