Asian Studies Program

Chinese Australia

Chinese Australian History Resources database

The Chinese Australian History Resources database is a collation of information gathered as part of the Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation Project. It is aimed at anyone planning research into the heritage of Chinese involvement in Australia and should provide rewarding information for both the expert and amateur in the field. The Database includes a broad range of types of material including: publications; government records; guides to Chinese Australian records; databases; image and oral history collections; Chinese Australian newspapers; personal, organisation and business records; theses; and video material. Some items are listed as individual items, others as groups of records or collections of material. A weblink is provided for most old or unique records so that contact details of the holding institution or further information can be obtained. Its focus is on documentary material particularly rich in Australian Chinese information.

The majority of the material on the database was obtained from the following activities:

  • A survey of prominent researchers of Chinese Australian History
  • A survey of Victorian Historical Societies
  • A survey of honours theses in history departments of universities around Australia
  • Brief research visit to Darwin with information collected from the Northern Territory Library, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Northern Territory Archives and Geneaological Society of the Northern Territory.
  • Brief research visit to Perth with information collected from the Chung Wah Association, Dr Anne Atkinson, Library and Information Service of Western Australia (particularly the Battye Library).
  • Brief research visit to Canberra with information collected from ANU - Menzies Library, ANU - Butlin Archives, Dr Charles Price, National Library of Australia - Asian Collection.
  • Brief research visit to Sydney with information collected from Dr Shirley Fitzgerald, City of Sydney.
  • Research into the holdings of the Mitchell Library in the State Library of New South Wales through their card catalogue. Click here for further information about this research.

The Project would also like to specifically acknowledge information held in the following sources:

  • Additional material provided by Michael Williams collected for his forthcoming PhD
  • Beaufort Historical Society Riponshire Advocate newspaper index.
  • Bibliography of Anne Atkinson, 'Chinese labour and capital in Western Australia, 1847 to 1947', PhD, Murdoch University, 1991
  • Bibliography of Anne Atkinson, 'The Socio-Economic Experience of Chinese Sojourners in Perth, Western Australia, 1900-1920', BA (hons), Department of Politics, Philosophy and Sociology, Murdoch University, 1983
  • Bibliography of Katherine Cronin, Colonial Casualties: Chinese in Early Victoria, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1982.
  • Bibliography of Cathy May, Topsawyers: The Chinese in Cairns, 1870-1920, James Cook University, History Department, Queensland, 1984
  • Bibliography of Ian McLaren, The Chinese in Victoria: Official Reports and Documents, Red Rooster Press, Victoria, 1985
  • Bibliography of Michael Williams, 'Brief sojourn in your native land: Sydney's huaqiao and their links with south China during the first half of the twentieth century', MLit, University of New England, 1998'
  • Bibliography of C.F. (Ching-Fatt) Yong, The New Gold Mountain: The Chinese in Australia 1901-1921, Raphael Arts, Richmond, SA, 1977;
  • Bell, Peter, Grimwade, Gordon & Ritchie, Neville, ‘Archaeology of the overseas Chinese in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea: A select bibliography’, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology Newsletter, vol.23, no.1, 1993.
  • Ephemera files of the Northern Territory Library
  • Newspaper clipping file at the Geneaological Society of the Northern Territory
  • List of items related to the Chinese in Australia provided by the Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

As this database does not generally include information about artefacts, archaeological sites or material culture you may wish to visit the following sites:

'The following national compilations of general historical archival material also compliments the Chinese Australian History Resources Database.

This database is currently maintained by Julie Marshall, honorary research fellow with Asian Studies, La Trobe University. We are always interested in any additions you may wish make to this database, both small and large. If you have a major compilation of material you would like to contribute your contribution to the database will be acknowledged. Click here for contact information. If you have an historic database or listing related to Chinese Australian history and are interested in putting it on line we may be able to help. Click here to get in contact with us.


Chinese Heritage of Australian Federation Project - Chinese Australian History Resources database