Collections and resources at the K B Chen China Centre Library

Trees and shrubs in front of a white building with lots of windows

The KB Chen China Centre Library will be closed from 29 August to 2 September. During this time there will be no access to the Reading Room, no borrowing or returning, and no printing, copying and scanning available.


The Bodleian Libraries’ Chinese Studies collections are comprised of Chinese research collections in the Book Storage Facility, rare books and special collections in the Weston Library, art and archaeology collections in the Sackler Library and teaching and reference collections held in KB Chen China Centre Library. 


The China Centre also has a collection of Chinese films (Excel) and documentaries (Excel). Please contact the Chinese Studies Administrator for information on how to get access.

Taiwan Resource Centre for Chinese Studies (TRCCS)

The Taiwan Resource Centre for Chinese Studies in the China Centre Library was opened in 2015, and holds over 500 books and DVDs published in Taiwan. As part of the TRCCS project, the National Central Library also provides Bodleian readers with access to some of its unique databases in Taiwan and Chinese Studies. Learn more about the centre and the resources available.



The Bodleian Libraries' holdings of books and journals are discoverable in SOLO. When searching Chinese language items, please use Chinese characters or disaggregated pin yin (ie pin yin, not pinyin).


The Chinese allegro catalogue will continue to be available for a transitional period. It can be searched using traditional Chinese characters or non-aggregated pin yin. Alternatively, use the four corner catalogue (四角目錄).

Serica is a subset of the Chinese allegro catalogue giving details of the Chinese pre-modern (pre-1912) and special collections.

The card catalogue of Oriental manuscripts is now available as a fully searchable database, the Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts. The content of the Chinese section of this catalogue will gradually be added to the main Chinese catalogue and the Serica catalogue.

The conspectus of Chinese shelfmarks records information on date of acquisition, provenance, current and obsolete shelfmarks for selected items in the Chinese collection.

Chinese material acquired before 1992 is entered in the author/title card catalogue (Wade-Giles transliteration). The author and title catalogue also lists the works of congshu held in the library.

Find out more about catalogues on our guide.


Chinese Studies subject guide

A guide to resources for Chinese Studies.

Databases A-Z: Chinese Studies

A list of Chinese Studies e-resources available through the Bodleian Libraries. Some resources will require an Oxford SSO to access.

Digital Bodleian

Discover almost a million images of rare books, manuscripts, and other treasures from the Bodleian Libraries and Oxford college libraries.

Finding aids for Oriental manuscripts and rare books

A guide to the finding aids available for Oriental manuscripts and rare books in the Bodleian Library.


Our Chinese e-resources have been purchased by the Bodleian Libraries for our readers. They may be used while in the library, and University members may also gain access to them from elsewhere.

In most cases, access to the resources is limited to one or two simultaneous users, so please fully exit these databases (by clicking the 'log off' button if there is one, and not simply closing the browser). This is to ensure that the next user will not experience a delay while the database resets itself.

If you are having trouble viewing or accessing e-resources, please check the following:

  • Are you using Internet Explorer? Most Chinese e-resources will not work properly, if at all, with other browsers.  
  • If you are not in either the China Centre Library or connected to the Oxford University network, have you remembered to load the VPN?  
  • Are you trying to access the resource at a time of day when others are likely to be using it? In the interests of economy, our access is in most cases limited to a single user or two concurrent users.

If the problem persists, please contact the China Centre Library team.