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Chinese Cultural Revolution: Start Here

USC U.S.-China Institute and Asia Society

Selected Books from the Smith Library Center

Searching for Information

Think about keywords related to the topic you're interested in maybe a specific geographical region, time period, or aspect (cultural, philosophical, demographic)- to start your search in the library's catalog, WorldCat@SU. Try different combinations, and be aware of spellings. 
When you find a relevant resource, click 'Description'. Try exploring the subject links to lead to more resources on the topic. Also browse the shelf nearby for related titles: either in person or online using the 'Browse the Shelf' feature.
Ask your librarian for other advanced search tips/strategies! Note: for finding Primary Sources, try adding 'source' to your WorldCat search.

Try some of these subject headings in WorldCat:
Art and state China | Arts Political aspects China | Badges China | China Politics and government 1949-1976 | China Politics and government 1976-2002 | Cultural Revolution (China: 1966-1976) | China History Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976 Personal narratives | China History Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976 Dictionaries China | Political leadership Psychological aspects | China History Causes Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976

How to...

 WorldCat@SU is the library's online catalog. Use it to identify printed and electronic books that we own as well as videos, CD's, DVD's, and more. A search by title in the online catalog yields over many titles on your topics. If you find an item that we don't own that you need for your research, use Get it! and we will get the item from a library that does own it. 

 A few examples of select subject headings relevant to this class are below. Each is a live link directly into the online catalog. Always ask a librarian for help if you are not finding what you need--it may simply be a matter of using the right vocabulary.

Suggested subject Headings


Use WorldCat@SU 

The quickest way to find the article is to type the full title in the single search box on the library homepage.  WorldCat@SU will search multiple databases at the same time, presenting you with the article title.  For example, ti: Rebellion and Repression in China, 1966-1971.

Find Specific Online Journal title

Find the Journal by Title TAB allows you to search for full-text journals, as well as browse for titles by disciplines.  Type the title of the journal in the search box, then look down the results page until you locate the correct title.  For example, China Quarterly.  Now you will  see links to databases which contain full-text articles. 

Search database to find the full-text article

Once you have located an article via searching a library database, check to see if there is a link to a PDF full-text or HTML page with full-text.  You can also check the WorldCat@SU to see if the journal is available in print.  If the article is not online AND the journal is not available in print, then use GET IT!

Use GET IT! 


If article is not available at Smith Library Center, you have another option to getting it.  Use GET IT, our interlibrary loan service.  You will need to set up an account the first time you use it and log in thereafter.


Recommended DATABASES

View the full list of databases organized by title.

WorldCat (for a quick start)

Provides a combined search of books, e-books, journal articles, and more materials.   Use WorldCat to find materials not owned by the Frank Smith Library.

Academic Search Complete

Large general database of articles from scholarly journals, newspapers and magazines covering a wide range of topics. Good starting point for research.


Important scholarly journals, e-books, and over 2 million primary sources. Search by subject or browse full text of scholarly journals in the arts and humanities, social science and life sciences, to their earliest issues. Many titles extend as far back as late 19th or early 20th centuries; most recent 3-5 years not included.  Click here for JSTOR tutorial.

Political Science Complete

A great database for political science researchers. Fill-text database covering political topics with a worldwide focus, including international  relations, political theory and comparative politics. China Quarterly can be searched for topics.   CQ is the most important research journal about China in the world.


Gender and women's studies literature. Includes over 300 titles, with more than 250 in full-text, from an array of academic, radical, community and independent presses. Topics include sexuality, religion, societal roles, feminism, masculinity, eating disorders, healthcare, and the workplace. Example, Iron girl brigades.

Women's Studies International

Covers issues in women's studies including feminist theory and history, family, mental & physical health, prejudice & gender discrimination, law & legislation, employment etc. 1972 


The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement in the People's Republic of China from 1966 until 1976.  Research this database to gain further understanding of this movement form sociological perspective, and search for references to gender and labor issues during this period. Example, sent-down state policy and how it affected the urban youth.

Project Muse

Full-text online journals in the humanities and social sciences.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is Google's search engine for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories and universities.

Newspaper Databases

New York Times | Nexis Uno (formerly Lexis Nexis) |  Newspaper Source   See NEWSPAPER TAB on front page of this handout for stories.




The Digital Archive is a resource where students, researchers and specialists can access once-secret documents from governments and organizations all over the world.

Constructed and maintained by the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program, the Digital Archive contains newly declassified historical materials from archives around the world—much of it in translation and including diplomatic cables, high level correspondence, meeting minutes and more. The historical documents presented in the ever-expanding Digital Archive provide fresh, unprecedented insights into recent international history. By making new sources available and easily accessible, the Digital Archive serves to deepen and enrich international scholarship, history education, and public policy debate on important global issues and challenges. -- website


Selected Internet Links on
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76)

Note: Links will open in a new window.

Overviews and Documents

China's Cultural Revolution Explained (The New York Times)

The Cultural Revolution: all you need to know about China's political convulsion (The Guardian)

The Cultural Revolution, 50 years on. It was the worst of times (The Economist)

From the archives: How The Los Angeles Times covered China’s Cultural Revolution

China's Cultural Revolution in Memories (Oral Histories/University of Pittsburgh)


Quotations from Chairman Mao ("The Little Red Book")

Chinese Cultural Revolution Posters (University of California, San Diego Library)

Films, Books, Photographs, Exhibits

Red-Color News Soldier (Li Zhensheng: A Chinese Photographer during the Cultural Revolution)

Morning Sun: A Film & Website about the Cultural Revolution (Long Bow Films)

Though I am Gone (with English subtitles)

Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times (Burke Museum, University of Washington)

Virtual Museum of the Cultural Revolution (China News Digest: mostly in Chinese)

Chinese Holocaust Memorial (mostly in Chinese)

The Culture of the Cultural Revolution (Art, Music, etc.)

Art inspired by the Cultural Revolution

Rethinking Cultural Revolution Culture (University of Heidelberg; some material in German)

Dress of the Cultural Revolution (Powerhouse Museum--Australia- Archived Site)

Huxian Peasant Paintings

Cultural Revolution Graphic Arts (University of Washington)

The East is Red! A Song & Dance Epic

Breaking with Old Ideas (1975; with English subtitles)

  • Film drama about bringing Chairman Mao's ideas on education to a rural agricultural college.

Model Revolutionary Ballets (videos)

Songs of the Cultural Revolution (MP3 format)

Music of the Cultural Revolution


CREDIT TO:  Maintained by: Professor William A. Joseph
Department of Political Science
Created By: Giuliana Funkhouser '04 and Joyce Hsu '05
Page Created: August 8, 2003
Last Modified: April 2019
Page Expires: June 10, 2047

The four common systems of documentation are:  MLA, used in English and the humanities; APA, used in psychology and the social sciences; Chicago, used primarily in history; and CBE, used in the sciences.

Research help

If you need assistance finding resources for your research, you can Request a Research Appointment and a librarian will contact you to schedule an appointment, or email me directly at

Get It!: Interlibrary loan

If you find a book, article, or other item that isn't in our collection, you can request it through Get It! and our library will borrow it from another library for you. Look for this button in WorldCat or databases to make a request via Get It!:   

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