The field of China studies faces a growing set of challenges. State censorship, heighted geopolitical tensions, and the lasting effects of the pandemic have exacerbated longstanding barriers to research at a moment when scholarship on China has never been more crucial. With the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, ACLS has been working closely with scholars, experts, and practitioners in China studies to study impactful interventions that respond to the collective needs of the field. Building on these collaborative efforts, the Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies in 2024 launched the China Digital Archives Mapping Project to organize support for scholars and institutions engaged in research amid a uniquely challenging environment.

The Digital Archives Mapping Project is an ongoing initiative that aims to enhance and expand access to primary materials and source collections that are vital to the advancement of the China Studies field. The project and website, which is currently under development, will eventually comprise three main elements: a survey of significant Sinophone source collections available outside mainland China; a common access plan to enable scholars to utilize databases and collections at key institutions regardless of current rank or affiliation; and a knowledge base of best practices for organizations seeking to digitize and preserve print collections. The project is led by an ACLS Special Projects Researcher JM Chris Chang in consultation with researchers, librarians, and data specialists from a range of institutions. The Mapping Project is intended to complement the newly launched Luce/ACLS Collaborative Grant in China Studies, which provides support to innovative initiatives that work toward long-term change in the field.

Please check back for updates and more details.



An online resource providing detailed information on collection content, holding institutions and means of access for significant digital source collections for China studies research


A knowledge base and guide to best practices for scholars and organizations seeking to digitize and preserve unconventional and grassroots archives


A framework for equitable access and resource-sharing among key China studies libraries and research centers in North America and an accompanying access guide for users

We welcome feedback or inquiries on the Mapping Project at [email protected].


Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies