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Asian and African Studies: Non-English language resources

The electronic resources listed here, of interest to researchers on Asia, the Middle East and Islamic North Africa.

Except where stated, titles listed here are only available within the Library's Reading Rooms - access from outside the Library is not available owing to licensing reasons.

If you do not find the resource you are looking for, see:

English language APAC databases

Complete listing of British Library electronic resources


Title Brief Description Format
African Blue Books, 1821-1953 The Blue Books provide an annual statistical record of activity and life in the colonies and protectorates of the British Empire. The volumes provide detailed records of income and expenditure, population estimates, and provide insight into local and colonial policy and administration. Online resource
Asahi Kikuzo Online access to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun from 1879 to the present, plus the magazines AERA and Weekly Asahi. Also includes access to Asahi Shimbun's archive of over 10,000 historical photos.
Online resource
Bibliography of Arabic Books Online BABO is a bibliographic database containing information about virtually all books published in Arabic before 1960, and then continuing up to the present. The bibliography will contain over 80,000 records and almost 35,000 unique name records. Online resource
Bibliography of the Hebrew Book A comprehensive interactive bibliography of all book printed in the Hebrew Language between 1470 and 1960. It includes over 100,000 titles and 12,000 authors. Online
Bridge to Japan A comprehensive source of Japan-related Internet resources.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
British Library Japanese Catalogue Catalogue of Japanese-language printed books and serials (post 1912) in the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections of the British Library.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Brockelmann Online Brockelmann Online includes the whole of Carl Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (History of Arabic Literature). It is a key source for bio-bibliographic information about Arabic manuscript works. It is full-text searchable.
Online resource
Bya-ra (Tibetan Research Database) Contains more than 4,000 bibliographic records of Tibetan-language research articles published in the People's Republic of China from 1981-1998. It includes listings of articles published in a selection of Tibetan language journals. There are also English translations for many article titles. CD-ROM
China Academic Journals Full text articles from hundreds of Chinese academic journals on literature/history/philosophy, economics/politics/law, education/social science from 1994 to present. Interface available in both Chinese and English. Many journals in Chinese include English abstracts.
NB: Please note, the Library does not subscribe to the other databases listed; but you can also search for references from the Century Journal Project. However, you can only access the full text for these where the source journals are also included in China Academic Journals)
To access full text use the PDF download not the recommended CAJ download.
Online
China/Asia On Demand (CAOD) China/Asia On Demand (CAOD)/Asia Document Delivery is a powerful Web-based research, access and electronic information solution. Provides access to a wide range of journals (9,638 titles), millions of theses and dissertations, patents and conference proceeding papers. Articles can be retrieved and downloaded in their original format including graphs and illustrations.
NB: Depending on the article you require there are two methods of accessing the full text.
Having clicked on the Full text link, click the 'Confirm to continue' button, click 'OK in the Microsoft dialog box and then select the Full text link presented.
If that fails, choose the 'Click here to enter your mail address' option (just above the 'Confirm' button), enter your email address, click the 'Confirm' button, click 'OK in the dialog box and then make a note of the transaction number displayed. Revisit the site later and enter the transaction number into the Order Options Track box on the left-hand side of the screen; then select the Full text link presented. Note that it may take up to 3 hours before the article is available online.
For help with this resource: see staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Enquiry desk.
Online
Chinese catalogue allegro-C British Library catalogue of Chinese printed materials in the Chinese collections of the Asia, Pacific & African Collections (excluding Chinese language items in other British Library collections), mainly from the 20th century but including some old and rare works. Current and retronconverted bibliographic records are added as they are produced. (Publications not yet included can be searched in the APAC Reading Room card catalogues, periodicals lists etc.)
NB: Access to this database is limited to the workstation in Carrel 36 of the Asian & African Studies Reading Room only.
CD-ROM
Chinese database - Thesaurus Linguae Sericae A large and complex database of mostly pre-Buddhist Chinese; from the Univ. of Heidelberg. Provides detailed and sourced information on grammatical functions and synonyms of lexemes. Includes a large variety of texts, dictionaries and translations.  
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Chinese database - Modern Chinese Scientific Terminologies  A database, from the Univ. of Heidelberg, on the development of Chinese science terminology (in a relatively wide sense; goes beyond the hard sciences) during the late 19th & early 20th centuries. It is source-based; not collated from dictionaries. 
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Chinese database - The subject index to the Daoist Canon  A subject index to the Daoist Canon; from the Univ. of Heidelberg . It provides sourced access to a very wide range of subjects, such as names, places, temples, titles, rituals, gods or instruments.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Chinese database - The index to the titles and authors in the Daoist Canon An index to the titles and authors in the Daoist Canon; from the Univ. of Heidelberg.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Chinese UK Union Catalogue Includes more than 100,000 records from the catalogues of the British Library's Chinese collections, and those of the university libraries of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Leeds and the School of Oriental and African Studies (London). Since it is not exhaustive, it supplements rather than replaces these individual catalogues. This site is freely available on the Internet. Online
Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari [Corpus of Coptic Literary manuscripts] contains the descriptions of literary Coptic manuscripts in the Casalini Library (Italy) compiled by Prof.T.Orlandi. This database compliments the published Catalogue of Coptic Literary Manuscripts in the British Library acquired since the year 1906 prepared by Bentley Layton (London,1987). These two collections together form the largest and most important resources for Coptic studies in the west.
NB: This resource is password protected. Please ask staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Enquiry Desk for the password.
Online
The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project allows users to examine and explore these most ancient manuscripts from Second Temple times at a level of detail never before possible.
For help with this resource: see staff at the Asian & African Studies Reference Enquiry desk.
Online resource
European Union Catalogue of Japanese Books Union Catalogue of Japanese printed books and serials in 25 European institutions including the British Library. In Allegro format, hosted by the Bodleian Library.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
First Search Thousands of catalogue records that include key descriptive fields in the original Arabic and Hebraic scripts in which the catalogued items were written. Includes recent addition of BL Hebrew and Yiddish records. Online
The International Dunhuang Project Catalogue of Dunhuang and other manuscripts and artefacts from Chinese Central Asia in the British Library and other collections worldwide in over twenty languages and scripts, many with full images. This site is freely available on the Internet. Online
Japan Knowledge JapanKnowledge is a portal to Japanese encyclopedias, dictionaries and databases including Encyclopedia Nipponica, Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan, Progressive Japanese-English/English-Japanese Dictionaries, Gendai Yogo No Kiso Chishiki, Nihon Jinmei Daijiten and other full-text and partial full-text resources. Language is primarily Japanese. Some English.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Japanese Union Catalogue (Cambridge) UK Union Catalogue of Japanese printed books and serials. Hosted by Cambridge University Library. 150,000 records including post 1969 British Library acquisitions.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Japanese Union Catalogue (Oxford) UK Union Catalogue of Japanese printed books and serials. In Allegro format, hosted by the Bodleian Library.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
Kotobarabia Contemporary Arabic Books 1980 to date A library of 4000 contemporary Arabic-language e-books, primarily from Egypt, in a wide range of subjects across the humanities and social sciences, including literature, popular culture, also conference transcripts.  Search in Arabic or browse.
Online resource
Kotobarabia Modern Arab Renaissance Collection 1820-1914 An electronic archive of 3000 books, mostly in Arabic, published 1820-1914 in Egypt, Syria and the Islamic World. Subject categories include philosophy and theology, literature, arts, history and politics. Search in Arabic or browse.
Online resource
Middle East Manuscripts Online 1: Pioneer Orientalists Fully digitised Arabic manuscripts from Leiden University Library’s world famous collection of Middle Eastern Manuscripts. This core collection was brought together by the Leiden Orientalists Joseph Justus Scaliger and Jacobus Golius. Included in the Scaliger collection are a dozen manuscripts that belonged to Franciscus Raphelengius. These collections consist of extremely rare, sometimes unique, manuscripts. There are 267 Arabic manuscripts in 303 volumes, amounting to 109,517 pages, in full-colour images. Online resource
Moses Maimonides, Unparalleled Editions Online
15th to 20th century
A selection of Moses Maimonides' works held in the British Library embracing virtually the entire spectrum of this famous Jewish sage's literary output. The sources presented here include the newly digitized original Unparalleled Editions collection of 290 microfiches containing 58 titles which are largely Hebrew printed editions dating from the 16th up to and including the 20th century, and examples of bilingual editions containing Hebrew and either Latin, Judeo-German, or French text. Added to the original collection are six incunabula also from the British Library, which expand and enhance access to Maimonides' life work. Online resource
National Central Library of Taiwan
1993-
The National Central Library (NCL) is the sole national library of Taiwan. The library's mission is to acquire, catalog, and preserve national publications and to make these resources available to government agencies, private organizations, researchers, and the general public to advance national learning and cultural preservation.
This site is freely available on the Internet.
Online
National Palace Museum (NPM) Photo images and related description articles of all the collections exhibited in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan. Online resource
Policies and Laws of China The database contains documents on Chinese judicial cases and interpretation on legislature and business laws. Coverage is on Chinese policies, regulations and Laws of national, provincial and regional levels from 1949 onward. Interface is in English, but documents are all in Mandarin.
1949 - current. Updated quarterly.
Online
Taiwan Electronic Periodical Services (TEPS) Taiwan Electronic Periodical Services (TEPS) provides access to the largest online collection of Taiwanese periodicals. There are over 900 journals covering various disciplines in the humanities and sciences. Online resource
Tibetan and Buddhist Resource Center (New York), Core Text Collections
800 CE-
Collection of Tibetan texts covering all fields of Tibetan classical literature. Includes 4000+ volumes growing at a rate of ca 1000 vols per year. Readers can search/browse for available texts and download any number of pages from any volume as PDF files. Access to collection through menu Digital Libraries | Core Text Collections on the website. Online