Reading Ling long


Ling long magazine has two covers—front and back—and is read from both directions. The text in the "front" of the magazine runs horizontally while the text in the "back" of the magazine is vertical. The front and back sections meet somewhere in the body of the magazine, not always at the center fold. Most issues follow this format, although there are some exceptions.

Ling long's front cover is bound on the right and page numbers increase right to left when reading from the front (page 2 on the right, page 3 on the left). The back cover is bound on the left and page numbers decrease when reading from the back (page 35 on the left, page 34 on the right).

Issue Numbers and Dates

The issue numbers of the magazine run sequentially from the first issue in 1931 through the last issue in 1937. C. V. Starr Library's holdings run from issue number 1 to issue number 298. Page numbers, however, run sequentially within years, starting at page 1 in the first issue of the year and running continuously through the last issue of the year. In 1935, for example, the last issue ended with page number 2,564. One exception: In 1932, the second year of publication, the page numbering did not start at 1 until May. But in 1933, the magazine once again started with page 1 at the beginning of each year.

Ling long magazine followed the modern calendar of the Republic of China. While the months and days corresponded to the Gregorian calendar the years were calculated according to the founding of the Republic of China (January 1912). Thus, by adding 1,911 to the Republican year, one can figure out the Gregorian year (i.e., Republican year 20 is the same as Gregorian year 1931). An exception is that the editors did not switch over to the new year in January of 1932 (Republic 21). They may have been calculating the year according to the lunar rather than the Gregorian calendar, which meant the new year began after the Chinese New Year. After 1932, however, the editors adopted a standard Republican/Gregorian calendar with the year changing in January.


This Web site uses the pinyin standard of romanization. This is the standard used by the People's Republic of China, the Library of Congress, and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library. All Chinese words and names used in this Web site are written in pinyin with the exception of commonly understood proper names such as Chiang Kai-shek. Although the editors of Ling long magazine romanized the title of the magazine as Linloon, this spelling does not follow any standard system, so we have romanized the title according to the pinyin system.


In Chinese names the surname comes before the given name. For example, 1930s movie star Ruan Lingyu's family name is Ruan and given name is Lingyu. In most cases, we maintain the original order of Chinese names.

In most cases, we refer to streets and places by what they were called in the 1930s. For example, during the Republican era, Beijing was no longer the capital and was renamed Beiping instead.

Browse Collection