Education About Asia: Online Archives

Web Gleanings: Asia in World History 1750–1914

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Title: Internet East Asian History Sourcebook


This collection of primary sources is remarkable for both the scope and the depth of its offerings. There are the notes of Matthew Perry about landing in Japan and a speech by Kaiser Wilhelm II to the German soldiers going to China during the Boxer Rebellion. These are just two among many documents included on the site.

Title: History of Asia in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century


Short histories of Asian countries are accessible from the list on the right side of this page. There are also maps of Asia from various periods: 1789, 1871, and 1914. In addition to the maps and short histories, there are links to other sites that have articles and documents that pertain to each country during this timeframe.

Title: Focus: Asia, A Collection of Nineteenth Century Photographs


This collection of nineteenth century photographs strives to present a record of life in Asia in that century and a sense of the artistry of the photographers. The Museum of Asian Art in Sarasota, FL brought together these nineteenth century photographs. There are short captions for each photograph and a lengthy introduction to the exhibition.

Title: Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Asian Cities


The University of Chicago Library has scanned several maps of Asian cities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One can zoom in to each of the maps to inspect it at street magnification. There are citations for each map that include dates and pertinent notes about the map.

Title: Images of India


The site has five hundred thirty-one postcards, most created in the early twentieth century. The subjects include well-known places of interest, hotels, gardens, and typical garb for women. This is part of the Images of Asia series, where one can also find postcards from Sri Lanka, China, and Japan.

Title: The British Presence in India in the Eighteenth Century

URL: india_01.shtml

The BBC produced a series on British history titled: Empire and Sea Power. Part of this series was a six-part section on Britain’s role in India in the eighteenth century. In the right-side frame are links to other related sites.

Title: History and Politics, British India

URL: BrIndia.html

This is a short history of India covering the years of British colonization. At the end of the history are many articles about the colonial period written by the author, who is a professor of history at UCLA.

photo of three samurai posing
Group of Samurai. Photographer: Kusakabe Kimbei (1841-1934), circa: 1880, location: Yokohama, Japan. Hand painted albumen print. Image source: Focus: Asia, A Collection of
Nineteenth Century Photographs at

Title: Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period


This site from the University of Nagasaki offers more than 6,000 photographs of nineteenth century Japan. One can search by category, location, or photographer. Clicking on the thumbnails reveals a detailed caption and in many cases an associated high-definition image and/or related images.

Title: Edo Japan: A Virtual Tour


This tour of Edo makes excellent use of Web resources, including an interactive, clickable map and an art gallery. The tour combines text and graphics and has topics such as education, gardening, lodging, and crafts in Edo Japan.

Title: YouTube: Photos from Nineteenth Century Japan


This is a five-minute slide show of life in Japan in the nineteenth century; there are also some photographs of monuments. Most of the photographs are black and white, but there are a few that are hand colored. There is a link to an extraordinary four-minute slide show of Samurai photographs in the nineteenth century.

Title: Philippines Through the Centuries


This is the first chapter of a lengthy work that covers the history of the Philippines from the sixteenth century to 1898. There are sections on early Spanish rule, trade with Europe and America, Chinese immigration, and the power of Catholic religious figures.

Title: Formosa

URL: Formosa_index.html

This singular site is a product of Reed College. One would need to devote many hours to fully digest what is offered here. There are a huge number of maps and innumerable links to original texts. The images are in categories such as landscapes, people, and architecture. They are also organized by individual artist and can be seen in several magnifications. Additionally, there are tables of common words spoken by aboriginal tribes in the nineteenth century.

Title: Chinese Historical Postcard Project


The postcard project has a database of four hundred sixty-four images dating from 1896–1920, with subjects that include portraits and scenes of Chinese life. Not only are the images of postcards shown, but also the reverse side with the stamps, addresses, and messages. There are also short articles about postcards, stamps, and the topics in Chinese postcards.

Title: British Perceptions of China in the Eighteenth Century


The site presents the perceptions of China in the eighteenth century through British literature. The writings of Daniel Defoe, William Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, and articles from the Tatler and the Spectator, are the focus of the site.

Title: Court Life in China


This is an e-text version of the book written by Isaac Taylor Headland, published in 1909. The entire book, with illustrations, has been scanned and is available online. The author obtained much of the information for this book from his wife, who was the doctor for the female members of the royal family.

Title: China in Maps: Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century


Although many of the maps in this exhibition were produced in the seventeenth century (and thus, outside our focus in this issue), there are many from the eighteenth century for those who are interested in how China was depicted in maps at that time.

Title: The Treaty of Portsmouth


The Russo-Japanese War ended in 1905 with the Treaty of Portsmouth. The site dedicated to the treaty is superb. The page devoted to the history of the treaty is especially detailed; there is information on the people involved, on the causes of the War, on the War itself, on the negotiations, and on the text of the treaty. Each page has graphics and photos. There are also videos of newsreels from 1905.