May 19, 2022

U.S. History: A New eBook and Online Course from NARA: “The Chinese Exclusion Act – Researching in the National Archives”

From the National Records and Archives Administration:

The National Archives [recently] announced that students and history lovers can now explore the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act through two new learning tools. “The Chinese Exclusion Act – Researching in the National Archives” can be downloaded from iBooks. and “The Chinese Exclusion Act” from National Archives and Records Administration on iTunes U.

[Access to the ebook and class are both available for free].

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. Documents and records of individual case files and Certificates of Residence housed in the National Archives detail the individual stories resulting from this and subsequent legislation.

The book – available on iPad, iPhone, and Mac – weaves together primary source documents from the Immigration Service, custom houses, ports of entry, and Angel Island Immigration Station. It includes interactive features, questions for topic exploration and reflection, transcriptions for highlighting, and review activities.

“The Chinese Exclusion Act” on iTunes U is a self-paced course designed to take 21 weeks. It incorporates the companion book, articles, videos, and assignments. It challenges students to explore, discover, and research in the digitized records of the National Archives to further understand the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act and related legislation.

These new learning tools explore stories about Chinese immigrants through primary source document analysis. These stories also reveal how the democratic rights of American-born children of these Chinese immigrants were affected by Chinese Exclusion laws. Analyzing the stories that emerge from these sources provides perspective on U.S. immigration history.

Learn More About This Resource

Direct to eBook: “The Chinese Exclusion Act – Researching in the National Archives”

Direct to Online Course: The Chinese Exclusion Act

See Also: Research Guide From NARA: Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.