Research in Southeast Asian Studies

Southeast Asian Studies

Following is a selected list of research materials for beginning research in Southeast Asian Studies.

Starting Your Research (Using REFERENCE materials)

These sources are useful because they provide synopses of a research field, background information on a specific issue, or help you identify a research topic by perusing them.Encyclopedias

Scholarly encyclopedias are great for their short, information packed articles summarizing the history and scholarly views on a subject. Articles are usually written by an expert in the field, and often have citations to help you find further relevant information. There are many general encyclopedias, like Brittanica or Americana, with Southeast Asia content (ask @ the Reference Desk if you don't find what you need); below please find a select list of encyclopedias that focus on Southeast Asia.

TIP: You'll find many more resources near these on the Reference bookshelves, space limitations preclude listing all available sources):

CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art KNIGHT REFERENCE NX 581.A1 C37
Encyclopaedia of Asian Civilizations KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 4.L68
Encyclopedia of Asian History KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 31.E53
Encyclopedia of Prehistory (Vol. 3 East Asia and Oceania) KNIGHT REFERENCE - GN710.E53
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 557.7.E53
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 557.7.E53
Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Vol. 5 East and Southeast Asia) KNIGHT REFERENCE GN 307.E53
Ensiklopedi Nasional Indonesia (In Indonesian) KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 614.E57
Ensiklopedi Suku Bangsa Di Indonesia (In Indonesian) KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 631.E57
Indonesian Heritage KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 615.I532x
Kasaysayan: The Story of the Filipino People KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 668.K37
Peoples of the World: Asians and Pacific Islanders KNIGHT REFERENCE GN 308.3.A83 M6
Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (Vol. 3 Asian and Oceania) KNIGHT REFERENCE - GN333.W67
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations (Vol. 4 Asia & Oceania) KNIGHT REFERENCE - G63.W67

Reference Books

If you're looking for biographical information on the King of Thailand, the history and cultural meaning of durian, statistical information on the Philippines, or thematic maps(atlas) of insular Southeast Asia the following list of selected sources can offer authoritative answers.ALMANACS:

Asian Political Almanac KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 35.2.C69
Fast Facts About Philippine Provinces KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 654.L36
Student's Philippine Almanac KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 655.S78
The Vietnam War: An Almanac KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 557.7.V568
The Vietnam War Almanac KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 557.7.S94

ATLASES, MAPS, & GIS The MAP Department has extensive holdings on the Pacific Islands representing many different aspects of the Islands - their geography, environment, social/cultural issues, etc. The following selected general atlases can help you get started, please consult with MAP staff for further assistance):

Atlas of Southeast Asia MAP LIBRARY G 2360.U4
Atlas Republik Indonesia MAP LIBRARY G 2400.S3
Language atlas of the Pacific area MAP LIBRARY G 2861.E3L3
Historical atlas of Indonesia MAP LIBRARY G 2401.S1 C7
Historical atlas of South-East Asia MAP LIBRARY G 2361.S1 H5
Viêtnam : atlas quôc gia = national atlas MAP LIBRARY G 2370.V54


Asia and the Pacific (Handbooks of the Modern World) KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 5.A79
Brittanica Book of the Year KNIGHT REFERENCE AE 5.E364
Cities of the World (Vol. 4: Asia, the Pacific, and the Asiatic Middle East) KNIGHT REFERENCE G 153.4.C57
The Far East and Australasia Contains excellent essays on each Pacific Island country portraying succinctly its history, politics, economy, etc. Also contains statistical information, and a directory of high level government office holders. KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 1.F3, located on TABLE 5 near the Reference Desk
The International Year Book and Statesman's Who's Who KNIGHT REFERENCE JA 51.I57
Peoples of the World: Asians and Pacific Islanders KNIGHT REFERENCE GN 308.3.A83 M6
Regional Outlook: Southeast Asia KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 520.R44
The Statesman's Yearbook: The Politics, Cultures, and Economies of the World KNIGHT REFERENCE JA 51.S7

BIBLIOGRAPHIES (Useful tools to easily identify books, etc. on various subjects, e.g., prehistory, religion, environment, etc. Also search the UO Library Catalog, Summit, or WorldCat (more information on this below) to find books, etc. on the Pacific):

Bibliography of the Philippine Islands KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3291.L52
Books About Singapore KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3248.S5 B65
Burma KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 527.4.A12 H476
Cambodia KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 554.3.J378
Philippines KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 655.R53
Thailand KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 563.5.S69
Vietnam Studies: An Annotated Bibliography KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 556.3.S57


Dictionary of Philippine Biography KNIGHT REFERENCE CT 1792.M36
Filipinos in History KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 676.8.A1 F55
Prominent Indonesian Chinese: Biographical Sketches KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 632.3.C5 S9587
Who's Who in Philippine History KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 676.8.A1 Q857
Who's Who of the Asian Pacific Rim KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.W56

CHRONOLOGIES (chronologies deepen understanding of a country through its important moments in history):

Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 33 .C63
Worldmark Chronology of the Nations (Vol. 3 Asia) KNIGHT REFERENCE G 133.W93

