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Image Resources: East Asian Studies

Yale University's Arts Library Digital Services guide to digital image resources.

East Asian Studies Image Resources

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Yale University Digital Collections

Click Here for Other Digital Image East Asian Resources


 Visual Resources Collection (Yale University Library)

The Visual Resources Collection (VRC) is a digital library of over 265,000 images of global art and architecture, including over 25,000 images related to East Asian visual and material culture. The VRC's East Asian Collection historically reflects the teaching and research interests of Yale faculty since the late 1930s to the present.  Another virtual collection is the Yale Silk Road Database.  Search within this collection or use the All radio button to include material from the VRC.


Search Tips

The VRC’s East Asian Collection can be browsed geographically, by country (“China”, “Japan”, “India”, “Indonesia” etc.), by province/prefecture/state (“Kanagawa”, “Sichuan”, “Uttar Pradesh” etc.), by city or site name (“Kyōtō”, “Beijing”, “Varanasi”, “Dunhuang” etc. ), or by period (“Tang”, “Ming”, “Kamakura”, “Muromachi” etc.), by object classification (“Architecture”, “Sculpture”, “Painting”), and by object type (“shrine”, “temple”, “stupa”, “pagoda” etc.). Whenever possible, different versions of geographic names (e.g. “Varanasi” or “Benares”) and Buddhist terms (e.g. “Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara” or “Kannon bosatsu”) have been included in the cataloging record to facilitate your search. 


Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Digital Image Collection

Search the Beinecke’s collection of over 250,000 images via its digital images page or via Orbis for specific works. Examples include:

  • John Thomson’s Illustrations of China and its People, 1873-1874
  • China, in a series of views, displaying the scenery, architecture, and social habits, of that ancient empire. / Thomas Allom (1843).
  • Chinese opium-smoker: twelve illustrations showing the ruin which our opium trade with China is bringing upon that country, ca. 1880
  • Designs of Chinese buildings, furniture, dresses, machines, and utensils. Engraved by the best hands from the originals drawn in China by Mr. Chambers, to which is annexed a description of their temples, houses, gardens, &c., 1757./ Chambers, William, Sir, 1723-1796
  • An embassy from the East-India Company of the United provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, emperor of China, 1669 / Nieuhof, Johannes, 1618-1672
  • The boy who drew cats. 1931[?] / Hearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904, tr.
  • Edo meisho zue. Itsuku-shima dzu-ye, 1838 / Saito, Choshu, 1737-1799
  • Omi hakkei emaki (Eight scenes of Lake Biwa), 1691-1693


Yale University Art Gallery eCatalog

Search the Gallery's image database for over 5,000 objects from the Gallery's Asian Art collection.



ARTstor, an initiative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a subscription-based digital image resource with more than 750,000 images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. The ARTstor Web site offers a variety of features useful for teaching support. In addition to content provided by ARTstor, the Yale Visual Resources Collection is also accessible through the ARTstor interface. The combined collections total more than 1,000,000 images.

Recommended collections related to East Asian studies include:

  • The Mellon International Dunhuang Archive
  • Huntington Archive of Asian Art
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Collection
  • Asian Art Photographic Distribution (University of Michigan)
  • Carl Strom and Jennifer Strom: Korean Buddhist Monasteries
  • Rob Linrothe: Tibetan and Buddhist Art (Skidmore College)


China Christian Colleges and Universities Image Databases,Yale University Divinity Library

This database provides detailed description and more than 7,500 digital images of photographs and films held in the archives of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia and the Lingnan University Board of Trustees, which are held at the Yale Divinity Library. The database is an important resource for the study of education, medical work, architecture, and society in China during the first half of the twentieth century. Contact: Martha Smalley, Special Collections Librarian, Yale Divinity Library.



Other Digital Image Resources:

General East Asian Studies | Chinese Studies | Japanese Studies | Korean Studies | Silk Road Studies | Museum Digital Collections



Other Digital Image Resources: General East Asian Studies


1001 Wonders, formerly World Heritage Tour

 Panoramic views of sites selected from among the World Heritage list and the World Monuments Watch Fund list among others. Includes sites throughout Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, as well as China and Korea.


Asian Historical Architecture                                         

 Over 14,000 images of Asian historical architecture from 732 sites in 20 countries.


