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Universities Service Centre for China Studies Collection: Collection Directory

Library Search


New Journals (Highlights)


All material of the USC Collection can be searched in LibrarySearch. The collection is located on the 8/F and 9/F of the University Library.

The usage of all material from the USC Collection is restricted for in-house use only, except:

  • newly added material in the book collection: USC (for loan / 可外借)
  • newly added material in the Folk History collection: USC Folk History 民間歷史 (for loan / 可外借)

USC Collection is currently in the process of re-classification. For details where to find newly added and re-classified material, please see below.

Searching and browsing for USC Collection material

Tips for searching USC Collection material in LibrarySearch:

  • Restrict search scope to USC Collection in the drop-down menu
  • The advanced search allows to further limit the search to a particular material type
  • Use the USC classification for searching Chinese language material
  • Please note: All Chinese language book material of the collection (including yearbooks and 歷史文獻資料) is classified with the research-oriented USC classification. Newly added material is classified according to Library of Congress Subject Headings, which is used as well for other CUHK Library collections.

Tips for using the LibrarySearch browse function for finding USC Collection material:

  • Browse by USC classification by using the main classes of USC classification
  • Browse by USC call number to see related titles on the shelf, e.g., for village and township gazetteers from Guangdong province you can browse with “ 46”. You can check some important classes in the “Quick guide”.
  • Please note: The “R” in the beginning of some call numbers (which stands for “reference work”) should be excluded when browsing.

Finding USC Collection material on the shelf

Tips for finding USC Collection material on the shelf (Classification system):

  • Library records provide the call number and information on the location where to find the material on the shelf. Please check the location information via the Library records as well as the floor plan (link available in library records as well) and zone information or quick guide.
  • Quick collection directory
    • 8/F: Zone A, B, C – Chinese Books
    • 9/F: Zone D, F – Newspapers
    • 9/F: Zone E – English Books, English Periodicals
    • 9/F: Zone G, H, J, K – Chinese Books
    • 9/F: Zone I – Folk History / 民間歷史
    • Closed stack: Chinese periodicals, Population census material, Newspapers, Reports, Microfilms, Audio-visual Material (please contact USC staff)
  • Newly added and re-classified material
    • USC (for loan / 可外借) – 9/F: Zone I
    • USC Reference 參考書 – 9/F: Zone T and Zone J 
    • USC Folk History 民間歷史 & USC Folk History 民間歷史 (for loan / 可外借) – 9/F: Zone I
  • If you are looking for the location of material to a particular topic, please check the “Quick guide” for floor and zone information and check shelf tags for more detailed information such as topics covered.
  • If you have problems locating the material, please do not hesitate to contact USC staff at the general office on 8/F during service hours.

USC call numbers for Chinese books explained

Call numbers can have the following elements:

  • Reference work: R (e.g., R AY-1;2)
  • One or two classes (e.g., HD-1;AY-1 > HD-1 is the class for economy, AY-1 is the class for yearbooks)
  • Series/congshu information plus title abbreviation (e.g., HD-1;AY-1 Cgyb > "C" stands for congshu/series, “gyb” stands for 中国工业发展报告)
  • Sub-classes
    • for particular historical/political campaigns (e.g., > “tg” stands for 土地改革, JQ-3.swf > “swf” stands for 三反五反)
    • for particular topics (e.g., HD-1.dl > “dl” stands for 电力)
    • for material types (e.g., > “cz” stands for 村镇志)
  • Regional/local information
    • Province code (cheat sheet) (e.g., R AY-1;46 > “46” stands for Guangdong province)
    • level of administrative division plus abbreviated place name: X = 县, Q = 旗, Z = 自治州, S = 市, D = 地区, M = 盟 
      (e.g., 安化县农业志 R HD-2;42Xah > “42” stands for Hunan province, “X” stands for 县, “ah” stands for 安化;
      奋进乡志R 12Scc > “12” stands for Jilin province, “S” stands for 市, “cc” stands for 长春)
  • Accession number (e.g., HD-2 46554)

Please note: All abbreviations in call numbers follow Hanyu pinyin romanization.

Order on the shelf for Chinese books

General rule for order within each class:

  • First titles with two main classes (example 1 in parenthesis below)
  • followed by titles with one main class (example 2 in parenthesis below)

Subsequent order is:

  • General works (e.g., HD-1;AG)
  • (Topical) yearbooks and other serial publications and congshu (e.g., HD-1;AY-1 Cgyb | HD-1 Cshj)
  • Remaining titles with two classes / one class (e.g., HD-1;H | HD-1)
  • followed by titles on specific provinces, i.e., with province code (e.g., HD-1;H;28 | HD-1;2)
  • Titles on specific topics or historical/political campaigns (e.g., HD-1.dl;DS | HD-1.dl)
    (for information on the topics covered please check the shelf tags)
  • followed by titles on specific provinces, i.e., with province code (e.g.,;DS 18 | HD-1.dl;2)

Please note: Call numbers starting with “R”, referring to "reference works", are always put first within this order on the shelf.


  • 歷史文獻資料: All titles to be found in Periodical Room under these two classes:
    • Texts: JQ-2.1 
    • Statistics: JQ-2.2
    • Originally titles were ordered according to accession number; subsequent titles are added together that titles of the same series can be found together.

Call numbers and order on the shelf for other material

  • Chinese journals: arranged according to main classes of USC classification system
  • Newspapers: please check shelf tags (zones D and F on 9/F)
  • English language books: arranged in alphabetical order by author's last name
  • English language journals: arranged in alphabetical order by journal title
  • Audio-visual material (including Documentaries): please contact USC library staff
  • Microform material: please contact USC library staff
  • Miscellaneous material: please contact USC library staff