China Pathfinder

Created by Fran Bullington, Library Media Specialist

Image attribution:


This pathfinder was designed for World History students at Boiling Springs High School. It is intended to provide students a solid starting point in beginning research on the history, people, and culture of China.


Students need accurate, authoritative information which is not always easily found through a general search on the Internet. Using the sites listed below will enable students to spend their time on the Internet efficiently.

Databases from SCDISCUS
Provided to all citizens in the state of South Carolina by our state legislature, SCDISCUS provides a wealth of information you can access from home or school. (If accessing from home, you will need to ask your media specialist for a username and password.)
  • Options to simplify research include research guides, search tips, and the ability to email articles directly to yourself. You can also choose to print an article without having to copy and paste it into another document.
  • Source citations are provided for each of the documents, making it easy to add to a Works Cited or Bibliography page for your project.
These databases will be particularly helpful:

History Resource Center World. 2009. Gale Cengage Learning.
Student Edition. 2009. Gale Cengage Learning.

Web Sites

CIA World Fact Book Considered one of the best research sites for information on countries, the page on China provides information on the geography, people, government, economy, communication, transportation, military, and transnational issues.

The Library of Congress Country Profiles The Library of Congress has compiled a series of profiles of foreign nations. Click on the button beside “China” to be taken to a pdf file that is thorough in coverage of several areas including people, government, economy, industry, transportation, communications, national security and more.

The Library of Congress Country Studies: China This site not only includes the information in the site above, but also addresses history from the ancient dynasties to Modern China.

National Geographic Traveler’s China China facts, videos, maps, music, and photo galleries set this site apart from the others. A wealth of resources including flags, maps, and statistics.

Languages of China Discover the languages used in various regions.

Lonely Planet’s Overview of China Visit popular places in China. This multimedia site offers photos and videos to help you get a feel of the country.

History of China Table of Contents This resource provides information on the various dynasties.

Print Resources

Subject Headings
When searching for sources on OPAC, the following are some of the subject headings you can type in to locate additional sources not listed in this resource guide.

China – Civilization
China – History
China – Religion
China – Social life and customs


REF 307.76 JUN
World Holidays Volume 4
The entry on China is found on pp. 347-361.

REF 910 LAN V.2
Lands and People
The informative entry on China is found on pp. 377-422.

REF 910.2 COL

World Travel Guide
The entries on China are found on pp. 173-185. Excellent source not only for travel, but for many facts including those about holidays, currency, climate, entertainment, food, and shopping.


Cultural Atlas of China
Thorough reference source covering the land and its people, the history, and symbols and societies of China. This source has many maps and illustrations.

These books, as well as others, are on reserve for your class research.

305.235 CON
Teens in China
This book describes the teens in China, who feel tremendous pressure to succeed in school and who must join the work force or pass entrance exams to a university.

641.5951 LOC

The Cooking of China
Introduces the different culinary regions of china through recipes adapted for young chefs and discusses the basics of food handling and kitchen safety.

931 ALL
Life in Ancient China
This book discusses life in China primarily during the Han dynasty, describing the life of farmers, life in a city, life in the military, business practices, the arts, and more.

931 HOL

Ancient History of China
This volume chronicles the development of Chinese civilization from Neolithic times to the early first century A.D. and introduces influential figures such as the philosopher Confucius and the emperor Shi Huang Di, who built the Great Wall and commissioned the sculpting of a terra-cotta army.

951 CHI

This book presents informative essays on nearly thirty topics in the history of China, covering the dynasties, the Revolution of 1911 and following wars, four decades of Communism, and the early twenty-first century.

951 HOU
China: A Primary Source Cultural Guide
This book presents an overview of the history and culture of China and its people, including the country’s geography, myths, arts, daily life, education, and government.

951 LIV

Living in Imperial China
This anthology of essays presents primary and secondary documents that examine the home life, religion, education, arts, and entertainment of imperial Chinese society.

951 LUH

The People of China
This volume presents an in-depth look at China’s largest ethnic groups, examing each group’s history, customs, beliefs, and aspirations.

951.05 PIE

The Chinese Cultural Revolution
Describes the events surrounding the Maoist revolution in China.

951.05 YU

The Government of China
This volume details the historical development of China’s Communist government and explores recent trends, including signs that a more responsive, open system may be developed.

Web Resources for Presentations

FlickrCC This site provides searchable flickr images that each are licensed through Creative Commons, giving you the rights to use them with proper attribution. (The image used at the beginning of this pathfinder came from this site. Notice that proper attribution is given.)

Big Huge Labs Use flickr images to create mosaics, trading cards, calendars, puzzles, posters, magazine covers, and more. Many of these could be used in your PowerPoint slideshow.