DIRECTORIES (identify key scholars or research institutes working in your area of interest; particularly useful for those going on to graduate school):

Association for Asian Studies Member Directory KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 1.5.A27
Directory of Southeast Asianists in the Pacific Northwest KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 510.7.D57
European Directory of South-East Asian Studies KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 524.8.E8 E87
Guide to Asian Studies in Europe KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.9.E85 I34
International Directory of Centers for Asian Studies KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.8.I5
International Directory of Indonesianists KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 633.6.I58
International Research Centers Directory Covers international centers (excluding U.S.) university related & independent non-profit, state & local government, fund by the national government. KNIGHT REFERENCE Q 179.98.I58 (Located on Table 5/6 near the Reference Desk)
NZASIA Directory: Asian Studies and Expertise KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.9.N45 N9
Research Centers Directory Covers US & Canada: university related&independent non-profit, state/provincial & local government KNIGHT REFERENCE AS 25.D5 (Located on Table 5/6 near the Reference Desk)


Association for Asian Studies Member Directory KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 1.5.A27
Directory of Southeast Asianists in the Pacific Northwest KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 510.7.D57
European Directory of South-East Asian Studies KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 524.8.E8 E87
Guide to Asian Studies in Europe KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.9.E85 I34
International Directory of Centers for Asian Studies KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.8.I5
International Directory of Indonesianists KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 633.6.I58
NZASIA Directory: Asian Studies and Expertise KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 32.9.N45 N9

GUIDES TO FINDING INFORMATION (these guides go into much more exhaustive detail about doing research in Southeast Asian studies than this humble beginning research guide):

Asia Access: A Guide to English Language Resources for Indonesia, Malaysia, & Singapore
Burma: A Study Guide KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3216.B86
The Scholar's Guide to Washington, D.C. for Southeast Asian Studies: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3221.M37
South East Asia: A Guide to Reference Material KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3221.D35
Vietnam: A Guide to Reference Sources KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3228.V5 C68

HISTORICAL DICTIONARIES (Great sources for succinct explanations of key historical events and figures. For more in-depth articles on the history of the Pacific search Historical Abstracts or Hawaii Pacific Journal Index:

Historical Dictionary of Malaysia KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 596.K36
Historical Dictionary of the Philippines KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 667.G85
Historical Dictionary of Singapore KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 610.4.M85
Historical Dictionary of Thailand KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 563.5.M3

LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES (There are many more dictionaries in the UO Libraries' collections, to find them search the UO CATALOG by subject, e.g. Vietnamese language dictionaries. Alternatively, browse the shelves between PL3900-6100):

Cambodian-English Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 4326.C3
The Contemporary English-Indonesian Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 5076.S24
Dictionary of Filipino Culture and Values KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 663.A53
English and Burmese Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 3957.J82
Lao-English Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 4236.4.K47
New Model English-Thai Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 4187.S6
NTC's Vietnamese-English Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 4376.N345
Tagalog-English Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 6056.E49

LITERATURE/DRAMA/THEATER (The following titles provide general background information, on authors & literary criticism of their works. For additional literary criticism articles search the MLA Bibliography):

Asian Theatre: A Study Guide and Annotated Bibliography KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3008.D7 A84
The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 2860.C35
Cassell's Encyclopedia of World Literature KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 41.C3
Dictionary of Traditional South-East Asian Theatre KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 2860.G48
Dictionnaire Universel des Litteratures (In French) Wonderful coverage of the literary traditions of SEAsian countries. Citation list following each entry includes English language entries KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 41.D489
Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century Vol. 5 has an index to help you locate authors by country. KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 771.E5
Modern Southeast Asian Literature in Translation Covers Indonesian, Filipino, Thai, and Vietnamese literature KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3221.M57
Le Nouveau Dictionnaire des Auteurs: de Tous les Temps et de Tous les Pays (In French) KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 456.N68
Post-Colonial Literatures in English: Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, 1970-1992 KNIGHT REFERENCE Z 3008.L58 W55
South-East Asia: Languages and Literatures: A Select Guide KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 3501.S66
Southeast Asian Languages and Literatures: A Bibliographical Guide to Burmese, Cambodian, Indonesian, Javanese, Malay, Minangkabau, Thai and Vietnamese KNIGHT REFERENCE PL 3501.S67
The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre (Vol. 5 Asia/Pacific) KNIGHT REFERENCE PN 1861.W67


The Asian Political Dictionary KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 31.Z57
Dictionary of the Modern Politics of South-East Asia KNIGHT REFERENCE DS 526.7.L45


Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide KNIGHT REFERENCE BQ 4022.B83
A Concise Encyclopedia of Buddhism KNIGHT REFERENCE BQ128.P69
A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts KNIGHT REFERENCE - BQ8409.D53
An Encyclopaedia of Buddhism KNIGHT REFERENCE BQ128.E5
Historical Dictionary of Buddhism KNIGHT REFERENCE BQ 130.P74
A Popular Dictionary of Buddhism KNIGHT REFERENCE BQ 130.H8


