Skip to Main Content

Chinese Rare Books at the University of Colorado Boulder

An introduction to rare and historical Chinese books in the Rare Books Collection, along with historical books on China by non-Chinese authors.

Chinese Rare Books

This page includes a bibliography of rare Chinese books before 1912, as well as unique materials on China published in the 20th century and historical European books about China. Some of these materials are still located in the Asian Studies Collection or at our offsite facility, but most can be found in the Rare and Distinctive Collections.

About CU's Rare and Distinctive Collections

Rare and Distinctive Collections at the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries holds a growing collection of materials on and from China. We continue to build this collection through new acquisitions to support research and instruction on campus and beyond. To find additional materials held in our Rare and Distinctive Collections, search the following two databases:

Library Catalog Advanced Search

  • This link takes you to a library catalog advanced search. The best way to find additional relevant books here at CU is to run this advanced search by keyword and limit the search with a date range. For example, put in China as a keyword and limit the date range between 1800 to 1900. The second option to see only items in the Rare Books Collection is to search a keyword and then use the filters on the right to filter the shelf location to Norlin Library and then Rare Books Collection.

Archives Database

  • This link takes you to our archival repository. Here, you can browse finding aids and keyword search our unpublished collections, including collections of original photographs.

The Rare and Distinctive Collections Reading Room

  • Although rare materials cannot be checked out at the library, anyone is welcome to view the material in our Reading Room, located in Norlin Library. This link will take you to more information about hours and scheduling an appointment.

Rare and Distinctive Collections


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B


Chinese & Asian Studies Librarian

Profile Photo
Xiang Li
(303) 492-7454

Rare Books Librarian

Profile Photo
Sean Babbs