Area Studies

Note: the listings below offer a small selection of general resources (including travel) - chiefly portals, digitised material, and bibliographic databases. Subject specific information on countries can be found by looking on the appropriate subject web pages

Africa (General)

Africa Desk

UK portal for African studies. Maintained by the African Studies Association & others. Includes the updated edition of ASAUK Directory of Africanists in Britain

Offers free access to Africana Bibliographic Literature  which covers over 500 multilingual journals that specialise in African Studies. Dates from 1974 onwards. Indexed by country and topic. Also other databases: African Women Bibliographic Database , African water - over 35,000 citations from 1986 onwards,  includes references to books and government documents; journal articles; Masters theses and Ph.D. dissertations.

African e-Journals Project

Collaborative effort of Michigan State University with the Association of African Universities and the African Studies Association. Provides free access to a digital archive of a small number of historic humanities and social science titles published in Africa.

African Journal Archive

Free access to digitised back runs of African journals in all subjects

African Journals Online (AJOL)

It offers free access to contents pages (and limited full text ) of over 400 scholarly journals in all subjects.

African Minds

Open access publishing venture based in South Africa, focus on social sciences with some interesting titles freely available

Africa Open Data

Aims to be the largest repository of government/NGO/corporate datasets from African countries

Africa Portal

Free gateway to information which would be extremely valuable for researchers of African issues. This includes a digital library of over 2,500 books, journals, and digital documents related to African policy. Project of the Center for International Governance Innovation, Makerere University, and South African Institute of International Affairs.

African Studies Abstracts online

Compiled by the African Studies Centre at Leiden & covering about 250 journals in the field. Coverage begins from 2003 (the database replaces the well-known printed publication of the same name)

Africa Through a Lens

Interesting collection of photographs held by the National Archives (UK) covering the period 1860-1960.

Connecting Africa

Dutch gateway to African studies resources, sponsored by the Netherlands African Studies Association and the African Studies Centre at Leiden University.

Quarterly Index of African Periodical Literature

Maintained by The Library of Congress Office in Kenya. A free database of references to articles from over 300 journal titles published in over 25 African nations from 1991-2011. Countries include: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, the Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Reunion, Rwanda, Senegal, the Seychelles, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The titles include many difficult to trace elsewhere.


Supreme Council of Universities

Access to university library catalogues, details of research & theses completed and in progress


Index to various Nairobi newspapers, 1980Copies of articles can be ordered.


Repositorio Saber

The national research repository for Mozambique

South Africa

Digital Innovation South Africa (DISA)

Useful collection of free online publications & documents focusing on the period 1950-1994

South African History Online (SAHO)

Non-partisan people's history project established in 2000, aims to create the most comprehensive online encyclopaedia of South African history & culture


Sudan Open Archive

Aims to provide free access to a digital archive of materials about Sudan. It is a special project of the Rift Valley Institute. Topics covered include: economic, social and political development in the region; the civil war and peace process; conflict in Darfur. There is also general country information about the history, culture, politics and economy of Sudan. It is possible to search or browse the online library. Items currently available include documents from aid agencies, UN agencies and charities

Asia & Middle East (General)

Asia Foundation

Major NGO with a host of publications available on its website

National Bureau of Asian Research

US based think-tank which promotes research on Asia. Access to a wide range of online publications & its Strategic Asia database of statistics (1990-)

Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

(United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific). The Library catalogue and annual Asia and Pacific bibliography are good starting points for literature searching


Afghanistan Digital Library

Growing collection of full text resources on Afghan history & culture 1870-1930, maintained by New York University Libraries


Bangladesh Journals Online

Free access to over 75 journals


Online Burma/Myanmar Library

Annotated & classified links to over 30 000 full text documents

China. Hong Kong

China-US Million Book Digital Project

Project which is working to provide free full text access to 500,000 rare Chinese and language books and 500,000 English language books about China. All subjects covered.

