Asian Studies Research Guide
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or get in touch with the librarian on duty at the research help desk: visit on the 2nd floor of the library, call at 309-794-7206, or email at email@example.com.
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:
Online version of the Europa World Year Book, an excellent source of up-to-date information about every country on the globe. Each entry will include a basic profile of the country, plus information on recent history, government, politics and the economy, as well as statistical information.
CQ Global Researcher
In-depth, up-to-date reports by journalists on major topics in the international news.
Online collection of more than 600 reference books in all subject areas. Think of this as an online supplement to the reference books on the 2nd floor of the library.
Search these databases for journal articles and book chapters.
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 covering 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.
Multilingual, multidisciplinary database covering the humanities and social sciences, including archaeology, geography, linguistics, philosophy, religion, and sociology. FRANCIS is not a full-text database. See below for instructions on obtaining full-text copies of the articles you find.
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 (Humanities, Social Sciences, etc.) If you have a specific database you want to search, you can go to "Databases A-Z" instead.
Here is a sampling of databases that may be useful:
Art and Architecture Complete
ATLA Religion Index
Literature Resource Center
MLA International Bibliography (for articles on literature)
Political Science Complete
RILM Abstracts (for articles on music)
Follow these steps to get a copy of a journal article in full-text:
- Check whether the article is full-text in the database. If not . . .
- Search the journal title under "Journals & Magazines" on the library's homepage. Compare the dates of access to the date of the article you want. If we don't have access at Augustana . . .
- Order your article through interlibrary loan.
If you locate a book or book chapter in one of our databases, search ALiCat then 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.
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.
Newspapers are an important type of primary source that you will likely use pretty frequently. Augustana has the following English-language 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 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 historical newspapers and periodicals in English, search the library's databases:
New York Times
Full-text and image coverage of the New York Times, 1851-2009. (To find more recent articles, search Lexis-Nexis [below].)
Augustana's most comprehensive newspaper database; most of the publications here won't go back further than the later twentieth century. Click "Sources" to find particular newspapers, or to search for papers from particular countries.
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.
The databases above are excellent for historical newspaper articles. Lexis-Nexis is the only one that updates daily to include up-to-the minute news. But even Lexis-Nexis 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.
Directory of newspapers, organized by country. 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. Worldpress.org 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 also be found on the Internet. See the section of this guide on Web Resources for suggestions on finding high-quality websites with primary documents.
In some cases, you will find books that are collections of primary sources. Search ALiCat, I-Share and WorldCat to find such books. (See the section of this guide on Books for more information.) Look at the books' subject headings for hints: a book that includes primary sources will often have a subject heading that ends in "Sources" or "Personal Narratives." For example: Japan--History--1945--Sources.
The first three resources below are subscription databases, paid for by Augustana:
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.
Oxford Art Online (Grove Art)
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 three links are to Internet resources:
IDEAS - Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies
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 through group or item records to more than 50% of the Division's holdings, as well as to some images found in other units of the Library of Congress. Many of the catalog records are accompanied by digital images--about one million digital images in all.
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 online.
Your main challenge will be to find foreign government documents in English. This website can help you do so:
Law Library of Congress: Nations of the World
Guide to primary and secondary information on government and law from nations around the world.
The sites below are for United States government documents:
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Centralized catalog (database) for accessing a large variety of government publications. Links to full-text are provided where available.
Government Information on the Web
This is a guide to locating additional full-text government documents on the Internet; it directs you to government websites that may have the information you need. For Asian Studies, you may find the links to the Department of State and the CIA helpful. Remember, though, to take the potential bias of each source into account.
The site below is an Internet directory of high-quality Asian Studies-related websites. Browse through this site to find specific websites that may help with your research:
PAIR: Portal to Asian Internet Resources
From scholars and librarians at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, and the Ohio State University. "PAIR offers scholars, students and the interested public more than six thousand professionally selected, cataloged and annotated online resources within 25 different subtopic areas."
There are numerous high-quality Asian Studies-related websites on the Internet, in addition to those you might find on PAIR. As you evaluate other potential websites, keep the following criteria in mind:
- Purpose: What does this site intend to accomplish, and how should that affect the way I use its information?
- Authority: Who created this website and supplied its content? Is that person/organization a trustworthy source of information?
- Relevance: Is the information on this site appropriate to my research needs?
- Currency: When was this site last updated, and is that important to my research?
- Bias: Does this site approach the topic from a particular perspective or point of view? How should that affect the way I use this information?
Guide last updated November 2012.