Area Studies: China and Southeast Asia

Research Source

A vast array of Western perspectives and sources on China and Southeast Asia spanning several centuries, from the first British mission to China in 1792-1794 through to the mid 20th century. 

Highlights include:

  • A wide and varied array of records of traders, travellers, missionaries & diplomats, 1792-1942, offering western perspectives on all aspects of Chinese culture and society
  • British government records covering economic development in China, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, 1950-1980

What collections are included in this module?

  • China Through Western Eyes: Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers and Missionaries and Diplomats, 1792-1942

  • China Inland Mission, 1865-1951: From the School of Oriental and African Studies, London

  • Asian Economic History: Series One: The Opium Trade and the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, 1945-48

  • Asian Economic History: Series Two: Economic Development in Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, 1950-1980

Key Data


  • 2018

Period Covered

  • 1792-1980


  • Western interactions with China and South East Asia from 1792 to the present
  • China culture and customs
  • Diplomacy, foreign policy and global politics
  • Missionaries and religion
  • Trade and economic development
  • Opium trade and narcotics

Material Types

  • Personal papers
  • Correspondence
  • Journals, travel writing and diaries
  • Logbooks
  • Photographs
  • Ephemera
  • Artefacts
  • Periodicals

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