You may need to consult a number of different catalogues to find items in our Chinese collection.
We are gradually transferring the contents of hard-copy catalogues into our online catalogues. Until the process is complete, readers should consult the catalogues below to find detailed descriptions of our Chinese holdings.
Printed books and periodicals
Two hard-copy catalogues of the Chinese language printed and periodical collections are available in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room:
- Microfiche Wade-Giles catalogue, which contains items acquired before 1966.
- Pinyin card catalogue, which contains items acquired after 1966.
The scanned copies of these catalogues are also available for download here:
Two of electronic catalogues contain more recent printed items:
- UK Union Catalogue of Chinese Books (updated until 2014).
- Explore the British Library, which also contains translations of Chinese material into western languages and western language works on China.
The union catalogue of Chinese rare books of the National Central Library (Taipei) lists our pre-1912 printed holdings.
Search the online catalogue Explore Archives and Manuscripts in addition to the following catalogues which are on shelves in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room:
- Douglas, R. K., Catalogue of Chinese Printed Books, Manuscripts and Drawings in the Library of the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1877) [also available on the Internet Archive]
- Douglas, R. K., Supplementary Catalogue of Chinese Books and Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1903)
- Microfiche Wade-Giles catalogue, which contains some of the most important items.
The Chinese manuscripts from Dunhuang and the Silk Road (Stein collection) have been catalogued and digitised by the International Dunhuang Project.