Terms of use

The purpose of the Virtual Cities Project at the Lyons Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO) is to support and encourage research and education regarding all aspects of the history of cities and urban societies in East Asia. Its functions are threefold: collection and preservation as original documents or digital files of pertinent historical source material; production of original and innovative research; promotion of education through online exhibits and publications. We place considerable importance upon preserving records relating to all aspects of urban life, both past and present, in East Asia.

The Virtual Cities Project seeks to provide a forum for all points of view and for all topics relating to the urban experience in East Asian societies, particularly - but not limited to - China and Vietnam. The opinions expressed by authors are solely the latter and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the Virtual Cities Project.


All the documents (texts, images, maps) are made available for free and without any commercial purpose. The vast majority is scattered throughout the world in a form other than the digital format proposed here. The Virtual Cities Project wants to provide the academic community, the wider student community and the general public, with a rich literature on the history and the urban experience in East Asia, primarily China and Vietnam, with due respect of the copyrights of authors. We strongly recommend that users properly cite the documents circulated through the resources of the Virtual Cities Project, giving credit in the first place to the authors of the original documents. We do not provide high resolution digital files of either photographs or maps that do not belong to us or that do not fall into the public domain. We can provide documents to scholars for research purposes, but we do not provide photographs or maps for publishing purposes (not as a matter of principle, but simply because we cannot afford the time to handle such requests)..

In case the online publication of a document would violate the will of the author or his/her heirs, the Virtual Cities Project will remove the document(s)  upon a simple request by writing to the project director of the relevant Virtual City.

Technical aspect

The available files in the Virtual Cities Project were digitized from original documents and reproductions of varying  print quality and conservation condition. The files are provided as is and with no guarantee as to the validity or completeness of the information they contain. In some of the textual records, an optical character recognition was performed automatically, making it possible to do full-text search.

Donating to the Virtual Cities Project

The Virtual Cities Project accepts donations from a single item to many boxes of documents. Donations do not have to be organized and do not have to pertain to a specific person, event or organization. We accept papers, books, films, audio, moving images, and artifacts. Donations are received either for the Virtual Cities Project or for individual Virtual Cities. If you are interested in donating to the Virtual Cities Project, look for more information in our Information for Donors section.

Citation of VCP-produced documents

Unless otherwise noted, all documents (texts, images, maps) produced by the scholars involved in the Virtual Cities Project  are under Copyright@Virtual Cities Project (Institut de Recherches Asiatiques, Aix-Marseille-Universioty-CNRS). "Fair use" criteria of Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976 must be followed. The map and photograph materials can be used for educational and other noncommercial purposes without the written permission of the Virtual Cities Project. These materials are not to be used for resale or commercial purposes without written authorization from the Virtual Cities Project.

All borrowed materials must be credited to: "Courtesy of the Virtual Shanghai Project (Institut de Recherches Asiatiques)".


Last update on Friday 10 May 2024 (09:25) by  C. Henriot

© 2012 IAO - Projet Director: Dorothée Rihal
Site created by Gérald Foliot - Hosted by TGIR HUMA-NUM
The site is part of the Virtual Cities Project: Beijing - Hankou - Saigon - Shanghai - Suzhou - Tianjin - Wenzhou - Zhejiang

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