Chinese Pamphlets : Political Communication and Mass Education in the early period of the PRC

Online collection hosted by the Center for Research Libraries. Free access to several hundred Chinese political pamphlets published during the period 1947-1954. They include examples produced by the Chinese Communist party and the Kuomintang and cover a range of  topics including propaganda, materials on Chinese foreign policy, security, relations with the Soviet Union, and economic and social reforms. Most materials are offered in Chinese only, a small number are in English.

Digital Archive for Chinese Studies

Maintained by Heidelberg University. Free access to a growing collection of documents, newsletters, periodicals, statistics, etc., covering social & political issues 

Hong Kong Government Reports Online 1853-1941

Free access to the full text parliamentary papers & official publications, including the Administrative report; Hong Kong sessional papers; Hong Kong Hansard; Hong Kong government gazette

Hong Kong Institutional Repositories

Access to the e-research of the HKUST & other higher education institutions

Hong Kong Newspaper Clippings

Free access to over 150 000 articles from the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Standard, from c. 1970-1994

Hong Kong Scholars Hub

An institutional repository for staff and researchers of Hong Kong University. It provides free access to a searchable database of their writings and publications, some of which can be downloaded in full text. They include e-prints, occasional papers, articles and some e-books from UKU University press. Many items are offered in English. Copyright details are displayed on the website

Hong Kong Tables of Contents Database

Free access to tables of contents from books and pamphlets held in the Hong Kong collection of the the University of Hong Kong Libraries. These include many examples of collections of conference papers and rare pamphlets from research organisations, government departments, political organisations and protest groups. It excludes journal articles. Materials cover all areas of the social, economic and political history of Hong Kong and its relations with China and the British Empire.  Most materials date from the 20th Century onwards.

Modern China Studies Electronic Texts

Free access to Chinese language books published in the first half of the 20th century

Visualising China

Project by the University of Bristol, gives access to over 8000 historical photographs of China covering the period 1850-1950


Digital Library of India

Hosted by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in co-operation with Indian universities and the Indian government. It provides free access to a growing number of Indian e-books. Includes links to online journals & newspapers

IndCat Online Union Catalogue of Indian Universities

Includes books, doctoral theses and serials held in over 100 Indian universities and colleges. It is therefore a rich source of bibliographic information on titles available in India. All subject areas are covered

Table of contents alerting service, covering about 200 journals (all subjects)

Open Index Initiative

Maintained by the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research Library. It provides free access to a database of bibliographic references to social science literature and resources held in major Indian research Libraries. It includes references (no full text) to journal articles, conference papers, working papers, research reports and theses. Most articles are taken from English language titles such as the Economic and Political Weekly. Articles date from the early 1990s onwards.


Cornell Modern Indonesia Project

Full text access to around 75 titles published by faculty members

Digital Atlas of Indonesian History


Abstracta Iranica

Annual review published by the Institut Francais de Recherche en Iran. It provides abstracts and reviews of books, articles and papers covering all aspects of Iranian studies (including coverage of Islamic culture and the geographical areas of Central Asia and Afghanistan). Issues from 2000 onwards can be downloaded. Most abstracts are offered in French only

Iran Data Portal

US funded source for social science (especially political) data on Iran in English & Farsi.

Nashriyah : digital Iranian history

Digitised content for 23 Iranian newspapers at the University of Manchester, covering 1950s to early 2000s


Center for Jewish History

US organisation with extensive resources & links

Jewish News Archive

Database of full text articles on all aspects of the Jewish experience since 1923

Jewish Virtual Library

Extensive project of the Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw)

RAMBI : the index of articles on Jewish studies

bibliographic database of journal article references on all aspects of Jewish studies, taken from journals in Hebrew, English & other European languages since 1966.


