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The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org/index.php) contains an impressive array of material, some of which is very interesting, such as complete movies now in public domain, old newsreels, e-books, podcasts, etc., while other items are pretty much useless.

However, it is so vast that unless you search for something specific you will come across more useless stuff than anything with a potential interest. As I am not searching for anything specific but rather anything that arouses my curiosity, I thought maybe we could share links to material we have found in there?

Here are a few to start with:

The movie 十字街頭: http://www.archive.org/details/shizijietou

The movie 鐵扇公主: http://www.archive.org/details/princess_iron_fan

The movie 小城之春: http://www.archive.org/details/spring_in_a_small_town

Old newsreel on Taiwan and Chiang Kai Shek: http://www.archive.org/details/1961-10-16_Formosa

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Oooh, fun.

Here's some Super 8 footage shot by a 15 year old Canadian kid who visited Beijing in 1972.

If you do a search for mandarin Chinese there's some interesting looking self-study materials dating back to the early 1900s. here is a primer from 1911, and there's also a book on 'Western Mandarin' - as spoken in the west of China. Very slow to download though, haven't actually had a chance to look at them yet.

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The online books section has some great stuff.

Here's a 1150-page Mandarin-English dictionary published in 1918:


Here's an 1856 guide to trade with China, to be carried by all those sea captains sailing off to China:


And here's Flora Hongkongensis, an exhaustive (586 pages) review of what was growing on Hong Kong Island in 1861:


For more, just search Texts on "Peking" and you'll get pages of interesting stuff.

Because of copyright restrictions, most of the books date before 1920.

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The guide to trade with China is fantastic - five dollars to have the American consul attend a shipwreck, surely a bargain. There's also a section on the illegal trade in opium, salt and rice.

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