Rutgers University Libraries Area Studies: Selected Resources
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Area Studies

Szanton, David L. "The Origin, Nature, and Challenges of Area Studies in the United States," IN The Politics of Knowledge: Area Studies and the Disciplines. Edited by David L. Szanton. University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection #3, University of California Press, 2003.
The introductory essay. Chapters on individual areas available at:

Countries and Cultures

Country Studies
Online versions of the Country Studies/Area Handbooks series published by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. A basic resource for an overview of a particular country. Note: The Handbooks found here are electronic versions of studies published between 1988 and 1998, when Congress withdrew funding for this program. Funding was restored for 2004 and work continues on several new editions as well as updated Country Profiles. However, no funding was allocated in 2005 or 2006.

Includes reports on 191 countries worldwide with up-to-date political, economic, cultural, business, and environmental information, as well as current and archived country-specific news.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access

Portals to the World
The Library of Congress's excellent collection of selected links to in-depth information about the nations and areas of the world. Arranged by country or area, then by categories such as "Business, Commerce, and Economy;" "Government, Politics, and Law;" "Science and Technology;" "Society," etc.

Levinson, David, ed. Encyclopedia of World Cultures. 10 vols. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1991-1996.
Each volume is devoted to a geographic area and includes a cultural map for that area. There is an entry for each cultural group including information on location, linguistic affiliation, history and cultural relations, settlements, economy, kinship, marriage and family, sociopolitical organization, religion and expressive culture, as well as a list of publications about both the traditional and current culture.

Cambridge History of....
The Cambridge University Press has published numerous multi-volume series on the history of specific regions and countries (e.g., Africa, Latin America, China, Japan, etc.). Each volume is typically devoted to a particular historical period, with each chapter written by a different scholar. Essays are accompanied by very useful extensive bibliographies.


United Nations Common Database (UNCDB)
Index to data elements from more than 400 UN statistical series. Includes data on international trade, national accounts, energy, industry, environment, and transport, as well as demographic and social statistics. Data can be output in comma-delimited (.csv), Excel spreadsheet (.xls), or HTML formats.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Regional Studies


There are two major multi-volume surveys of African history:

Africa-Wide: NiPad
Search across 30 databases providing access to multi-disciplinary information on Africa. Indexes books, journals, newspapers, government publications, and popular magazines.
Off-Campus Access (Restricted Access)

Bibliography of Africana Periodical Literature Database
Index to over 55,000 articles from 462 journals that specialize in African Studies or consistently cover the African continent. Journals indexed in their entirety.


Mitchell, Brian R. International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-1993. New York, Stockton Press, 1998.

Source Collections

Bibliography of Published Primary Sources in African History (English Language)
From the Roots Institute at the University of Virginia.

Internet African History Sourcebook.
Paul Halsall's (Fordham University) compilation of prmary texts.

Voyages en Afrique
Part of the French National Library Gallica site, Voyages en Afrique offers an incredible collection of online primary source materials including books, journals, maps, and photographs accessible by geography or theme, as well as chronologies and an extensive bibliography.

Center for Research Libraries
In addition to the materials listed in their catalog, CRL also supports and provides access to special collections such as the Cooperative Africana Microform Project (CAMP). Among the CAMP collections available from CRL are


Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Edited by David Levinson and Karen Christensen. New York, Scribner, 2002. 6 vols.
Some 2600 signed articles covering all aspects of modern (after 1850) Asia. List of Articles Sample Entry

Bibliography of Asian Studies. Ann Arbor, Michigan, Association for Asian Studies, 1968-
The primary index to Western-language books, articles, book chapters, and conference papers on all parts of Asia arranged by geographical area and subject. The last print volume published was 1991; Continued by the Bibliography of Asian Studies Online (BAS) [not at Rutgers].
1956-1968 published as the September issue of the Journal of Asian Studies; available online via JSTOR.

Asia Studies Full-Text
Index to a database of full-text reports covering 53 countries including all of Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Americas Pacific Rim, and the Pacific Islands. Reports cover a wide range of topics including business, economics, the environment, politics, education, and women's studies.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access

Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. New York, Kodansha, 1983. 9 vols.
Scholarly essays with bibliographic notes on Japanese society, history, and culture.

Classical Historiography for Chinese History
Extensive, searchable bibliography developed and maintained by Professor Benjamin A. Elman of Princeton University.

Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Over 400 signed essays on the peoples, history, geography, demography, politics, religion, economy, and culture of each country.

Digital South Asia Library
Includes online books, journals, images, maps, and statistics. A project of the Center for Research Libraries.

