China and the West (1245-2000)
University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

This database on the cultural flows and exchanges between China and the West is an ongoing project, hosted by the University of Zurich, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies. It is the mission of the project leader, Anne-Marie Werner, to double-check each entry with all available sources. In order to further enhance data reliability, she has built a large international network of experts who advise her and help to get access to rare sources. The database is an open access tool. Global searches can be conducted via ” “, chronology, bibliography, and people. Research results can be exported as PDF files. All Chinese titles are offered in Pinyin romanization. So far, data has been generated in the fields of China and Chinese studies, but East Asia, Middle East and India are considered as important extensions of the project. We envision a broad range of user profiles: China scholars, historians and art historians, experts in European and American philologies, philosophy, religious studies, sciences, etc.


In order to allow for quality research on the history of western approaches on, and knowledge of, China, active and retired sinologists, historians, art historians and related experts based in Europe, USA, Australia and Canada were asked directly for information on their lives and their work (accurate information only up to 2000).


The following topics were included: history, the arts, linguistics, literature, history of the media, philosophy, travelogues and diplomatic mission reports, religion, history of missionaries in China, sinology, social sciences, translators and theories of translation, sciences, journals.


Historical events involving flows and exchanges between China and Europe/North America, European and North American personalities with a documented interest in China, their travels and studies in China, travels and studies in the West of Chinese personalities.

Literature and philosophy

So far, the following countries were included: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, USA.

Currently processed: anglophone literature and philosophy, including texts and comments on China, Chinese translations of titles and works by Western authors (up to 2000).

Excerpts of writings include: academic writings, novels, plays, poetry, letters and diaries.

Figures of processed data

Bibliography 31’500 entries; Chronology 29’050 entries; People 17’900 Entries

Author: Andrea Riemenschnitter 02.02.14