NII Content Services (Scholarly and Academic Information Portal)

Maintained by the National Institute of Informatics (NII) it provides access to a number of key Japanese catalogues and online research repositories. They include the CINII scholarly and academic publications navigator database; KAKEN (Service for disclosing the deliverables of grants-in-aid for scientific research) NII-DBR (Academic Research Database Repository). Materials indexed include articles, papers, e-prints; theses and books. A growing number can be accessed in full text online. Most items are in Japanese only

Japan Center for Asian Historical Records

(JACAR) a database of Japanese government documents covering the Meiji period until 1945, maintained by the National Archives of Japan. Free access to several thousand full text papers relating to Japanese diplomacy, international relations and foreign policy during this period. It covers Japanese foreign relations with Asian nations and the rest of the world.  The database may be searched in English; the full text digital materials are generally in Japanese only. 

National Diet Library Digital Collections

Extensive digitised collections from the national library of Japan


National Digital Library of Korea

Aims to provide a portal to e-resources digitised by the leading national institutions in Korea, including the National Library of Korea. All subjects are covered. The database includes the national bibliography, the official gazette 1894-1910, a collection of Korean newspapers prior to 1945, recent PhD theses submitted at Korean universities, and a growing number of out of copyright e-books, journal articles and indexes.

Middle East (General)

Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources (AMIR)

Useful blog which originated from New York University in 2010 and offers links to good open access resources, such as historical newspapers & periodicals

Arabic Collections Online

Digitisation of some 15 000 volumes has commenced, led by New York University Abu Dhabi in partnership with other universities.

Current Contents of Periodicals on the Middle East

Maintained by the staff of the Moshe Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University. Issued bimonthly and aims to provide scholars with the most up to date tables of contents and lists of journal articles published in key academic periodicals held in its library. All areas of economic, social and political policy relating to the Middle East and nations of the Middle East are covered, including Turkey, Iran & the Caucasus . All lists from 1998 onwards can be downloaded from the website. The main emphasis seems to be upon English language titles.

Middle East Institute

Major US research institute. Part of its Oman Library has been digitised.

Qatar Digital Library

Qatar National Library & British Library project. Primary source documents & photographs on the history & culture of the Gulf region

Sources for Historical Photographs of the Middle East

useful inventory compiled by the Library of Congress


Nepal Journals Online

free access to around 70 Nepalese journals

Nepal Studies Center

(University of New Mexico)


Philippine Journals Online

free access to about 45 titles published in the Philippines

South Asia

Centre of South Asian Studies (Cambridge)

Archive contains some digitised films, interviews and recordings relating to 20th century political, economic and social history

Digital South Asia Library

Useful portal to S. Asian resources, maintained by the University of Chicago


database containing bibliographic references to South Asia research articles maintained by the Universities of Bonn, Halle, Munich. Covers the period 1797-2000. Particularly useful for tracing European language articles


Digital repository of humanities and social sciences publications on S. Asia, maintained by Heidelberg University


National Archives of Singapore digital archives

Southeast Asia

Berita Database

Maintained by Ohio University Libraries, indexes monographs, journal articles, book chapters and conference papers on Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and other Southeast Asian countries . Materials generally relate to the mid 1990s onwards

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore)

Major research centre

Newspaper SG

Great archive of digitised Singapore & Malay newspapers (1831-). Full text of the Straits Times (1845-) & around 30 other newspapers from Singapore & Malaysia. Many more newspapers from the region are indexed in the database.


Index to articles relating to Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and ASEAN (as an entity) produced by the National University of Singapore Libraries. Over 200 core local and international journals indexed, mostly 1980- onwards (all subjects)

Singapore Research Nexus

Key to the research output of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences of the National University of Singapore.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Journals Online

Currently offering about 40 full text titles


Taiwan Electronic Periodicals Service

Index with abstracts to over 900 Taiwanese journals in all subjects. Some journals also available in full text

Europe (General)

The Library has been designated a European Documentation Centre since 1976 and as a result has extensive holdings of European Communities publications in the field of social sciences. Further information is available from the Library's European Union webpage and EDC web page.

AEI Plus

Searches the European Research Papers Archive (ERPA) full text working papers in the field of European integration published by selected research institutions and the Archive of European Integration (full text research materials).