SARAI: South Asia Resource Access on the Internet
Includes links to online books, journals, and images. From the Columbia University Libraries.


Mitchell, Brian R. International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia & Oceania, 1750-1993. New York, Stockton Press, 1998.

Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific. United Nations, 1973- .

The Americas

Basic Resources

Covington, Paula H. et al. Latin America and the Caribbean: A Critical Guide to Research Sources. New York, Greenwood Press, 1992.
Includes chapters on arthropology, art, history, literature, the performing arts, politics, religion, sociology, and women's studies. Chapters include bibliographies of principal sources plus brief descriptions of relevant special collections.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. 2nd ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Authoritative, one-volume work. Brief signed articles, with suggestions for further reading, dealing with the physical environment, economy, people, history, politics and society, and culture of the region.

Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Barbara A. Tenenbaum, Editor in Chief. New York, Scribner's, 1996. 5 vols.
Over 5200 signed entries most with brief bibliographies. Emphasis on political, economic, and social history. With some 3000 biographical entries, this is the basic resource for Latin American biographical information .
Sample Entry

Hinds, Harold E. and Charles M. Tatum (eds). Handbook of Latin American Popular Culture. Westport, Conn., Greenwood Press, 1985.
Somewhat dated but still a valuable resource. Essays, with extensive bibliographies, on popular music, sports, television, popular religion, comics, fotonovelas, film, cartoons, newspapers, and festivals and carnivals.

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures. Edited by Daniel Balderston, Mike Gonzalez, and Ana M. Lopez. New York, Routledge, 2000. 3 volumes
Signed entries focusing on social, political, and cultural developments in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1920. Entries over 400 words include a short list of suggested readings.


Handbook of Latin American Studies
1935- . Selective, annotated bibliography of books, book chapters, articles, and conference papers published in the field of Latin American studies. Coverage alternates between social sciences and the humanities on a biennial basis.

Hispanic-American Periodical Index [HAPI]
1970- . The major multidisciplinary periodical index for Latin American Studies. Indexes over 400 scholarly journals published in the U.S. and Latin America.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.


Statistical Abstract of Latin America. Los Angeles, UCLA Latin American Center Publications
Annual 2-volume compilation of data on Latin American countries.

Anuario estadístico de América latina y el Caribe/Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean. Santiago, Chile : Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 1986-
Annual compilation of demographic and socio-economic data for each country in Latin America and the Caribbean. The online version includes additional tables, and data tends to cover a greater number of years than the print version.


ERPA: European Research Papers Archive
Index to online working papers relating to European Integration research.

European Integration Current Contents
View or search tables of contents of over 100 journals relevant to European Integration research - law, human rights, economics, history and political sciences. Coverage from 1998 for most journals. A project of the Academy of European Law at the European University Institute in Florence, and the Harvard Law School.

Eastern Europe

Modern Encyclopedia of Russian, Soviet and Eurasian History. Gulf Breeze, Fla., Academic International Press, 1976- . 60 vols.
Scholarly essays, many translated from standard Russian reference titles, with excellent bibliographies. A basic starting point for anyone looking to do research in Russian and Soviet history or culture.

Russian Academy of Sciences Bibliographies
Index to books, manuscripts, dissertations, and articles published in more than 12,500 periodicals from Russia, the republics of the former Soviet Union, and countries in Eastern Europe. Subject coverage of a variety of social science areas including area studies, economics, international relations, political science, and sociology.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Letopis' Zhurnal'nykh Statei Online
Index to approximately 3 million articles published in Soviet-era periodicals from 1956 to 1972. Includes journals from the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and popular literature. Requires Cyrillic input; virtual keyboard provided. A project of the Indiana University Digital Library Program.

CIA Declassified Documents: The Princeton Collection
A collection of declassified analytic documents on the former Soviet Union, produced by the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence between 1951 and 1991. Documents were originally released for a 2001 conference held at Princeton University that focused on the role of intelligence in the Cold War.

Middle East

RAMBI: Index to Articles on Jewish Studies
Index to selective articles relating to Jewish studies and Israel. From the Jewish National and University Library. 1966- .

Jewish Studies
Rutgers University Libraries Research guide.

The Encyclopaedia of Islam. New edition. Leiden, Brill, 1960-2001. 11 volumes.
Articles on all aspects of the Islamic world; the standard reference world for Islamic Studies.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. New York, Oxford University Press, 1995. 4 volumes
Over 750 signed essays, most with annotated bibliographies, on the beliefs, institutions, politics, and culture in Muslim societies in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Historical Perspective
NATO Library Thematic Bibliographies No.9/2004.

