Brian Vivier, Jidong Yang, JM Chris Chang, Chengzhi Wang, Joshua Seufert, Luo Zhou pose together at the ACLS office
Top to bottom, left to right: Brian Vivier, Jidong Yang, JM Chris Chang, Chengzhi Wang, Joshua Seufert, Luo Zhou

In 2024, the Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies launched the China Digital Archives Mapping Project to organize support for scholars and institutions engaged in research amid a uniquely challenging environment. The Luce/ACLS Digital Archives Mapping Project works closely with scholars, librarians, and institutions to expand equitable access to primary materials for China studies research. To build toward this goal, the Mapping Project aims to collaborate with China studies libraries and research centers in North America to develop a cross-institutional framework for common access and resource-sharing.

On May 10, 2024, ACLS hosted a working group of five leading China studies librarians at its New York office to outline a common access plan. The working group was prompted to examine the gaps and limitations in existing consortial agreements and their impact on access for early career scholars and under-resourced institutions.



Following an opening discussion focused on assessing the needs and challenges, the working group shifted to workshopping potential interventions to be collectively undertaken by China studies libraries. Some of the interventions highlighted by the group for further development included:

  • Developing a guide to free subject area databases for China studies
  • Using AI-tools to improve original script cataloging and discovery for special collections
  • Establishing a central clearinghouse for digitization projects, among other proposals.

ACLS Special Projects Researcher JM Chris Chang convened the meeting, joined by Director of International Programs Deena Ragavan and Program Associate Morgan Day. China Studies Libraries Working Group members joined the meeting:

  • Joshua Seufert, Chinese Studies Librarian, Princeton Libraries
  • Brian Vivier, Director of the Center for Global Collections, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • Chengzhi Wang, China Studies Librarian, C.V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University
  • Jidong Yang, Director and Librarian, Harvard-Yenching Library
  • Luo Zhou, Librarian for Chinese Studies and Coordinator for East Asian Collection Managment, Duke University Libraries


Learn More About the Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies

Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies