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The most comprehensive English-language documentary series to cover Modern Chinese History is probably the PBS commission:  China a Century of Revolution which is divided into three different parts: China in revolution, The Mao Years and Born under the Red Flag.

All three parts are available at archive.org via the following link and take a few seconds to load:


The University of Southern California has made an enlightening documentary about the experiences of American journalists who covered the Chinese Civil War.


Newsreel footage regarding China can be found on the British Pathé youtube channel.


Image Databases

www.chineseposters.net  Comprehensive collection of propaganda posters organised thematically. Short essays accompany the posters.

Historic photographs of China  https://www.hpcbristol.net Searchable database of historically significant documentary photography.

www.everydaylifeinmaoistchina.org Searchable database of photographs and other images from the Maoist era, including pre-revolution Yan’an.

http://www.virtualcities.fr Extensive resource which covers the Chinese cities of Beijing, Hankou, Shanghai, Suzhou and Tianjin. Also functions as a repository for academic essays related to each city.

https://maoeraobjects.ac.uk/introduction/ Insight into life during the Maoist era through an exploration of material culture and object-based histories.

https://www.dhi.ac.uk/chiangkaishek/ Explores visual satire of Chiang Kai-shek.

https://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/search/searchterm/Forman%20China Harrison Forman Collection, University of Milwaukee. American photographer who covered Sino-Japanaese and Chinese Civil War.

Primary Source materials

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/date-index.htm Provides access to Mao Zedong’s writings in chronological order.

http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/main_pop/ps/ps_china.htm#tp9 Asia for Educators: Primary sources covering important figures such as Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, Lu Xun  , Liu Shaoqi. See sections 1900-1950 and 1950-2000.

http://www.commonprogram.science Analysis of the provisional Chinese constitution or ‘Common Program’ (1949-1954) and its articles accompanied by related visual resources.


William Hinton Fanshen Available to borrow free as an ebook at https://archive.org/details/fanshendocumentahintrich

Jonathan D. Spence The Search for Modern China Available to borrow free as an ebook at : https://archive.org/details/searchformodernc00spen

Harry Wu Bitter Winds Available free as PDF at https://laogairesearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/40-Bitter-Winds.pdf

Jonathan D. Spence Mao Zedong Available to borrow free as an ebook from: https://archive.org/details/maozedong00spen

Lesson Plans

Ohio State University provides lesson plans written by teachers as part of the National Consortium for teaching about Asia- scroll down to the history section https://u.osu.edu/ncta/lesson-plans/lesson-plans-on-china/

https://www.asianstudies.org/publications/eaa/archives/   Comprehensive database of lesson plans, classroom resources, interviews and articles compiled by the Association for Asian Studies. 

Revision Tools

https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/china-1900-to-1976/china-in-1900/ Basic overview aimed at students.

https://www.johndclare.net/China0.htm in conjunction with Hodder Education materials. Very useful for remembering dates and causality.