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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.


Most of the libraries' Chinese books from the 20th century (and 21st century) are available to check out in the Asian Studies Collection Stacks, located in Norlin Library and findable in the library catalog. The Rare Books Collection does hold some special items and collections of 20th-century Chinese books, particularly English translations of Chinese documents either related to the Communist Revolution (1945-1949) or published by the PRC's Foreign Languages Press during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). These documents offer a glimpse into how the Chinese government represented itself and its people to an audience outside of China.

The Communist Revolution

The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

61 texts related to the Cultural Revolution, most published by the Foreign Languages Press in Peking (Beijing) during the 1960s and 1970s

Works largely include books on political ideology and those promoting the cultural revolution. Many of the books are published in red covers, similar to Mao's "Little Red Book."

Ten Chinese children's books published in English by the Foreign Languages Press in Peking (Beijing), 1965-1967

Ten Chinese Children's Books

Other Books Published During the Cultural Revolution

Rare and Distinctive Collections


Classroom: Norlin N345

Reading Room: Norlin M350B


Chinese & Asian Studies Librarian

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Xiang Li
(303) 492-7454

Rare Books Librarian

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Sean Babbs