UNISPAL: UN Information System on the Question of Palestine
Search or browse a large collection of current and historical United Nations documents concerning the question of Palestine and related issues since 1946.

Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) explores the Middle East through the region's media. Includes clips and translations of Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends in the Middle East.

Bibliographies on the Middle East
Collection of links.

News Sources for the Middle East
Part of the World-Wide Web Virtual LIbrary.

Libraries With Extensive Area Studies Collections

The Library of Congress
Approximately two-thirds of the books and periodicals in LC's collections are in languages other than English. Among its most notable collections are the Asian, Eastern European, Arabic, Luso-Hispanic, and Judaic collections.

The New York Public Library.
The NYPL catalog includes holdings of the Asian and Middle Eastern Division, the Dorot Jewish Division, and the Slavic and Baltic Division. Some divisional holdings are only listed in the printed catalogs and their supplements: the Dictionary Catalog of the Jewish Collection (1960), the Dictionary Catalog of the Oriental Collection (1960), and the Dictionary Catalog fo the Slavanic Collection (2d edition, 1974).

University of Texas at Austin Libraries
Includes the holdings of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, one of the major collections of Latin American materials in the world. Special emphasis on Mexico, Brazil, the Río de la Plata countries, and U.S. Latino culture

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Includes the holdings of the Slavic and East European Library, one of the largest Slavic and Eastern European collections in the United States.

Harvard University Library
Includes the holdings of the Yenching East Asian Library, the "most extensive academic research collection of East Asian materials outside of Asia."

Center for Research Libraries
CRL is consortium of North American university and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, foreign dissertations, archives, and other expensive or hard to find materials. As Rutgers is a CRL member, these materials are considered part of Rutgers' collections and can be borrowed via Interlibrary Loan. In addition to the materials listed in their catalog, CRL also supports and provides access to special collections such as the Latin American Microform Project (LAMP), International Dissertations, and Global Newspapers


For links to many newspaper sites with online searchable archives, as well as to physical collections of newspapers see the Newspapers Research Guide.

Access World News
Access to the full text of over 600 U.S. and over 700 international newspapers.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access

World News Connection
Translated and English-language news and information from Central Eurasia, China, East Asia, Near East & South Asia, East Europe, West Europe, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Off-Campus Access Restricted Access.

Union Lists

Union lists identify where runs of specific newspapers are physically held; newspapers on microform often may be requested on Interlibrary Loan.

African Newspapers Union List (AFRINUL)
Database of holdings information for newspapers (current and retrospective) published in sub-Saharan Africa. Holdings currently only reflect North American collections. Project administered by the Center for Research Libraries.

Newspapers in Microform. Foreign Countries. Washington : Library of Congress, 2 vols.
Lists newspapers by country, city, and title. Indicates which libraries have microform holdings of those titles.
Dana Call Number: Ref. Z6945.U515a yr.1948/83

Foreign Newspapers at the Center for Research Libraries
Database of more than 6000 titles of non-U.S. newspapers (current and restrospective) held by CRL.

Foreign Newspapers at the Library of Congress
Newspapers currently received and permanently retained on microfilm.


World Factbook Reference Maps.
Country, regional, and global maps from the annual CIA publication. An excellent source for current maps.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Outstanding collection of digitized current and historical maps. From the Univesity of Texas in Austin.

Area Studies Librarianship

The Future of Area Librarianship
Proceedings of a conference held at Indiana University in July of 1995 and 1995 and 1997 surveys on area librarianship.

Nye, James. Organizations for Area Studies Librarians in the United States: Relationships Between the Bodies and the Counterpart Organizations for Scholars. March 16, 2005.
Brief overview.

Jakubs, Deborah. "The AAU/ARL Global Resources Program: Origins and Trajectory," Library Hi Tech 18(3), September 2000, 209-214.
Off-Campus Link

AAU/ARL Global Resources Network
Project designed to expand access to international resources not currently available in North American libraries largely through cooperative collection devleopment and digitization. As of January 2006 responsibility for the program was transferred from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to the Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

Hickey, C. David. "Area Studies Libraries in the Global Studies Milieu: Implications for Non-Roman Script Print Resource Management and University Library Budgets and Staffing," Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services 30(1/2), March-June 2006, 77-84.
Off-Campus Link.

Natalie Borisovets (
John Cotton Dana Library
September 22, 2006
rev. November 13, 2006