Jilin Provincial Archives

Pitts, Larissa. Jilin provincial archives. Dissertation Reviews, October 13, 2015. URL : http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/12484 (consulté le 13 octobre 2015)

Are you conducting research on the late Qing and/or early Republican periods? Have you been searching for an extensive and well-preserved source base? Do you work best while listening to the melodious sounds of Chinese pop? Then the materials at the Jilin Provincial Archives (JPA) might suit your research needs.

I conducted research for my doctoral dissertation at the JPA from March to July 2015. As my research relates to the history of forestry, I primarily worked with the Qing and Republican collections related to forest management, the promotion of industry, and education. The JPA has provided a clean, well-lit, and comfortable environment in which to conduct my research. Although its location in Changchun’s business district means the reading room hardly provides a quiet environment, the friendliness of the archivists and the extensiveness of its collection more than compensate for the Chinese pop music blaring outside. The JPA’s collection not only contains documents related to provincial events, but also contains orders from central government organs and even inter-provincial memoranda. As such, it could also provide a valuable resource for scholars working on topics of national political administration in the late Qing and early Republican periods.

Unfortunately, the JPA does not currently allow researchers to photocopy or photograph any of its pre-PRC archival materials. Typically, researchers spend most of their time transcribing materials. Fortunately, they do permit the use of a laptop and do not ban the use of cell phones (even those with cameras). In short, it would be rather difficult to do a short research trip here. However, should you make the trip, you will come out with a searchable collection of materials.

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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