This database focuses on a special type of newspaper known as the xiaobao or entertainment newspaper. It first appeared in China in the 1890s and was inspired by Western entertainment tabloids. The centre of publication was Shanghai, and from the time of its creation, it became one of the most popular media for the daily publication of entertainment news, serialized fiction, short stories, social and political commentary, and cartoon drawing. While little studied, its impact on the formation of popular culture and of urban lifestyle for the first half of the 20th century has been all-pervasive. For this first phase of construction, the database mainly focuses on the xiaobao that specialized on courtesan entertainment, actors and theatre, movie stars in motion pictures, and literary productions. It covers the time period from 1890s to the 1930s. Alongside entertainment stars, it will highlight advertisements and information about entertainment businesses in Shanghai, writers, editors and other contributors to this rich and diverse medium.

Purpose of the database - Aims and guiding principles:

This database has the purpose of introducing Chinese entertainment newspapers as an important primary source for research on late Qing and Republican period cultural and social history. It is designed to present information about the particular profile of a given entertainment paper, and to highlight the kinds of information that might be found there. In other words, it is not a comprehensive title-author-subject database. It should be regarded as a guide for scholars to find the kinds of information that will allow them to select those xiaobao which might be most pertinent for their research. It is an ongoing project, and for this phase we are only opening a part of the database for external users; hopefully in the near future we will be adding further entries.

Website contributors

Catherine V. Yeh (organizer) | Zhu Junzhou (adviser) | Matthias Arnold (website and database conception) | Gerrit Hoyer (programming) | Jiang Rui (manager) | Shi Yun (former manager) | Sarah Luedeke | Lucia Banholzer | Tommi Winsauer | Chen Liang | Liu Boyu | Qu Yi | Wu Yiwei | Corinna Chang (database workgroup)


Asia and Europe in a Global Context

The organizers of the project gratefully acknowledge the support from:

The Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows" at the University of Heidelberg

Institute of Chinese Studies, University of Heidelberg, through a Coup Foundation grant
The CPER (State-Region Pluriannual Contract) fund for research at the École Normale Supérieure Lettres & Sciences Humaines

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