A standard survey of Chinese history, guidebooks that describe your particular Chinese city, and up-to-date tourist handbooks are useful references to have in China. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of China, edited by Brian Hook and Denis Twitchett, is useful as is The China Guidebook by Kaplan, Sobin, and de Keijzer. Lonely Planet's China: A Travel Survival Kit is a favorite among travelers. Nagel's Encyclopedic Guide to China, a more detailed and scholarly work, offers historical information and is well worth the price ($65) in the opinion of some academic tourists. In Search of Old Beijing, by L.C. Arlington and William Lewisohn, and Juliet Bredon's Peking, published earlier this century, are fascinating guides to exploring the new city and noting the extensive architectural changes. Similar guides are available for other Chinese cities. Many of these guidebooks are now for sale in hotels and Friendship Stores in Beijing; see Appendix M for complete publishing details. A subscription to China Daily or Beijing Review for a few months before departure is good preparation for current events in China (both political and cultural). To order China Daily, contact:
15 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10013
Multistandard videocassette recorders (VCRs) are widely available but frequently are standard play (fast speed) only. Persons taking NTSC extended or long-play tapes to China may have difficulty. VHS is the most common format, although many institutions also have 3/4-inch Umatic or Beta formats. Equipment must be 220 volts, 50 Hz; as noted, 120-volt transformers are available in China but are expensive. The more serious consideration is frequency, since electricity in China is 50 Hz as opposed to 60 Hz. Those planning to take videocassettes to China are advised to inform their institutions early on and to inquire what sort of equipment is available. Moreover, Chinese customs officials may want to examine videotapes being taken into the country and may confiscate tapes deemed to be pornographic or politically sensitive.
Researchers should take an updated resume, off-prints of relevant publications and books, and copies of major papers (with Chinese abstracts, if possible) to distribute to colleagues in China. Most scholars with experience in China advise taking all printed materials that are essential for your research and writing, including refer-