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Asian Studies: Home

This guide is meant to provide a general starting point for students seeking to deepen their understanding of Asian studies.

General Information

The Asian continent is divided into 6 regions: West Asia, Central Asia, North Asia, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Asia consists of 51 countries and represents 30% of the world's habitable surface. About 4.74 billion people live in Asia - that's about 59.7% of the world's population. 77% of Russia is included in Asia, with the border between Asia and Europe running along the Urals, located East of Moscow. 

This guide is meant to provide a general starting point for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Asia studies. Each tab in the guide focuses on one of the 6 regions in Asia, providing recommendations on databases, online sources, newspapers/journals, and media specific to that region. All recommended resources are accessible either through the Schewe Library databases or are Open Access (free to everyone). 

Asia Regions

Recommended Resources - General Interdisciplinary

  • JSTOR - This general database provides full-text access to over 1,300 journals and magazines in a variety of content areas. The searching options are limited, but students like the "clean and simple" interface.
  • Asian Studies: Library of Congress - The Lib-rary of Congress provides access to over 1,700 electronic databases through its E-Resources Online Catalog (EROC). This research guide provides guidance for selecting and accessing those resources focused on Asian Studies.
  • Gale OneFile - This general database includes almost 8,000 full-text magazines and journals. The content is aimed at a general audience, reading for basic information or entertainment, so should not be your first choice when seeking peer-reviewed or scholarly content.
  • Academic Search Ultimate - This all purpose database provides access to over 10,000 full text journals across all subjects. A great place to start your research!
  • eHRAF World Cultures - This database provides access to an ethnographic archive of information on aspects of social life in a variety of world cultures. This database contains articles, manuscripts, dissertations, and monographs. eHRAF is best for anthropology and/or discovering background information about specific ethnic groups or regions of the world.
  • HathiTrust - Collaborative non-profit created by academic and research libraries from around the globe. Contains primary and secondary sources focused on a variety of topics. 
  • Project Gutenberg - This ebook database includes a digital library containing over 50,000 public domain ebooks. The interface looks a little ragged, but there is some good stuff here if you care to look.
  • UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies - houses the top three programs in Buddhist Studies in the US. Their website has some really helpful resources including archived primary materials, reference guides on specific topics, and contact information for librarians whose focus is Buddhist Studies
  • Silk Road Seattle is an ongoing public education project using the Silk Road theme to explore cultural interactions across Eurasia from the beginning of the Common Era (A. D.) to the 17th century.
  • World History Archives by Hartford Web Publishing offers documents to support the study of world history from a working-class and non-Eurocentric perspective. A mix of academic and non-academic sources on various parts of Asia, organized by region and topic.
  • Treasures of the Asia Collections is a digital exhibit designed to showcase some of the many items in the Cornell University Library's collection documenting the cultures of Asia.
  • Encyclopædia Iranica is a comprehensive research tool dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization across the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
  • Tibetan Oral History Archive Project (TOHAP) is a digital online web archive of oral history interviews in Tibetan and Chinese, with accompanying written transcripts and glossary in English, that documents the social and political history of modern Tibet.
  • Cambridge South Asian Archive at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge holds approximately 50 individual collections of digitized films, made between 1911 and 1956, offering a unique perspective on contemporay life in South Asia.
  • Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies, with over 150 films available for viewing online.
  • Chinese Movie Database is a searchable database of films produced in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan from 1905 to the present.
  • Chinese Film Classics is a project, a book, and a website dedicated to making early Chinese films and cinema history more accessible, led by UBC professor Dr. Christopher Rea.
  • HanCinema - The Korean Movie & Drama Database was founded by Cédric Collemine during the summer of 2003 in Korea as a way to present and organize Korean films, directors and actors to non-Korean reading audience.
  • Japanese Animated Film Classics operated by the National Film Archive at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the site was established to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japanese animation (1917-2017).
  • Midnight Eye - Visions of Japanese Cinema is a retired, non-profit initiative created and maintained by Japanese film enthusiasts from England and Holland. It contains film and book reviews, interviews, best of lists etc.
  • The Indian Movie Database (TIMDB) is a data-driven approach to understanding and studying Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, India. TIMDB offers a comprehensive and up-to-date dataset of over 10,000 movies.

Search Tip

Search Tip: 

When researching topics or cultures where English is not the primary language, you may have to try different search keywords to find the information you want. Try searching for your subject using a synonym, it's original language, or English variation of its name.


  • Kitsune → fox demon, Japanese fox, fox spirit, kumiho/gumiho (9 tailed fox in Korea), húli j─źng (China fox spirit)

  • Dragon, Chinese dragon, loong, long, lung 

  • Tengu → Kotengu, crow tengu, foliage tengu, yokai tengu, tengu demon, tengu goblin

Research Services and Information Literacy Librarian

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McKenna Jacquemet
Research Services and Information Literacy Librarian
Schewe Library
Illinois College
1101 West College Ave
Jacksonville, IL 62650