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Important Brussels based think tank that freely offers the full text of its publications

Digitised travel accounts of medieval & early modern Europe

EU Bookshop

Full text of all EU publications since 1952


Official website of the EU

European Library

Portal to the collections of 48 national libraries (no longer updated after end 2016)

European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN)

A network of scholarly think tanks and research institutions interested in the EU. Includes full text working & conference papers since 2000.


Huge resources of digitised books, art works, artifacts, photos, film and sound, representing the cultural & social history of Europe


(formerly OpenSIGLE). Huge searchable database containing references to grey literature from major European research institutions. Covers conference papers, eprints, pre-prints, technical reports, PhD dissertations and theses. Compiled by EAGLE (European Association for Grey Literature Exploitation). Coverage from about 1985 (all subjects). All records are offered in English and include bibliographic references, subject classifications and often abstracts of content.

University Association for Contemporary European Studies

(UACES) premier UK body for academic research on Europe. Publishes the Journal of Common Market Studies. Also maintains an online directory of expertise Expert on Europe


Belgica Press

Free digitised newspapers covering the period 1831-1950 from the Bibliotheque royale de Belgique


Denmark's Electronic Research Library (DEFF)

A partnership between Danish research organisations and libraries. It website offers a single point of access to a number of key research resources .These include the Danish National Research Database; library catalogues, directories of websites and eprints, institutional repositories (Danish and non-Danish). All subjects are covered.



Maintained by the National Library of Finland. It provides free access to a searchable database of journal articles from over 600 scholarly journals published in Finland from 1990 onwards. All areas of the sciences, social sciences and humanities are covered


Archives nationales

Association for the Study of Modern & Contemporary France (ASMCF)

UK based network of scholars


An initiative of a number of French publishing houses and institutions. It aims to provide access to ejournal articles from French language academic journals covering a wide range of social science and humanities subject areas, including history, politics, economics, psychology and sociology. It is possible to search tables of contents and abstracts from over 100 French language journals online. Access to most of the full text articles requires a subscription. However some can be downloaded free of charge. Materials date from approximately 2001 onwards.


Searchable union catalogue of the archives and manuscripts held by key French universities, archives and national research institutes, covering all subject areas of the arts, humanities and social sciences. It is possible to search by subject keyword or browse by institution. An excellent resource for tracing descriptions of archives relating to French political, social and economic history


Free access from the Bibliotheque Nationale to a digitised collection of over 1 million items

La Grande collecte

Digitised materials made available by Bibliotheque nationale and Archives nationales

Institut national d'audio-visuel

Extensive archive of video & audio resources available online


Portal enabling cross searching a wide range of databases and websites from the social sciences and humanities. These include open access repositories from universities, ejournal sites, and digital libraries, including Perseus,, STAR , Gallica, and French national archives and manuscript catalogues.

OpenEdition Journals (previously

Free access to a wide range of journals from French university publishers, mostly back files with a moving wall


Index to journal articles from CNRS-Inist. FRANCIS covers social sciences & humanities. 1972-


Launched in 2004, Persee is a portal to back runs of French language social & human sciences journals, including law, politics, history & sociology. Most titles operate on a w rolling wall basis with a 3-5 year embargo on current volumes.

Presse locale ancienne

Project by the Bibliotheque Nationale. Lists local French newspapers prior to 1944, with links to digitised runs where available


Institut d'etudes politiques (IEP) de Lyon table of contents service, based on 160 journals in the humanities & social sciences

SUDOC (Systeme Universitaire de Documentation)

Union catalogue, primarily of French university libraries. Over 10 million items included.


Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

Portal to digital resources from nearly 2000 contributing institutions


Portal to online full text German language scholarly journals, some of which are freely available

German Internet Resources

Portal from the British Library which is a helpful gateway to union catalogues, major libraries, databases, etc.


