Transnational Identities in East/Inner Asia

Prayer Wall Near Leh (Himalayas). From the International Mission Photography Archive, ca. 1860-ca.1960. Available via USC Digital Library.

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research for Transnational Identities in East/Inner Asia.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

Personal Librarian

Vani Natarajan
Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures Librarian
208C Lehman

Heather Van Volkinburg
Data Librarian/ Manager of the Empirical Reasoning Lab
208G Lehman



Finding Print and Media Materials On and Off Campus

CLIO provides access to the vast resources of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials.

Starr East Asian Library is one of the major libraries for the study of East Asia in the United States, with over 1,000,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Mongol, Manchu, and Western-language materials and almost 7,500 periodical titles, and more than 55 newspapers. Contact Starr librarians for extra support in East Asia related research, especially with resources in East Asian languages. For more on Starr's collections, visit these pages:

The NYPL catalog searches the circulating and non-circulating research collections at the New York Public Library.

Worldcat searches libraries worldwide. If a title isn't available via Columbia University Libraries, you may request it via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.


Recommended Databases for Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

Bibliography of Asian Studies indexes articles and book chapters pertaining to the studies of East, Southeast, and South Asia, published since 1971.

JSTOR provides full text back issues of core scholarly journals in the social sciences and the humanities, leading up to within a few years of the most recent publication. Coverage includes over 90 journals in Asian Studies.

Proquest gives access to the contents of over 80 databases covering scholarly literature as well as popular and alternative news media.

Social Sciences Citation Index covers core scholarly literature in the social sciences, along with extensive data on citation of sources.

Social Sciences Full Text offers access to articles from over 350 international English-language journals covering both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences. Indexing coverage runs from 1983-present; full text coverage extends from 1993-present.


Databases in East Asian Languages

China Academic Digital Associative Library offers a growing searchable collection of digital resources, including e-books, e-journals, Chinese rare books, Min Guo books and periodicals, paintings and English books published before 1923.

China Academic Journals offers full-text digital versions of Chinese scholarly periodicals in the social sciences and humanities.

Fa lü fa gui is a comprehensive database of policies and laws of China, at both national and regional levels, dating from 1949 onward.

KISS: Hanʾguk ŭi haeksim chisik chŏngbo chawŏn offers full text access to Korean scholarly journal articles, university publications and research papers published by over 1,200 research institutions in Korea,covering all subject areas and published since 1945.

Tōyōgaku bunken ruimoku kensaku covers Japanese imprint journal articles and books on all regions of Asia including East Asia. Coverage runs from 1981 to the present.

Zhonghua shu zi shu yuan: China Digital Library collects digital versions of the majority of books published in China since 1949, as well as newspapers, yearbooks, reference books, images, and more.


Primary Sources

ABIA South and Southeast Asian art and archaeology index covers scholarly publications in Asian and European languages relating to prehistory, (proto) historical archaeology, art history (including modern art), material culture, epigraphy, palaeography, numismatics and sigillography of South and Southeast Asian art.

China: trade, politics & culture, 1793-1980 : sources from the School of Oriental and African Studies and the British Library, London provides access to digitized maps, colour paintings, photographs and drawings depicting people, places, customs and events in Chinese history.

Digital Himalaya collects and makes accessible anthropological work from the Himalayan region. The collection is searchable and browseable, and it includes films, journals, maps, music, rare books, and more.

Digital South Asia Library a project of the Center for Research Libraries, is a global collaborative effort to make important and rare South Asian resources available to the international community. Its contents include reference resources, bibliographies and union lists, indexes, books and journals, statistics, image collections, maps and catalogs of maps. is a richly described collection of films from South Asia, many of which are unfinished.

Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center: Digital Library offers access to eleven core digitized text collections that contain key works of Tibetan literature.


Data Sources

For additional help with these resources, stop by the Empirical Reasoning Lab. Walk-in hours posted on our calendar here.

ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
ICPSR is one of the largest repositories for social science data in the world. Among the many topics covered, you will find statistics on crime, education, demographics, elections, religion, and many more.
Features: Tables available from a list of datasets. 

OECD iLibrary
Statistics focused on the OECD member states (in East Asia, Japan and Korea are OECD member states; China is not.)
Features: Ability to manipulate table format; exportable into Excel, text, SDMX, etc.

OFFSTATS: Official Statistics on the Web
Maintained by the University of Auckland, this guide lists websites offering free and easily accessible social, economic and general data from official or similar "quotable" sources. Can be sorted by region, country, subject, or any combination thereof.

ProQuest Statistical Insight (formerly LexisNexis Statistical)
Tables from US government and business reports, US Federal statistical publications, International statistical publications, and US State government, business, and research institute statistical publications.
Features: Abstracts, PDF full text, tables (.gif or .xls), and links to other editions of the same study or datasets from a different year. All features are not available for all results.

A variety of statistics for UN countries, with a focus on those reflecting the Millennium Development Goals.
Features: View tables from available data sets; exportable into Excel.

United Nations Statistics Division
The Statistics Division compiles statistics from many international sources and produces global updates, including the Statistical Yearbook, World Statistics Pocketbook and yearbooks in specialized fields of statistics.

World dataBank
Wide variety of statistics for countries worldwide, including finance, education, civil society and much more.
Features: Create your own table from available data sets (select variables, format, etc.); Exportable into Excel, CSV, txt, SDMX

World Bank: Key Data and Statistics
This is one of the most useful core sections of the World Bank website, with official-source development indicators from both the World Bank and other international agencies.


Writing and Citation

Columbia University IRB offers resources on the ethical, legal, and practical issues related to research with human subjects.

The Craft of Research (electronic book) offers advice on all stages of the research and writing process.

Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (electronic book) covers concepts and practices in Anthropology and related social sciences.

Zotero is a free cloud-based tool that allows users to quickly and easily collect, organize, format, and share bibliographic citations. Consult the Barnard Library Zotero guide for support in installing and using Zotero.