The East Asian Library at Princeton has just made available online a large number of searchable indexes for Wenshi ziliao: https://dpul.princeton.edu/ealtoc
Wenshi ziliao are collections on local history that are being published on all administrative levels in form of open-ended series. The collecting and editing of Wenshi ziliao was first suggested in April 1959 by Zhou Enlai to document the experience of modernization 60 years after the reform movement of 1898. Local 文史研究馆所 were set up and supported by the Political Consultative Conference. During the past 60+ years they have often changed from internal to open publications and back. Estimations of the amount of Wenshi ziliao issues are hovering between 80,000 to 100,000 volumes.
So far online full-text access is only available to a small subset of Wenshi ziliao. A complete database called 中国政协文史资料数据库 seems to be available in China, but this database has never been open for foreign access.
Lately the 抗日战争与近代中日关系文献数据平台 of the CASS 近代史研究所 made some 16,000 volumes of Wenshi ziliao freely accessible.
The East Asian Library at Princeton was able acquire index CDs for Wenshi ziliao. These CDs include detailed article level information for all Wenshi ziliao publications. They transformed the content of these CDs into searchable PDF documents and they are now available as part of the East Asian Library Supplementary Materials: https://dpul.princeton.edu/ealtoc.
The table of contents indexes are searchable on each administrative level (with some exceptions like Xinjiang), and the underlying PDFs can also be downloaded for local use. Altogether there are about 1,250 documents with about 45,800 pages of article information for about 500,000 articles.
-- Sourced from Joshua Seufert, Chinese Studies Librarian at Princeton University.