New portal to German federal and regional data

Social Science Open Access Repository

Aims to provide free access to research output (books, articles, conference papers, eprints, reports) from researchers based in leading German universities. All aspects of the social sciences are covered including economics, politics, sociology and psychology. They include materials relating to the history, politics and culture of Germany

ZEFYS Zeitungsinformationssystem

Over 100 historic (19th century - 1990s) online newspapers in German, provided by the Staatsbibliothek Berlin. Registration required to view full text



Major portal to bibliographic resources maintained by the National Documentation Centre of Greece. Free access to a number of catalogues and databases. These include: GLAFKA Database on the Greek society and Hellenism; European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) database; listings of Greek PHD theses; HELM -Official Gazette of Greece, 1833-1847; The Bibliography of Modern Greek History (1973-1982) and HELLECON Scientific Publications for the Greek Economy


National Hellenic Research Foundation open access repository

Greek Parliament digital library

Offers access to many digitised newspapers from the 19th & 20th centuries



Open access repository for Icelandic research output

Full text digital newspapers and magazines from Iceland, Greenland and the Faeroes, including almost all newspapers published before 1920


DIPPAM : Documenting Ireland Parliament, People & Migration

Great free electronic library of primary source documents and resources relating to the history of Ireland and its migration experience from the 18th to late 20th centuries

Enhanced Parliamentary Papers on Ireland

1801-1922 (EPPI) full text of nearly 14 000 British parliamentary papers on Ireland

Irish Virtual Research Library & Archive

(IVRLA) aims to make freely available digitised collections of printed, audio, video, and image materials from the collection of University College Dublin. These cover a wide range of subject areas from the humanities and social sciences. Topics covered include the history of Irish emigration; historical maps of Ireland; materials relating to Irish dialects, Gaelic and folklore culture; manuscripts and prints relating to Irish political and social history


Portal to Irish universities research output


The National Library of Ireland database for research, indexes resources covering Irish economic, social, political and cultural history. Includes records of  all the National Library's manuscripts catalogued up to the 1980s; Irish manuscripts held in other libraries and archives in Ireland and worldwide, listed between the 1940s and the 1970s; Articles, reviews and other content that appeared in over 150 Irish periodicals up to 1969


Biblioteca Italiana delle Donne

(Italian Womens' Library) offers digitised books, posters & journals about women in Italy


Union catalogue of Italian libraries


Portal e per la Letteratura scientifica Elettronica Italiana su Archivi aperti e Depositi Istituzionali portal to all information held in Italian open access archives



Free access to social science datasets from the Netherlands


Access to Dutch historical texts from the digital collections of scientific institutions, libraries and heritage institutions. All topics, 17th-20th centuries

Historische Kranten

Ongoing digitised selection of over 70 Dutch newspapers, comprising national, regional and local newspapers as well as newspapers from former Dutch colonies. Currently available are materials from 1618-1945.

Koninklijke Bibliotheek open datasets

Free access to early Dutch books online & official publications from the National Library. See also its digital collections of Historische Kranten (historical newspapers, 1618-1995) and Tijdschriften (journals, 1850-1940)


Portal to scholarly output held by Dutch university repositories, including e-theses

Staten Generaal Digitaal

Dutch parliamentary papers 1814-1995

Volkstellingen 1795-1971

Free access to Dutch census returns up to 1971


Norwegian Open Research Archives (NORA)

Free access to a searchable catalogue of materials held in open access institutional repositories in Norway. It contains references, abstracts and in many cases the full text of research outputs from Norwegian scholars, students and researchers. These include journal articles, masters dissertations, PhD doctoral theses, conference papers, eprints, book chapters and other reports


BND (Biblioteca Nacional Digital)

Ongoing project by the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal to digitise key documents from its collections

RCAAP : Repositorio Cientifico de Acesso Aberto de Portugal

A portal providing free access to research output from a number of institutional repositories of Portuguese universities and colleges. Contents include theses; pre-prints, articles and other eprints. An increasing number of items (subject to copyright restrictions) are offered in full text. All subject areas are covered

Russia and Eastern Europe

See separate Library web page for Slavonic studies


Glasgow Digital Library 

National Library of Scotland

Digital library, drawn from the NLS collections.


