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ASIAN STUDIES: SUBJECT GUIDE: Primary Sources

Starting points for research in Asian Studies.

Primary Sources in Asian Studies

Primary sources in Asian Studies will vary depending on the course and research assignment given.

In art courses the original art studied is a primary source.

In literature and film courses the films, novels, poems, and other original texts are primary sources.

In history courses, historical documents such as photographs or newspaper stories are examples of primary sources.

In social science courses data, such as demographic statistics, are primary sources.

In religion courses, original religious texts, like the Quran are primary sources.

Archives & Special Collections Hours

Spring 2020 update:

The Archives & Special Collections is currently unable to host in-person researchers. If you need assistance or would like to set up a virtual appointment, please email us at archives@pugetsound.edu.

A small selection of digitized material from the Archives & Special Collections is available online 24/7.

ARTstor

Visual materials, including images, are examples of primary sources. There are many image collections in ARTstor that are pertinent to Asian Studies.  Including the Asian Studies featured group which depicts "The history and culture of Asia illustrated through a range of images that includes works of art and architecture, from traditional forms to contemporary works, as well as photographs of historical events and figures."

Learn more about ARTstor collections (pdf handout) relevant to Asian Studies.

Additionally, there are collections of Islamic Art, South and Southeast Asian Art, Chinese Art, Korean Art and Japanese Art.

Films On Demand

Films on Demand is a streaming video service, which provides access to a broad spectrum of educational and documentary content.

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Puget Sound Archives & Special Collections, Asian Studies

The Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary source material documenting life at the University as well as collections representing regional, national and international issues. 

A small selection of material is listed below, for additional sources, please contact archives@pugetsound.edu.

The Claire and Don Egge Collection on China, 1987-1999, includes English-language newspaper clippings from the People's Republic of China, 1987-1990, which focus on political and economic questions and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Also included are books and pamphlets on Chinese education, culture, politics, economics, and business, maps, and similar material collected by an American couple living and teaching for four years in China.

The Mongolian Missions Collection, 1913-1935, contains materials used by missionaries of the South Mongol Mission including unbound texts, photographs, and religious and educational materials produced by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Swedish Mongol Mission Press, and the Russian-Mongolian Publishing Company.

 

 

What's a primary source?

Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information.  Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.

Examples in the humanities:

  • a novel
  • a painting
  • a theatre performance

Examples in the social sciences:

  • a political, social, or economic theory
  • a dataset
  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal

Example in the sciences:

  • the results of an experiment published in a peer-reviewed journal