Botanical and Cultural Images of East Asia, 1907-1927, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Collection of travel and research photographs taken by plant explorers working in East Asia in the early 20th century. Scenes of daily life, plants, landscapes, and architecture.


Cities/Buildings Database, University of Washington

 10,000 images of buildings and cities around the world. Includes approximately 2,000 photographs contributed by Daniel C. Waugh, Professor of History at the University of Washington and director of Silk Road Seattle.


Huntington Archive

The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Photographic Archive of Buddhist and Asian Art contains nearly 300,000 original slides and photographs – photographic documentation of art and architecture throughout Asia. Countries covered in the collection include India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), China, and Japan. The documentation covers in situ works of art and architecture ranging from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, as well as pieces found in most major Asian, European, and American museums.

Internet Mission Photography Archive    

 In the IMPA project, the Yale Divinity Library is partnering with five other archival repositories in Europe and North America to develop an online database of missionary photographs taken between 1850 and World War II. The database currently contains more than 10,000 images, of which nearly 3,000 have been contributed by the Divinity Library. This database is an important scholarly resource for missions historians, art historians, scholars of religion, historical sociologists, visual anthropologists, area specialists, and geographers. Contact: Martha Smalley, Special Collections Librarian, Yale Divinity Library.


New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Asia and the Pacific Rim in Early Prints and Photographs

Over 1,000 images of historic prints and photographs digitized from the NYPL’s rare book collections depicting people and scenes of daily life, landscapes and architecture, dating from the 18th to early 20th centuries. Browsable by collection or subject terms.

Notable items that have been digitized include:


Online Museum Resources on Asian Art (OMuRAA), Asia for Educators Program, Columbia University

 Gateway to museum sites, specifically online exhibitions, according to subject area or topic, time period, country/region, and religion.


TransAsia Photography Review

 Journal devoted to the discussion of contemporary and historical photography from Asia; this link brings you to the journal's image resources page.


Virtual Collection of Masterpieces, Asia-Europe Museum Network

 Searchable database of over 1,351 images, founded by the Asia-Europe Museum Network from the contributions of over sixty museums throughout Europe, and East and Southeast Asia.   

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 Other Digital Image Resources: Chinese Studies


Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago

    Database of Chinese handscroll paintings held in the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art and East Asian Library at the University of Chicago as well as the Institute of Fine Arts (Chicago), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. Users are able to continuously view entire works with curatorial comments and translations of inscriptions and colophons.

      Site devoted to the study of the Xiangtangshan Caves (Hebei Province) and the historical and artistic artifacts of the Northern Qi dynasty (550-577). Includes a database of Xiangtangshan sculptures in collections outside of China with zoom functionality and 3D digital models. The project will eventually also present 3D digital models of the caves and sculptures at the Southern Xiangtangshan site, with present-day and reconstructed views.

      Chinese Pamphlets: Political Communication and Mass Education in the Early Period of the People’s Republic of China

       Collection of Nationalist and Communist political documents from Hong Kong and Mainland China (ca. 1947-1954) that comprises of digitized posters, pamphlets, postcards etc., from the collection of Edward Hunter (1902-1978). Searchable by keyword, or browsable by subject (e.g. World politics--1945-1955; Songs, Chinese), or by series (e.g. Mass Education materials, 1949-1952. Anti-Imperialism). Database hosted by the Center for Research Libraries.

      Chinese-Australian Historical Images in Australia (CHIA) database

       Image database created by the Chinese Museum (Melbourne) and La Trobe University with contributions from other institutions as well as private collections. Browsable via collection or repository, people, and subject terms organized according to the following categories: Concepts, Corporate Bodies, Events, Families, Places, Occupations.


      Ethnological Collection of Southwestern China, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica (Taiwan)

      中国西南 少數民族資料庫

      Image database devoted to photographs (as well as text and maps) of ethnic groups in southwestern China.


      Gerald Warner Taiwan Image Collection, Lafayette College                                                                     

      Collection of over 300 photographs and postcards from the Japanese Colonial period in Taiwan, collected by Gerald Warner, US Consul to Taiwan from 1937 to early 1941. Keyword searchable and browsable via subject headings (e.g. Geography, Food, Agriculture, Clothing, Architecture, Labor, Travel and Transportation, Arts, Spectacles, Community, Administrative Agencies, Religious Practices, Education).