Biblioteca Digital Hispanica

(BDH) of the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana, provides access to a wealth of material from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The BNE also offers full text access to hundreds of national & regional newspapers through its Hemeroteca Digital

Biblioteca Virtual de Prensa Historica

Major Spanish digitisation project involving over 45 Spanish universities & providing free access to journals in the humanities & social sciences from the 18th century onwards


Institutional repository of the Spanish National Research Council


Ministry of Culture portal to digital archives & repositories in Spain

RACO : Revistes Catalanes amb Acces Obert

A project of Consorci de Biblioteques Universitaries de Catalunya. It provides free access to journal articles and reviews from academic Catalan journals mainly published by university and research presses in the region. These cover a wide range of subject areas, including politics, economics, government, education and social welfare. There is excellent coverage of Catalan history, culture and politics; Spanish history and politics and the culture, history and economic and politics of Spanish speaking regions of Latin America. Dates of coverage differ according to journal title


Research publications & dissertations (some full text) from Swedish universities

The Swedish government's official data repository


National e-repository for over 30 universities



Union catalogue of Swiss libraries


Hakki Tarik Us Ottoman digital archive

Digital archive of Ottoman periodicals, included in the Hakki Tarik Us Collection, which is currently kept at the Beyazit State Library in Istanbul

Network Turkey

Links academics with research interests on Turkey & maintains a useful digital library

Online Bibliography of Ottoman-Turkish Literature

Turkiye Makaleler Biblioyografyisi

(Bibliography of Articles in Turkish Periodicals) free access to references to articles covering all subject areas published since 1995. Compiled by the National Library of Turkey

ULAKBIM Turkish Social Sciences Database

Index to Turkish social sciences publications from 2002


Note: general resources only. For more details see the relevant subject web pages

17th-19th Century British Religious, Political & Legal Tracts

Around 20 000 digitised pamphlets made freely available by University of Missouri


Left-leaning think tank with links to the Liberal Democrats

Civitas Institute for the Study of Civil Society

A right-leaning think tank that publishes on a wide range of social, economic & political issues relating to the UK


Full-text of most of their publications are available

Economic and Social Research Council

(ESRC) the main UK government sponsored funding body for social science research

Fabian Society

Venerable left-leaning think tank, aligned with the Labour Party. Extensive Fabian Society Online Archiveis maintained by LSE, including the majority of Fabian Tracts 1884-1997

Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)

National Archives

Nineteenth Century British Pamphlets Online

Great resource for the 19th century. Catalogue records for 180 000 pamphlets, with around 23 000 digitised. See also the separate library database 19th Century British Pamphlets (on JSTOR)

Policy Network

Progressive international think tank, based in London


Welsh Journals Online and Welsh Newspapers Online

Ongoing projects coordinated by the National Library of Wales to provide full text access to Welsh periodicals

Latin America

See separate Library web page for Latin American studies



ANU E-press

Free electronic editions of academic titles published by the Australian National University Press

Australian Dictionary of National Biography Online

Coverage is up to 1980 (date of death).

Australian Policy Online

Database & alerting service, offering free access to papers, statistics & research on policy relating to Australia & New Zealand

The home of Australian government public information datasets

Research Data Australia

Portal to statistical data collections


Find millions of Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more

New Zealand & Pacific


Digital archive coordinated by National Library of New Zealand with numerous partners. All formats & subjects relating to New Zealand are included

Find NZ Articles

Free database maintained by National Library of New Zealand and others, enables users to search a number of New Zealand libraries' and institutions' indexes to New Zealand newspapers and journals. Abstracts of content are provided for many of the articles

Index New Zealand

Provides an index to journal articles and newspaper reports covering all aspects of New Zealand and South pacific political, economic social and cultural life. Compiled by the National Library of New Zealand, it indexes over 3,000 titles. It is possible to access all materials from 1987 onwards. Each entry has an abstract of content.

Repository providing free access to details of research publications produced by higher education and research establishments in New Zealand. All items contain abstracts, an increasing number are offered in full text


Access to digitised New Zealand newspapers 1839-1945, from the National Library of New Zealand

United States

see separate Library web page for US Studies


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