About the Collection

The C. V. Starr East Asian Library's run of Ling long women's magazine is one of the most complete outside China, acquired, we believe, in the late 1930s or early 1940s as part of a concerted effort to enlarge Columbia University's Chinese-language holdings. The collection expanded dramatically in the years between 1938 and 1941 when the holdings more than doubled, thanks to a special grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The goals of the collecting activity included a wide range of materials from local histories and collected works to "periodicals, especially those of general and literary interest, as against learned journals."

In the 1980s and 1990s, when topics in Chinese history such as social and cultural history, women's history, and history of the Republican period, became increasingly important, the magazine became heavily used. Since the acidic paper was disintegrating quickly, in 1997 the magazines were microfilmed and then digitized with the help of a grant from the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia. There are a number of missing issues and missing pages from held issues in the Starr library's holdings of Ling long. In 2005 , the University of Heidelberg digitized materials in its collection to add to those digitized by Columbia University. The combined and more complete digitized run of Ling long is presented on this site. In the image viewer, University of Heidelberg page images are indicated by an (h) next to the page number.

Ling long women's magazine was popular at a time of dramatic social change in Republican China. In its short run from 1931 to 1937, it was disproportionately influential. Decades later, it offers a uniquely intimate view of the lives of women in the 1930s in Shanghai, a city at the forefront of social and political change. The articles, photographs, even the advertisements, bring to life a vibrant and intriguing society in a fast-changing world.

Submit questions and comments to Chengzhi Wang, Chinese Studies Librarian, C.V. Starr East Asian Library.

Learn more about the University of Heidelberg's collections at the European Center for Digital Resources in Chinese Studies site.

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