      Hedda Morrison Photographs of China, 1933-1946, Harvard-Yenching Library

      Collection of 5,000 photographs taken by the German photographer Hedda Morrison from 1933-1946. Topics include landscapes, architecture, trade, scenes of daily life and religious life.


      Historical Chinese Postcard Project: 1896-1920, Institut d’Asie Orientale (Lyon, France)

       Postcards from late imperial and early Republican China.


      Historical Photographs of China, Institut d’Asie Orientale (Lyon, France)

      Image database of 4,901 historic photographs depicting political and social life, trade and business, scenes of daily life, landscapes, public events, and architecture, taken from the late 19th century up to and including the Republican period. In addition to unspecified missionary collections, the database contains the collections of the following individuals: diplomat Fu Bingchang (b. 1895-d. 1965); commissioner for the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, R.F.C. Hedgeland (b. 1874); Director of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Shanghai Municipal Police, William Armstrong (b. 1867- d. 1931); merchant and businessman, and partner in the China merchant firm of John Swire & Sons Ltd, G. Warren Swire (b. 1883-1949); tea broker, J.C. Oswald collection. Created by the University of Bristol, University of Lincoln, and the Institut d’Asie Orientale with contributions from other institutions and private archives.


      Hugh Dean East Asian Pamphlet Collection, Lewis & Clark College

       Collection of pamphlets relating to the Chinese civil war and the Sino-Japanese war, published in the 1930s and 1940s by the China Defense League (Hong Kong and Chongqing) and the Workers Library (New York), Chinese Vanguard Publishing Company (New York) among others. Whole pamphlets may be downloaded and searched in PDF format.


      National Central Library, Digital Collections


      This site contains many primary resources that are useful for research on history of Taiwan, such as photographs during the 19th century, postcards and class books during the Japanese occupation period, liberty lottery tickets, etc.


      National Library of China, Digital Collections: Chinese memory 华夏记忆


      Site includes databases for the following:


      National Museum of History: National Historical and Cultural Artifacts Digital Collection Project

      經典意像珍藏台灣- 數位典藏國家計畫

       Collection of historical and cultural artifacts, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, jade, and textiles, digitized by the National Museum of History, Taipei.


      Peking University Rare Books & Rubbings Database



      Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr. Collection on Muslims in China, Harvard-Yenching Library

      1,000 images of historical photographs and print material from the collection of Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr., depicting the life of Muslims and Christian missionaries in Western China in the 1920s and 1930s. Includes scenes of daily life, portraits, religious and secular architecture.


      Robert Henry Chandless Photographs, University of Washington

      Approximately 200 images from the collection of Robert Henry Chandless, an American employee of the British import-export firm of Pool Lander. Views of the Boxer Rebellion, as well as images depicting daily and social life, major architectural sites and other scenes in Beijing and Tianjin in the early 1900s. The album may be searched or browsed by subject.


      Sidney D. Gamble Photographs, Duke University Library

      Photographs from the collection of sociologist Sidney D. Gamble. Currently featuring photographs taken during socio-economic surveys conducted in China dating from 1917-1932. Photographs depict urban and rural life, events, architecture and religious sites.  Photographs taken in Korea and Japan are also included. 


      South Central China and Tibet: Hotspot of Diversity, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

       Expedition photographs of plant and bird specimens, landscapes, and people of the Hengduan Mountain region which includes western Sichuan and eastern Tibet (Xizang), Expeditions conducted in 1924-1927, 1997, 1998, and 2000.


      Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images: Historical Photographs of China                                                                      

      Online archive of historical photographs and personal photography of Thomas H. Hahn, Ph.D. Example collections include: Images from the Cultural Revolution, Manchurian (Pneumonic) Plague of 1910-11, Early Photographs of Daoist Sites and Practices, (Sacred) Mountains and Sites in China.


      Tsinghua University, Digital Library on Chinese Architecture


      Collection of photographs, 3-D animations, and videos. Includes photographs and drawings from the collection of Liang Sicheng.


