Studies and Archives
Recently there has been a growing interest in the study of the history of Chinese enterprises. Several conferences have been organized, and proceedings, journal articles, and books published. There are also a number of M.A. and Ph.D. theses, written either in Chinese or in English.
The history of Chinese enterprise at present is being written from a variety of historical sources such as company archives, legal records, local gazetteers, biographical materials, family instructions, novels, memoirs, personal letters, diaries, genealogies, missionary records, and foreign affairs documents. New archival sources are also being discovered all the time. The goal of this article is to review recent trends in enterprise case studies and introduce the sources and archives for the study of modern Chinese enterprise history. I will also briefly illustrate the connection between these archival sources and some possible research topics in Chinese business history.
There is little doubt that Chinese enterprise history (qiye lishi) has been receiving much attention in recent literature. Since 1956, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) has collected many source materials on____________________
Chi-kong Lai is on the faculty of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Department of History.
I thank Huang Hanmin, Andrea McElderry, Dian Murray, and especially Robert Gardella, who contributed to the revision of this article.