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Asian Studies Research Guide

Reference Resources - Scholarly Articles - Books - Newspapers and Other Primary Sources
Art and Other Visual Images - Government DocumentsStatistics

This is a guide to the Asian studies resources available to you at Augustana. It can help you get started on most research papers you write for the Asian studies program.

If you have questions, please contact Asian studies librarian Stefanie Bluemle ( Or get in touch with the librarian on duty at the research help desk: in person on the 2nd floor of the library, or via phone (309-794-7206), email (, or the "Ask an Augustana Librarian" chat box on the main library webpage.

You may also make an appointment with a librarian for in-depth research help: on the main library webpage, click "Ask a Librarian," then scroll down to find a form you can fill out to set up the appointment.


Reference Resources

Use reference resources to find background information before you begin your research in earnest. Not only will a reference article bring you up-to-speed on an unfamiliar topic, but many include bibliographies as well, which can give you a great place to start locating sources.

Because Asian studies encompasses so many different disciplines, it is impossible to identify a single section of the reference collection where you will find all of our books on Asian studies. Instead, use the blue Library of Congress handout (copies are available in the reference collection on 2nd floor) to identify which section might be relevant to your particular topic.

Here are some electronic reference resources you may find useful (go to: Library home page --> Electronic Reference):

Gale Virtual Reference Library
A vast collection of electronic reference books covering a wide variety of subject areas. Think of this as an online supplement to the reference books on the 2nd floor of the library.

Credo Reference
Like Gale Virtual Reference, Credo is an electronic collection of reference books; Credo and Gale have different content, so it may be worth searching both.

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Scholarly Articles

Search these databases for journal articles and book chapters (go to: Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z).

Bibliography of Asian Studies
BAS indexes western-language articles, mostly in the humanities and social sciences; it covers all parts of Asia. Start at the Advanced Search screen and note your options for narrowing by language, country, and type of publication. BAS is not a full-text database. See below for instructions on obtaining a full-text copy of the source you need.

JSTOR is a full-text database of scholarly journals from a wide variety of disciplines. Start at the Advanced Search screen, where you can limit your results to a particular document type, like journal articles or book reviews. You can also limit your results to specific subject areas, including Asian studies.

Other databases: Augustana has about 100 databases, many of which focus on particular subject areas, such as history, literature, political science, and so on. These databases also index articles on Asia, and you should discover the best ones to search whenever you start a project in Asian Studies. Begin by clicking "Databases" on the library's website; open the drop-down menu and browse databases from different subject areas.

Here is a sampling of other databases that may be useful (go to: Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z):

- Art and Architecture Complete
- ATLA Religion Index
- Business Source Complete
- Historical Abstracts
- Index Islamicus
- MLA International Bibliography (for articles on literature and film)
- Political Science Complete
- RILM Abstracts (for articles on music)
- Sociological Abstracts

Help!! The article I want is not available in full-text!

If the article you want is not available full-text in the database . . .

  1. Search the journal title under "Journals & Magazines" on the library's homepage. In the result list, compare the dates of access to the date of the article you want. Follow the corresponding links, or go to the correct call number area on 1st floor if the journal is in print. If we don't have access at Augustana . . .
  2. Order your article through interlibrary loan (linked under "Research Tools" on the library home page; some of our databases also have links to ILL directly from the article record).

If you locate a book or book chapter in one of our databases, search ALiCat/I-Share to find a copy of the book to read. If Augustana does not own the book, and you only need a single chapter, you may order the chapter through interlibrary loan.

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ALiCat and I-Share
For books at Augustana and in academic libraries across Illinois. If you want books from I-Share be sure to start early, because they will take a few days to arrive.

WorldCat (linked beneath the ALiCat search box on the library home page)
For books from libraries across the United States and the rest of the world. If you cannot find the book you need in I-Share, try here. To order a book, click the title and then follow the link to interlibrary loan.

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Newspapers and Other Primary Sources

Newspapers are an important type of primary source that you will likely use frequently. Augustana has the following English-language Chinese newspapers on microfilm on the 1st floor:

Chinese Repository (1832-1851) - Indexing: there is an index on the first page of each volume
North China Herald (1850-1941) - Indexing: the North China Herald is not indexed; you will have to browse
Chinese Recorder (1868-1912) - Indexing: see The Chinese Recorder Index: A Guide to Christian Missions in Asia, 1867-1912 - Reference collection, Tredway Library 2nd floor - BV3410 .C6 [2 volumes]

In addition, much of the Chinese Repository has been digitized and made available online through Google Books:

Chinese Repository (1834-1851)
From Harvard University, this is an index to the volumes of the Chinese Repository that are available on Google Books. Important notes: 1) As you will see, you still must search the Repository one volume at a time. 2) Only volumes 3-20 are available online. If you need volume 1 or volume 2, you will still have to use microfilm at the library.


To find additional newspapers and periodicals in English, search the library's databases (go to: Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z):

Lexis-Nexis Academic
Augustana's most comprehensive newspaper database, covering national and international papers from the later twentieth century to the present. Tips:

  • In the menu on the left, click "Sources," then "Find Sources," to find a particular newspaper and search within it
  • In the menu on the left, click "Sources," then "Browse Sources," to discover English-language papers from countries across the world

Newsstand Expanded
Current full-text of articles from major newspapers across the United States.