      Virtual Shanghai: Shanghai Urban Space in Time, Institut d’Asie Orientale (Lyon, France)

      Historical photographs of Shanghai and other cities in China (including Beijing and Tianjin) before 1949. Includes texts and maps. Browsable via albums organized according to the following subjects: cityscape, official institutions, culture, religion, education, health and sports, economy, civic organizations, people and everyday life, and war.

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      Other Digital Image Resources Continued


      Other Digital Image Resources: Japanese Studies

       Bakumatsu and Meiji Old Photographs of Japan, Nagasaki University

      長崎大学附属図書館 幕末明治期日本古写真メタデータデータベース

      Database of 6,000 images taken in the second half of the nineteenth century. Searchable by photographer, location, or keyword (categories for keyword include: View, Architecture, Urban facilities, Traffic, Person, Religious Faith, Work, Manners and Customs).


      Brown University Library, Center for Digital Initiatives

      Images from the John Hay Library of an anonymous Japanese scroll depicting Perry’s arrival in Japan; lithographs by William Heine, official artist of the Perry expedition, and published in 1855; and images published in Japanese broadsides.

      Images documenting the aftermath of the Great Kantō Earthquake taken by the American traveler, William Dana Reynolds and others. Collection includes photographs taken in Yokohama, Kyōtō, Shanghai and Hawaii, as well as letters, newspaper clippings, and other family mementoes.


      Cultural Heritage Online 


       Cultural Heritage Online is a portal site created by the Agency for Cultural Affairs that allows users to view images and associated data of art works from museum and temple collections across Japan, in addition to architectural sites, material folk culture, traditional performing arts, historical documents, major scenic sites and protected environments, historical monuments, and images documenting the work of Living National Treasures. Users can extensively browse the collections by historical period, classification or field, geographical region, and official cultural designation. Alternatively, users may perform keyword or advanced searches that also include the title of the work, repository name, and artist name. Related images can be found by checking the box to the left top hand side of an image; and suggested keywords (appearing below the last row of images on any particular page) can again assist users navigate groups of related images. Currently, the site is only available in Japanese.


      National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties of National Museums, Japan 


      This site is dedicated to showcasing the National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties from the National Museums in Tōkyō, Nara, and Kyōto. Images can be found by browsing galleries organized according to the following categories: Japanese Painting, 11th-13th centuries; Japanese Painting, 15th-19th centuries; Chinese Painting, Song and Yuan Dynasties; Swords and Blades; Others (which includes lacquer ware, metalwork, and ceramics); Buddhist Sutras and Chinese Classics, Japanese Classics and Historical Documents; Japanese and Chinese Calligraphy; Textiles. Clicking on individual images will allow you to zoom in on selected areas. Alternatively, for images of scrolls, clicking on the Image Browser label located at the bottom of the image will enable you to see every section of the scroll and zoom in to view details.


      Imperial Household Agency, Shōsōin


       Collection of photographs of Shōsōin artifacts searchable by keyword, type, and repository location.


      Japan Center for Asian Historical Records, National Archives of Japan 

      国立公文書館 アジア歴史資料センター

       Database of official documents from the Japanese Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Army and Navy, dating from the Meiji period to 1945. The site also includes the following exhibitions: US-Japan War Talks, Iwakura Mission, Russo-Japanese War.


      Japanese Historical Maps, University of California, Berkley

      Over 1,100 maps of Japan and the World from the Mitsui collection at the East Asian Library at the University of California, Berkley; digitized by David Rumsey and Cartography Associates. Maps date from 1600 to 1913. Browsable by map type, geography, date, and cartographer.


      Kurosawa Digital Archive, Ryūkoku University Digital Archives Research Center

      龍谷大学 黒澤デジタルアーカイブ

      Collection of film stills, production stills, publicity photographs, personal portraits and snapshots, photographs from film festivals, magazine articles, personal notes and scripts of film director Kurosawa Akira (1910-1998).


      Kyōto University Library, Digital Library

      京都大学電子図書館 貴重資科画

      Collections include:

      • Modern Educational Wallcharts 1857-1941

      Subjects include language, Japanese history and geography, Oriental history and geography, Western history and geography/ World maps, geology/mineral and marine products, paleontology/ science and technology/ medicine, botanical wall charts.

