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Asia Pacific Studies

Primary Sources

Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence about a subject. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. 

Examples of Primary Sources:

  • Art (paintings, drawings, sculpture, etc.)
  • Autobiographies
  • Books and, journal and newspaper articles, written at the time
  • Court cases
  • First hand accounts
  • Films/Videos
  • Government documents (hearings and debates of legislative bodies; the official text of laws, regulations and treaties; records of government expenditures and finances; statistical compilations such as census data; investigative reports; scientific data)
  • Letters
  • Maps
  • Novels
  • Official memoranda
  • Oral histories
  • Original research articles
  • Performances and plays
  • Photographs
  • Poems
  • Posters
  • Public opinion
  • Short stories
  • Speeches
  • Television shows
  • Statistics 

Newspapers, Journals, and Magazines

Historical Newspapers
Historical Journals and Magazines
Current News


Search the library catalog by keywords using one of following subject terms

Example: Catholic Church China Sources

  • Archives
  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Correspondence
  • Court records
  • Description and travel
  • Diaries
  • Imprints
  • Interviews
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Oratory
  • Personal narratives
  • Pictorial works
  • Public opinion
  • Sources
  • Speeches
  • Transcripts


See International Statistics.

Also try searching the Web with the keyword statistics. For example,"birth rate" china statistics. 


Google Web Search

Government Documents

U.S. Government Documents

See more in our United States government information guide



Photographs and Illustrations

  • Search the library catalog for books containing photographs and illustrations. In the catalog record, look for ill. or illustrations in the Descript field. Also try searching using the phrase pictorial works. 

Digital Archives

  • Digital Archives (Taiwan) Traditional Chinese interface. English interface
  • National Archives of Japan (online catalog, some including digital images)
  • National Diet Library Digital Collections (Japan)
  • National Archives of Korea 국가기록원 Provides important records in Korea and abroad such as the Korean Empire official documents, Japanese colonial regime official documents, and records generated by the central and local governments such as presidential approval documents after the government establishment, including the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, which were registered as Memory of the World.
  • Korean History On-line 한국역사정보통합시스템 Integrated digital library on Korean history. Includes classical works, ancient documents, historical maps, official court records of the Choson Dynasty such as the Sungjongwon ilgi (Diary of the Royal Secretariat), materials related to anti-Japanese movement during the colonial period, important modern literature, newspapers and magazines, Korean translations of the works in Classical Chinese, and a basic dictionary of Korean history among many other items.
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