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First Historical Archives Of China

First Historical Archives of China (FHAC)

General Information

Chinese Name: 中国第一历史档案馆
Address: Beijing, inside the West gate of the Gugong (forbidden city)
Chinese Address: 北京西城区西华门大街西华门内
Phone Number: (010)6309.9011 ext 5242
Fax Number: Email Address: office@lsdag.com
Online: http://www.lsdag.com
Database Search:
Entry Fee: None. Users must bring letter of introduction and passport to register
Opening Times: M-T, 8-4, F 8-3. Reading materials can be requested 8-12,1-3 and arrive at 8am and 1pm
Closed: Closed national holidays: 1 week in Oct, 1+weeks at Chunjie
Information Last Confirmed: March, 2007


Located within the Gugong bowuguan (forbidden city). Researchers must enter at the Xihua men, past the gugong and military guards. Tell the guard on the left you are going to the archive "看档案" or "查资料". Enter the gate, turn left and go past the army boys playing basket ball and then past the archivists playing badminton to the very last set of stairs to enter the reading room.


A moderate walk from 天安门西 subway stop. Exit the station as if going to the 故宫博物馆 and walk north on 南长街 to 西华门大街 . Turn right and enter the gate. The 5 bus also has a stop at xihua men.


Users are supposed to have a danwei, a university affiliation, or a letter of reference. They seem to have a database of users, or at least a long memory: once you have achieved entrance it is easy to come back, even in a few years.


Card Catalogs: Various paper catalogs for various collections. Digitized collections may also have digital catalogs.
Computers: The lufuzouzhe collection and some of the neiwufu collection is currently on computers, with plans for more, but no internet access is available for general use
Reading Room: 30ish seats for reading documents, 15ish machines for reading microfilm, 6 computers for reading digitized documents Users do not do their own photocopying.
Photocopy Machines:
Photocopy Prices:
Bathrooms: Squat toilets, relatively clean. Women's bathroom has no toilet paper after noon (nearly the entire reading room staff is female)
Vending Machines:
Nearby Food: Food can be arranged to be delivered but is of dubious quality. Various restaurants on bei and nan changjie outside the gate but the walk to the gate is almost 200 meters.

Collections of Note

Collection availability varies; many massive cataloging and preservation projects remove large collections from view. For example, currently (3/2007) the entire xingketiben collection is not available for view as it is being prepared for digitization. Patrons are advised to contact the reading room directly in advance of planning a trip to see if a particular collection is available.

Other Related Links

Other Notes, Comments and Experiences

  • No computers are allowed in the reading room. Additionally, mechanical reprodction is very limited: the stated policy is that if you hand copy 2/3 of a microfilm collection you may purchase photocopies of 1/3, but that policy is applied differently to different researchers and different collections. Microfilm has been made in the past but does not currently seem to be available (stated price is 4000RMB per roll). Ripped or delicate documents will not be copied or microfilmed for researchers. Hand copying service is available for some documents at 1000 zi / 10RMB, either into the computer (jiantizi, punctuation sometimes added) or onto paper. (K Poling Last Visited: 3/2007).. link text
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Page last modified on February 08, 2010, at 04:14 PM
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