      • Modern Printed Teaching Wallcharts 1855-1944, Kanazawa University

      Collection (subjects include wallcharts imported during the first half of the Meiji period, language, Japanese history and geography, geology/mineral products, chemistry, biology/agronomy.

      • Old Map Collection
      • Database of Meiji Restoration Materials

      Includes manuscripts, historic photographs, and paintings.

      • World War Two Thai Newspaper Collection
      • Emakimono and Nara Ehon Collection
      • Age of Natural History (17th-19th century)


      Mainichi Photo Bank


      Database of images published in Mainichi Daily newspaper from Meiji period on.


      Nara Ehon Digital Database, Keio University

      慶應義塾大学 世界のデジタル奈良絵本データベース

       Database of Nara Ehon (short illustrated manuscripts dating from the Muromachi to Edo periods) searchable by keyword, period, format, document type, type of cover, and theme.


      National Archives of Japan Digital Gallery 

      国立公文書館 デジタルギャラリー

       Database of historical manuscripts, drawings, photographs and maps from the Tokugawa period on, including wartime posters.


      National Diet Library Online Gallery

      国立国会図書館 オンラインギャラリー

      The NDL Online Gallery features a growing number of exhibitions that showcase textual and image resources related to particular themes. 

      • 100th Anniversary of Japanese Immigration to Brazil
      • Rare Books of the National Diet Library

      The Digital Gallery for this collection is organized according to the following categories: 1. Carrying on the Classics, 2. Intellectual Exchange, 3. Variety of Ehon Books. Alternatively, you may search the NDL’s Rare Books Image Database

      •   Meiji and Taishō Eras in Photographs

      Searchable by keyword, and map, as well as categories that include: government (municipal) office, imperial court, economy and industry, temples and shrines, education, culture and entertainment, army and navy, transportation.

      • Modern Japan in Archives - 100-year History from the Opening of the Country to the San Francisco Peace Treaty

      Photographs and documents related to modern Japanese political history.

      •  Fauna and Flora in Illustrations -Natural History of the Edo era
      •  Portraits of Modern Japanese Historical Figures
      •  Birth of the Japanese Constitution
      • The Japanese Calendar
      • Nippon in the World

      Browsable via the following broad categories: Scenic Mementos of Japan (Nature and Outdoor Social Scenes, Amusements, Work and Working People, Festivals, People and their appearance), Vienna International Exposition, Modern Japanese Political History Materials (by historical period, from Meiji Restoration on).


      Nichibunkan Library (International Research Center for Japanese Studies)

      日文研所蔵 稀本資料データベース

      Examples of image databases created from rare book collections at the Nichibunkan Library:   

      • Database of Foreign Images of Japan (56,911 images)
      • Database of Early Photographs (5,431 images)
      • Database of Japanese Art in Foreign Collections (5,883 images)
      • Miyako nenjū gyōji gajō (Picture Album of Annual Festivals in the Miyako)                            


      • SŌDA Collection: Pictorial and Miscellaneous Materials


      Images of manuscripts and prints related to the history of medicine from the personal collection of medical historian Sōda Hajime (1921-1996). 1,104 images.

      • Database of illustrations of Modern Folklore (149 images)
      •  Emakimono (Picture Scrolls) 18 works with scrolling and zoom functionality.       
      •  Maps Database


      Browsable by name, prefecture, historical period, and type.


      Ōhara Institute for Social Research, Hōsei University

      法政大学大原社会問題研究所 「社会労働運動大年表」データベース

      Image database of posters and handbills related to Japanese labor and social movements in the pre and post-1945 periods organized according to the following exhibitions:

      • Images of Japanese Labor and Social Movement in Pre-1945 Japan (1): Industrial Welfare Association Posters
      • Images of Japanese Labor and Social Movement in Pre-1945 Japan (2): Election Campaign Posters
      • Images of Japanese Labor and Social Movement in Pre-1945 Japan (3): Posters and Stickers of Farmers’ Movements
      • Japanese Posters and Handbills in the 1930s
      • Images of Japanese Labor and Social Movement in Post-1945 Japan
      • Presentation of 2,700 posters of labor and social movements in pre-1945 Japan


      Peace Database, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum      


      Database of photographs, film, text, and sound, from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Includes survivor video testimony, material objects, photographs browsable by map or keyword, paintings by survivors, artworks (paintings, sculpture, calligraphy) related to the atomic bomb.


