This guide is intended for MCLA students who are conducting Asian history research. Below is an overview of how this guide is set up and what kinds of information the different resources contain. Depending upon what kind of research you are doing you may want to focus on some resources more than others.
Use the blue tabs on the left to navigate through the different research areas and topics available in this guide. When you click on a tab, you will notice that the different sections of the page will appear nested under it in grey. You can either click on these to jump to a specific part of the page, or simply scroll down to look at all of the available resources.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.
The first page in this guide is Background Information. You may be asking yourself why you'd take the time to look through some background information that you aren't going to cite in your paper. Here's why - if you take 15-20 minutes to do some background research before you start looking for your sources, you'll be able to find things faster and more efficiently. How? By reading a broad overview of your topic before you start, you pick up on keywords, names, and ideas that you are going to see in your scholarly research. By taking some time to read about it in a more simplified and broad manner than most research articles are, you can quickly pick up on what it important to your topic and help narrow or broaden your research question.
While you are reading through the background jot down ideas of keywords to search for in the databases, as well as key names, places, etc. on a text document on your computer so you can refer to it later.
This section contains a listing of encyclopedias and websites that cover specific areas of Asian history and a search box to search Credo, a database of over 9,000 reference books.
You'll notice that this guide is organized by geographical area. The resources on those pages are specific to those areas. However, many of the library's resources are appropriate to any Asian history time period. These links are gathered on the general resources page.
Databases - Here you will find a list of recommended databases for doing history research. JSTOR, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Premier are some of the best places to start. You may also want to get an ecard from the Boston Public Library so you can access their electronic resources as well.
Books - Books are a great way to do historical research. Since most of these books are heavily researched, you can get an in-depth account of a topic in one place. In addition, the references can help you to find specific research on your topic. If you want to broaden your search beyond the MCLA collection, I recommend WorldCat, which will search hundreds of libraries across the country and offer you the chance to request a title on interlibrary loan.
Primary resources are an important part of history research and luckily, there are many digital Asian history primary resources available on the internet. Primary resources In addition to primary resources, there are some secondary resources listed that provide good research information.
Each regional page contains a list of websites which includes mostly digital primary resources and a handful of secondary resources. These websites are chosen for their content and usefulness and have been vetted by the librarians, but as always, use your judgment when looking at websites for research purposes and review how to evaluate sources if you are questioning the source or content.