Historical New York Times
Full-text and image coverage of the New York Times, 1851-2012. (To find more recent articles from the New York Times, search Lexis-Nexis or Newsstand Expanded [above].)

Historical Chicago Tribune
Full-text and image coverage of the Chicago Tribune, 1849-1991. (To find more recent articles from the Chicago Tribune, search Newsstand Expanded [above].)

American Periodicals Series
More than 1,100 American periodicals published bewteen 1740 and 1940, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines, and many others. This database could be a good source for U.S. perspectives on Asia in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.

Historical New York TimesHistorical Chicago Tribune, and American Periodicals Series are excellent for historical newspaper and magazine articles. Lexis-Nexis and Newsstand Expanded update daily to include up-to-the minute news. But even Lexis-Nexis, our most extensive newspaper database, has a fairly limited number of papers from outside the United States and Europe.

The websites below are directories that lead you to the websites of major and minor news sources from across the world. Use these directories to find recent news articles not indexed by Lexis-Nexis and Newsstand Expanded.

Mondo Times
Directory of newspapers, organized by country (scroll down to find the section on Asia). This site provides a link to each paper's website. It also tells you the language in which each paper is published.

ABYZ News Links
Directory of news sources including television stations, Internet sites and magazines as well as newspapers. ABYZ News Links, too, specifies the language of each news source.
Directory of magazines and newspapers. specifies the political affiliations of the news sources it features.

Not all of your primary sources will come from newspapers: you might also draw on letters, diaries, personal accounts, etc, depending on your topic. Some of this material may be found on the Internet.

In other cases, you will find books that are collections of primary sources. Search ALiCat, I-Share, and WorldCat to find such books. Look at the books' subject headings for hints; a book that collects primary sources will often have a subject heading that includes one of the following terms:

  • Sources
  • Personal narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Interviews
  • Speeches

For example: Japan--History--to 1867--Sources, or: Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives

You might also use a work of literature or art as a primary source. Literature can be found in ALiCat and I-Share. To find images of art works, see the section on "Art and Other Visual Images," below.

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Art and Other Visual Images

The first three resources below are subscription databases, paid for by Augustana (go to: Library home page --> Images):

Non-profit digital library with a collection of approximately 500,000 images covering art, architecture and archeology. ARTstor's software tools enable viewing and analyzing images through zooming and panning, saving groups of images online for personal or shared uses, and creating and delivering presentations both online and offline.

Camio (Catalog of Art Museum Images Online)
High-quality art images from around the world contributed and described by leading museums, all rights-cleared for educational use. Every work in CAMIO is represented by at least one high-resolution image and a description. Many have additional views of the work, sound, video and curatorial notes.

Grove Art Online
Oxford Art Online presents the entire text of The Dictionary of Art (published in 1996), updated and fully indexed, searchable and browsable, with over 45,000 articles and more than 40,000 links to important art images in galleries and museums around the world. You have the option of searching only for images.

The following links are to Internet resources:

Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies (IDEAS)
Focuses on the generally underrepresented area of Asia in an attempt to make multi-media materials more widely available for specialists and non-specialists alike. IDEAS is the first multi-institutional, interdisciplinary, pan-Asian searchable database in the country.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
Provides access to images and photographs held by the Library of Congress. Not all of the photographs are online, but many are.

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Government Documents

Augustana is not a United States government repository, so you are not likely to find government documents here in print. However, many government documents--from the United States as well as other countries--are now available full-text on government websites.

Asian Legal Information Institute
Free access to legal information from Asia. Much of what you find here will amount to primary-source government documents, from the branches of government as well as legal and government activity in a variety of other sectors. AsianLII is provided by the Australian Legal Information Institute in partnership with universities and other institutions across Asia.

Law Library of Congress: Nations of the World
Extensive web guide to primary and secondary information on government and law from nations around the world. This Library of Congress site and AsianLII (above) provide access to similar types of information, but they won't necessarily link the same documents and websites; in other words, if you need Asian government documents that have been translated into English, it is worth checking both.

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Database for accessing a large variety of U.S. government publications. Links to full-text are provided where available. This catalog will be most useful if you are researching relations between the U.S. and Asian countries.

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United Nations Statistics Division
The UN keeps statistics going back, in some cases, to 1945. Not all of their statistics are online, and the ones that are may require some digging through this website before you find them; it's well worth your time, though, as this is an excellent resource.

Statista (go to: Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z)
This database provides statistics and other quantitative information from across the world. Once you have a result list, you'll have the option of narrowing by region to Asia only.

International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-1993 - Reference collection, Tredway Library 2nd floor - HA4675 .M552 1998
This book has chapters on various broad topics, including population, labor, agriculture, industry, and so on. Find the topic you want in the table of contents, then page through that section for information on Asia and Asian countries.

Statistical Yearbook 2013 - Reference collection, Tredway Library 2nd floor - HA36 .U4151 2013
Published by the United Nations, this book is often easier to use than the UN Statistics Division website; the statistics in the Yearbook are mostly from 2000 and later.

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Page created by Stefanie Bluemle, Asian studies librarian. Updated August 2016.