      Virtual Museum of Japanese Art

      The Virtual Museum of Traditional Japanese Arts is produced for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Kodansha International Ltd., which is responsible for the contents of the site.

      Visualizing Cultures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology  

      Site founded by Professors John W. Dower and Shigeru Miyagawa, with contributions from other scholars (Peter C. Perdue, Allen Hockley, Gennifer Weisenfeld) as well as other institutions including the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Peabody Essex Museum, Ryōsenji Treasure Museum, Shiseidō Corporation, Smith College Museum of Art, and others. Essays, visual narratives, and image databases are organized according to the following units. *Units on China are in development.

      •  Rise & Fall of the Canton Trade System I-IV: China in the World 1700-1860s, Macau & Whampoa, Canton & Hong Kong, Image Galleries
      • Black Ships & Samurai: Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan (1853-1854)
      •  Yokohama Boomtown: Foreigners in Treaty-Port Japan (1859-1872)
      •  Felice Beato’s Japan, An Album of the Pioneer Foreign Photographer in Yokohama: People & Places
      • Globetrotter’s Japan, Foreigners on the Tourist Circuit in Meiji Japan: People & Places
      • Throwing off Asia I-III: Woodblock Prints of Domestic Westernization (1868-1912), Sino-Japanese War (1894-195), Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
      • Asia Rising: Japanese Postcards of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
      •  Yellow Promise/ Yellow Peril: Foreign Postcards of the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
      • Selling Shiseidō I-III: Cosmetic Advertising & Design in Early 20th Century Japan
      • Ground Zero 1945: Pictures by Atomic Bomb Survivors & A Schoolboy’s Story, Testimony of Akihiro Takahashi


      Waseda University, Japanese and Chinese Classics Database (Kotenseki Sōgō Database)  

      早稲田大学図書館 古典籍総合データベース                          

      Historic photographs, manuscripts, and prints etc. showcased via thematic galleries and special exhibitions shown below. Site also features keyword, advanced search, and timeline browsability.

      •  Modern Japan and Waseda
      • Japanese History through Library Collections
      • Collections of Japanese Literature of the Edo Period
      • Rangaku (Western Studies) Collection
      • Ōkuma Shigenobu Collection

      Other Digital Image Resources: Korean Studies

       Cultural Heritage Administration


       Comprehensive database of architectural and cultural sites, relics, documentary heritage (manuscripts, prints, books, etc.), intangible heritage (ceremonies, craft, food) and natural heritage. Database searchable by cultural heritage designation, geography, period, and key terms within genres.

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      Other Digital Image Resources: Silk Road Studies

       International Dunhuang Project  

       Image database for artifacts (photographs, prints, manuscripts, paintings) held in British, Chinese, Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Swedish collections. Collaborating institutions include: British Museum; British Library; Victoria and Albert Museum; Chester Beatty Library; National Library of China; Dunhuang Academy; Academia Sinica; Institute of Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg; National Museum of India, New Delhi; Ryukoku University, Kyōto; State Library, Berlin; Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Musée Guimet, Paris; National Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm; Sven Hedin Foundation, Stockholm; Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC; University of California at Los Angeles; Princeton University (Gest Library and Art Museum); Morgan Library, New York. 


      Digital Silk Road Project, National Institute of Informatics

      Features historical maps, photographs, expedition records, and historical records from over 100 rare books digitized in their entirety. Authors include, among others, M. A. Stein, P. Pelliot, S. Hedin, and A. von Le Coq.


      Silk Road Seattle, University of Washington, Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities

      Images and text accessible via the following topic pages: museum collections of silk road art, cities and architecture, traditional culture, maps, geography, and historical texts.


      Tibet Album: British Photography in Central Tibet, 1920-1950   

       Image database of 6,000 photographs of Tibet (taken ca.1920-1950) from the collections of the British Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University. Includes maps, and has advanced zoom and album functionality.


      The Tibetan-Himalayan Library                                                            

       Founded and supported by the University of Virginia Library and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. Contributors include an international group of scholars and universities, as well as private organizations. Includes an image database of 35,000 images, as well as interactive maps and audio/video.

