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History: Asia

History of Asian nations including primary sources

Primary sources

Primary sources are first hand evidence or records of the time. They may take the form of diaries, letters, interviews, manuscripts, newspapers, speeches, photographs, posters, pamphlets and official records. They can give you a first-hand account of what life was like during the event or time you're looking at, and show you what people thought and felt about the world.

In our History: Asia database list, you can find a great variety of primary sources including:

  • a Chinese newspaper collection detailing the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion,
  • back channel communications between the US Ambassador in Saigon during the Vietnam-American War, and
  • Foreign Office files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  

To discover primary sources for a geographical area in UQ Library Search, use the subject term "sources" in the advanced search.  For instance, using "China Commerce History Sources" would find among other results China, America and the Pacific : trade & cultural exchange.

You may also discover collections of important primary source material within databases that may appear unrelated to your research.  For instance, Topic collections, 1938-1956. TC 9, Korea, 1950 is in Mass Observation and contains public reactions to the war in Korea.  Or the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) daily reports contains information on the Vietnam-American War.


Other Asian primary sources