The Han Conquest of Gojoseon: The Adoption of Chinese Ideas About Government, Writing, and Farming

2023 Guides - Theme: Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas
"Han dynasty" in Han-era clerical script. Attribution: White whirlwind, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

"Han dynasty" in Han-era clerical script (top), modern Traditional (middle), and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters. Attribution: White whirlwind, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Getting Started

Begin your research by brainstorming keywords - the words and phrases you’ll use to search for books, articles, websites, government documents, and other resources. These may include names of people and places or historical concepts like eras and movements. A librarian can suggest “subject headings” to find the most relevant resources.

Example Keywords & Catalog Subject Headings

Emperor Wu of Han (156 BCE-87 CE), see also Wu Ti, Wu-ti, Wu Di, Wudi
Gojoseon, ancient Korean kingdom (see also Gochoson or Old Choson)
Wiman Joseon, dynasty of Gojoseon
Lelang Commandery (108 BCE - 313 CE)
The Four Commanderies of Han
Eastern Han (25–220 CE)
Western Han (202 BCE – 9 CE)
Xu Shen (58-148 CE)
Zhang Qian (?-114 BCE)
Zhang Cang (253—152 BCE)
Liu Hui (?-295 CE)
Cai Lun (50–62 – 121 CE), see also Jingzhong, Ts'ai Lun
Ban Zhao (45 or 49 – 117/120 CE), see also Pan Chao
Ban Gu (32-92 CE), see also Pan Ku

Database/Online Resources

Library databases are online collections of information, organized for research. Databases contain articles, eBooks, images, maps, primary sources and more. If you don’t have a library card, register online for immediate access to these resources. The following recommended databases are available on our Research and Teen Social Studies pages.

Gale eBooks

Access full-text encyclopedias covering the arts, biography, country studies, history, law, literature, religion, science, social science and more! Great for research and homework. Video tutorial

Available with library card

Academic OneFile (Gale)

Articles from over 17,000 scholarly journals and other authoritative sources—including thousands of podcasts and transcripts from NPR and CNN as well as videos from BBC Worldwide Learning. Covers subject areas such as, biology, chemistry, criminal justice, economics, environmental science, history, marketing, political science, and psychology.

Available with library card

Internet Sources

Before using information you find on the internet for assignments and research, it is important to establish that the information comes from a reliable and appropriate source. The following websites, from government, academic and nonprofit organizations, have been evaluated for authority, accuracy, content and currency.

Research guide for Chinese historiography by Princeton University includes separate section for book titles, dictionaries, geographical aides and translations which may be requested via Prospector or interlibrary loan (DPL's Request It).
Easy to read overview by the Museo d'Arte Cinese ed Etnografico / Museum of Chinese Art and Ethnography (Parma, Italy).
Digitized library collections from around the world. Site includes fulltext and keyword searching within text assists in identify contributions of Han dynasty in the arts, history, technology, writing and more.
Online resource includes biographies and essay on ancient Chinese mathematics from mathematicians noting contributions to the Jiuzhang Suanshu or Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art and the Zhou Bi Suan Jing or Zhoubi Suanjing (The Arithmetical Classic of the Gnomon and the Circular Paths of Heaven).
Site includes an interactive map and other resources to discovering the history and impact of the Silk Road. Keyword searching of site is a helpful tool to discovering more topics on the Han Dynasty.
Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Met provides links to artifacts and list of additional essays highlighting contributions of the Han Dynasty.
The Fo Guang Shan Nan Tian Institute (NTI) Chinese Notes web site is a non-profit, open source project for use in learning and translating Chinese, especially reading and analyzing Chinese texts and dictionary building. Titles available with English translation include histories like Records of the Grand Historian (109-91 BCE) continued by The Book of Han (11 CE), The second of the standard Chinese histories by Ban Gu with others. Site also include searchable dictionary and Chinese idioms.

Contact the Reference Services department for help with your research project