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      Museum Collections

       The following is not intended to be a comprehensive list of links to museums with collections of Japanese, Chinese, and/or Korean art; rather, it presents links specifically to museums with searchable collection databases or good quality, browsable collection interfaces.


      North America


      Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Canada)

       United States

      Asia Society (New York, NY)

      Asian Art Museum (San Francisco, CA)

      Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture (Hanford, CA) (formerly the Ruth and Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art at the Clark Center)

      Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, OH)

      Freer Gallery (Washington, DC)

      Harvard Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum (Cambridge, MA)

      Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)

      Manyo’an Collection of Japanese Art, Gitter-Yelen Foundation

      Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)

      Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA)

      Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)

      Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA)

      Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton, NJ)

      Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT)



      Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet (Paris, France)

      Musée du Quai Branly (Paris, France)


      Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

      Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde (Leiden, Netherlands)

      United Kingdom

      Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford

      British Library (London, England)

      British Museum (London, England)

      Chester Beatty Library (Dublin, Ireland)

      Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

      National Museums of Scotland

      University of Sussex, Barlow Collection of Chinese Ceramics, Bronzes and Jades (Brighton, England)

      Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England)


      Asia-Pacific Region


      Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW)

      National Gallery of Australia (Canberra, ACT)

      National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, VIC)

      People’s Republic of China

      Henan Museum (Luoyang)

      Lu Xun Museum (Beijing)

      Museum of Qin Shihuang Terracotta Warriors and Horses, (Xi'an, Shaanxi Province)

      Nanjing Museum (Jiangsu Province)

      National Art Museum of China (Beijing)

      National Museum of Chinese History (Beijing)

      Palace Museum (Beijing)

      Shaanxi History Museum (Xi’an, Shaanxi Province)

      Shanghai Museum

      Tianjin Museum

      Xu Beihong Museum (Beijing)

      Republic of China (Taiwan)

      National Palace Museum (Taipei, Taiwan)


      Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation (Tōkyō) 

      Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Fukuoka)

      Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Tōkyō)

      Idemitsu Museum of Art (Tōkyō)

      Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Mingeikan) (Tōkyō)

      Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Cultural History (Yokohama)

      Kuroda Memorial Hall (Tōkyō)

      Kyōtō National Museum

      Museum of Oriental Ceramics (Ōsaka)

      Nara National Museum

      National Museum of Modern Art, Tōkyō

      Omotesenke Fushin’an (Kyōtō)

      Tōkyō Fuji Art Museum

      Tōkyō National Museum

      University Art Museum, Tōkyō University of the Arts (formerly Tōkyō National University of Fine Arts and Music)


      Ewha Women’s University Museum (Seoul)

      National Folk Museum of Korea (Seoul)

      National Museum of Korea (Seoul)

      National Palace Museum of Korea (Seoul)

      Seoul National University Museum of Art

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      Date: 910, Excavated Qian Fo Dong, Ch.liv.006 (from bundle Ch.liv at Cave 17 at Ch’ien Fo Tung (pinyin: Qian Fo Dong)). Collected by Sir Marc Aurel Stein. British Museum, 1919,0101,0.14. []




      [Plate] V 

      Chambers, William, Sir, 1723-1796.
      Designs of Chinese buildings, furniture, dresses, machines, and utensils. Engraved by the best hands from the originals drawn in China by Mr. Chambers, to which is annexed a description of their temples, houses, gardens, &c.
      London : Published for the author [etc.], 1757.

      Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University




      Woman in winter dress

      Beato, Felice, b. ca. 1825; hand-colored albumen print

      New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs; Image ID: 118926, [] 




      Sho Doring Inscription Pillar with Potala Palace in background, ca. 1920-1921

      Tibet Album: Collection of Sir Charles Bell; Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, BL.H.57




      White porcelain jar with grape design in underglaze iron

      Joseon Dynasty. National Treasure 107; Ewha Woman's University, 1962.12.20 []




      Square Fragment: Showing Buddhist Procession

      Early 6th century, Northern Wei dynasty, Sandstone, H: 41.2 W: 45.1 D: 14.3 cm. Freer Gallery of Art, F1913.72 []

      Using Images


      North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources: Image Use Protocol Guide



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