A Dictionary of Indonesian Islam KNIGHT REFERENCE BP 63.I5 F43
Guide to Reference Books For Islamic Studies KNIGHT REFERENCE BP 161.2.G4
Historical Dictionary of Islam KNIGHT REFERENCE - BP50.A33
The Muslim Almanac KNIGHT REFERENCE BP 40.M83
A Popular Dictionary of Islam KNIGHT REFERENCE BP 40.N48

STATISTICS (Following are selected general statistical sources to get started, there are many additional sources available depending on what type of statistic you are interested, e.g. agriculture, health, literacy, or statistical yearbooks published by a particular nation, etc. For further assistance please consult with Document Center staff):

Human Development Report DOCUMENTS-LC - HD72.H85
International Historical Statistics: Africa, Asia, and Oceania 1750-1993 KNIGHT REFERENCE HA4675.M552
Key indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific countries DOCUMENTS REFERENCE HC 411 .A754a
Statistical Indicators for Asia and the Pacific DOCUMENTS REFERENCE HC 411 .S73
Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific KNIGHT REFERENCE HA1661.S8
United Nations Statistical Yearbook KNIGHT REFERENCE HA12.5.U63
World Bank Atlas KNIGHT REFERENCE G1046.G1 I5
World Development Report DOCUMENTS REFERENCE HC 59.7 .W659

Journals (CURRENT PERIODICALS ROOM, 2nd floor, Knight Library)

Browse through the table of contents of recently published Pacific Islands journals to identify a contemporary research topic for your research paper. These journals can be found in many different call number (subject areas) sections:

DS520-689 Southeast Asian Regional/Country: History & Culture
PL3851-6135 Southeast Asian languages & literatures

Finding ARTICLES (Using Databases & INDEXES)

To look for articles in journals, newspapers, or magazines, you will need to start with an index. An index will allow you to search by subject (guaranteed article largely or wholly about this subject), by keywords (like an Internet search, article will appear if it matches the exact words you typed in, no guarantee that it is the focus of the article), or by author, etc.

Following is a select list of indexes that focus on Southeast Asia. Because Southeast Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary field, there are many subject specific indexes (e.g. anthropology, history, literature, environmental studies) that will also be helpful in your research. Please ask @ the Reference Desk for assistance for help in finding or using index(es)!

Bibliography of Asian Studies
Since 1941 the Bibliography of Asian Studies has been the standard bibliographical tool in the field of Asian studies, published in increasingly bulky annual volumes. The online version of the BAS currently contains about 450,000 references to books, journal articles, individually-authored monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies, and Festschriften, etc., published from 1971 until the present day. It encompasses the full content of the annual printed volumes of the BAS from the 1971 to the 1991 editions (the 1991 edition was the last volume available in print form). In addition, there are many references to publications after 1991, including citations to all articles from the 100 most-used journals in Asian studies (up to the present in many cases), and a substantial number of additional citations from earlier years in South Asian studies. BAS compilation continues and the dataset will be augmented regularly, with the intention of bringing it up to date as quickl y as possible.

Users can browse or search across the entire 20+ years of the bibliography, based on the information contained in the citations and the subject headings used in the printed BAS. Citations can easily be printed or downloaded.
Southeast Asian Serials Index
The Southeast Asian Serials Database provides access to information on Southeast Asia through the indexing of major academic and current affairs journals published in a range of countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, and the Netherlands.

Finding Books

  • LibrarySearch
    Identify books by topic, title or author; identify journals and magazines owned by the UO Libraries. To find journal articles on your topic, use the databases listed in the section above. Once you have a citation, you can check the library catalog by doing a title search on the name of the journal to see if we have it here. LibrarySearch also includes the ability to search the holdings of Summit libraries (37 libraries in the Pacific NorthWest) and WorldCat libraries.

  • Browsing the shelves
    Try the following call number areas to get a taste of the UO Libraries' holdings (please ask @ the Reference Desk if you cannot find what you want):

    DS520-526 Southeast Asian: History & Culture
    DS527-530 Burma: History & Culture
    DS531-550 Indochina: History & Culture
    DS554 Cambodia: History & Culture
    DS555 Laos: History & Culture
    DS556-560 Vietnam: History & Culture
    DS561-589 Thailand: History & Culture
    DS591-599 Malaysia: History & Culture
    DS600-649 Indonesia: History & Culture
    DS646.5 Timor: History & Culture
    DS650 Brunei Darussalam: History & Culture
    DS651-689 The Philippines: History & Culture
    PL3851-4054 Burmese, Karen languages & literatures
    PL4111-4251 Thai language & literature
    PL4301-4351 Mon-Khmer language & literature
    PL4371-4379 Vietnamese language & literature
    PL5051-5490 Malay & Indonesian languages & literatures
    PL5501-6135 Philippine languages & literatures

Web Resources

For help finding additional regional or country information websites please ask @ at the Reference Desk.

TIP: To optimize retrieval when searching for Southeast Asia don't forget that the region is also generally referred to as South East Asia and South-east Asia (minute differences that do make a difference).


Created by pfrantz on Aug 7, 2012 Last updated Jan 20, 2015