HIST 195: China

Matteo Ricci and Paul Xu GuangqiReference Sources

Search or browse reference sources to find background information.


To find books at the library, search the Catalog from the library's Books page.

Subjects in the catalog are "official" terms that describe a book's content. They are hard to guess on their own. If you find a relevant item, look at the subjects assigned, and try searching on those. 

For example, in the record for the book Encounters and Dialogues : Changing Perspectives on Chinese-Western Exchanges from the Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries, you'll see a possible subject to search is Jesuits -- China -- History

To find your book in the library, refer to the Call Number location guides that tell you where to find the book on the shelf. To page an item, click "Request It" in the item record. Your paged items will be ready for you after 5pm the following day at the Circulation Desk. 

Books in the library are organized by subject, based on the Library of Congress Classification System.

Find books and videos in other libraries using Link+

Click the Link+ icon in the catalog to search for books and videos in over 40 libraries in California and Nevada. Link+ items arrive in 3-4 days to arrive. You should receive an email when the item is ready for pick up. You may borrow requested items for 3 weeks and usually renew for an additional 2 weeks through your library record.


Search the following article library databases to find relevant journal, magazine, and newspaper articles.

  • Historical Abstracts Includes citations and abstracts for publications covering world history (excluding the U.S. and Canada).
  • Humanities Source Full text for more than 1,480 journals in the humanities, and indexing back to 1907.
  • JSTOR Multi-disciplinary digital archive of back issues (JSTOR generally lacks the latest three years) of hundreds of scholarly journals.  
  • Project Muse Multi-disciplinary full-text scholarly articles, covers history. Coverage begins in 1993. 
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies Index of sources on Asia published from 1971 to present. 
  • Fusion Search across the majority of the library's books and articles. Add more keywords or use the limits in the results screen to reduce the number of results.

If the full-text of the article is not available, click to see if the full-text is available in another library database, in print in the library, or for free on the Web. For help using USF: Find Full-Text, see this video tutorial.


Follow these instructions to see if the library subscribes to a specific journal or to find the full-text of a specific article.

  1. 1. Start at the library’s home page.
  2. 2. On the left, click 
  3. 3. Enter the name of the journal, newspaper, or magazine you’re looking for (e.g., New York Times). If we subscribe to that publication, you’ll see what years we have access to. If you’re looking for a specific article, navigate till you find your article. For more help, see this video tutorial.  

Primary Sources

 Library books and articles

Beyond the library

  • Google Books includes the full-text of many books out of copyright (before 1923). After doing a search, go to Search Tools at the top to limit by date. 
  • Hathi Trust Thousands of online books, some of which are available in full-text. 
  • Chinese Materials and Rare Book Full-text-and-image Database, The Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo) Contains 4019 titles, including a large number of rare books from the late imperial period, such as many different Ming and Qing novels, classics, legal treatises, and drama scripts. 
  • China Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL) Open-source digital library contains over one million scanned books. Currently, it  has about 80,000 volumes of rare Chinese books available for reading on-line. Most of these are from Beijing University Library and Zhejiang University Library.

Cite Your Sources

Use the auto-citation generator tool found in many of our databases. For example, in many EBSCOHost databases, including Fusion, in a document record, click Cite to the right to view your citation in MLA, APA, or Chicago/Turabian style. 

Cite Tool

Consult Purdue OWL for paper formatting and style guidelines. 
If citing in Chicago style, see the Chicago Manual of Style Online. The quick guide provides sample citations for notes and bibliographies.

Image: Matteo Ricci and Paul Xu Guangqi from La Chine d'Athanase Kirchere de la Compagnie de Jesus: illustre de plusieurs monuments tant sacres que profanes, Amsterdam, 1670.