This shape file contains a set of 1,790 major buildings located in Shanghai in the Republican era. The shape file developed over time, with additions as new buildings or new information became available. This provides a basis for further enrichment. Virtual Shanghai is a research and resource platform on the history of Shanghai from the mid-nineteenth century to nowadays. It incorporates various sets of documents: essays, original documents, photographs, maps, quantitative data, etc. The objective of the project is to write a history of the city through the combined mobilization of these various types of documents. The implementation of this approach relies on the use of digital and GIS technologies. On the research side, the platform offers various ways to step into the history of the city and follow its course at different levels over time. On the resource side, apart from providing original textual and visual documents, it develops a powerful cartographic tool for spatial analysis and real-time mapping. The authors of the present project subscribe to the idea of sharing scholarship and research tools for the benefit of scholars, students, and citizens at large. This layer is presented in the WGS84 coordinate system for web display purposes. Downloadable data are provided in native coordinate system or projection.