I don't know how often those of us here check the Dissertation Reviews website, but I received an update today on the Foreign Ministry Archives (posted as a comment on my orignal review here: http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/936 and in Arunabh's update here: http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/5411) that says the following:
"A recent update on the archives has just come in from a reader. This information has not been independently verified by Dissertation Reviews: “As of May 13, 2014 the Foreign Ministry Archive in Beijing appears to be closed to the public. When we visited today (June 18, 2014), the glass door to the archive reading room was locked, the lights were out, and no one was inside. A sign on the locked door said that ‘the system malfunctioned’ on May 13, 2014, although the website provides no information regarding the closure or malfunction. No one responded when we dialed the local Beijing phone number on the notice: 65964294. We could hear it ringing inside the closed archive reading room. Two young men in an office on the same floor as the archive said there was no information regarding when the archive might be opened again."
I realize that some other archives also have various restrictions that have changed over the course of the last year or two, Shanghai being one of them. Are there other archives suddenly changing their policies? Anyone else have recent news to report? Given that it's the time of year when most people are planning research trips or on them already this kind of information would probably be very useful right now!
Also, if anyone has any insight as to why these policy changes might be happening maybe we could discuss?
University of California, Santa Cruz