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History 498: Orientalism and Its Critics

Table of Contents

  1. Article Databases
  2. Online Collections
  3. Print Collections
  4. Microform Collections

1. Article Databases

Historical Abstracts. Covers the history of the world (excluding North America) from 1450-present. The history of North America is covered by its companion database, America: History and Life. You should begin your literature review in one of these two databases. In both of these databases you will find citations to journal articles, books, dissertations, and conference papers. Note that JSTOR only includes about 300 history journals, while Historical Abstracts covers over 2,300 history journals and America: History and Life covers over 1,700. In other words: if you only search JSTOR, you will be missing much of the published scholarship.

Bibliography of British and Irish History. Covers the British Empire and Commonwealth, as well as Britain and Ireland. You will find citations to journal articles, book chapters, and books.

2. Online Collections


Digitized Historical Newspapers. A guide to the collections here at Illinois. Major titles are listed at the top (e.g. London Times, 1785-1985; Guardian, 1821-2003Irish Times, 1859-2007; Times of India, 1838-2003), followed by major collections (e.g. British Newspapers, 1600-1900), and then more U.S. and international newspaper collections (e.g. Irish Newspaper Archive, New Zealand Papers Past, and Australian Newspapes, 1803-1982).

Empire Online. Primary and secondary sources that document imperialism, with emphasis on the British empire, including decolonization.

Making of the Modern World, 1450-1850. Books and periodicals that document economic history, ranging from political writings, works on international relations, international trade and commerce, and slavery, to travel narratives, legal cases, and foreign government publications, with coverage of the Middle East and Asia.

Gerritsen Collection of Women’s History, 1543-1945. Books, pamphlets, and periodicals that document women’s history, with coverage of the Middle East and Asia, including travel narratives and missionary reports.

Periodicals Archive Online. Scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences, 1770-present.

JSTOR. Scholarly journals in most disciplines, with coverage back to each journal’s first issue (often 19th century).

Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Almost every book printed in England,Ireland, Scotland, and Wales during the 18th century, regardless of language, along with thousands of English-language books printed elsewhere in the same time period.

Electronic Enlightenment. Correspondence between “Enlightenment” figures from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, covering the 17th to the early 19th centuries.

World History in Video. Documentaries.

ArtStor. An image collection, with fine art, photography, and photographs of artifacts and art objects.


British Literary Manuscripts, 1120-1900. In addition to strictly literary works, contains letters, chronicles, and religious writings.

British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries, 1500-1950. You can search by place letter or diary was written (e.g. Iraq).

British Periodicals. Hundreds of influential British periodicals (literary, political, religious, and more) published between 1680 and 1940.

House of Commons (British) Parliamentary Papers, 1688-2004. Over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688.

John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. Ephemeral documents from Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Annual Register, 1758-Present. A British almanac of world events.

19th Century UK Periodicals. Periodicals published in Great Britain from 1800-1900, many reproduced in full color. It includes publications on women, children, leisure, sport, and humor. Series 1. New readerships — Series 2. Empire.

Economist Historical Archive, 1843-2007. Full color, searchable reproductions of the influential British news weekly.

Documents on British Policy Overseas: the 20th Century. Documents from Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Mass Observation Online. Documents everyday life, including attitudes and opinions, in mid-twentieth century Britain using diaries, surveys, reports, and photograph.

United States

Archive of Americana. Includes an important collection of early American printed books: Early American Imprints Series I (1639-1800) and Early American Imprints Series II (1801-1819). Also includes some U.S. government documents, 1789-1980.

American Periodicals Series Online. Popular American periodicals published between 1740-1940.

Making of American (Cornell University). Popular, 19th century American magazines and journals, as well as books and other source material.

Making of America (University of Michigan). Popular, 19th century American magazines, journals, and books.

Harper’s Weekly, 1857-1912. Popular, American illustrated weekly magazine.

Vogue Archive, 1892-Present. Full color, searchable reproductions of the influential fashion magazine.

Gallup Brain, 1935-Present. Gallup polls.

Vanderbilt Television News Archive. National network television news broadcasts since 1968.

Digital National Security Archives. Declassified government documents that cover U.S. policy decisions from post World War II through the 21st century.

3. Print Collections

As the second largest academic library in the world, our print collections are vast, and easier to use than you might think. The best way to begin exploring the print collections is to use the Online Catalog. Use Advanced Search to perform a keyword subject search. Use Quick Search to browse by subject headings, authors, or call number. When entering a subject heading, do not include any dashes that might separate different facets of the heading. Here are some examples of subject headings that might be relevant to this class:

  • Orientalism
  • East and West
  • Imperialism
  • Middle East —Study and teaching
  • Asia —Foreign public opinion
  • Orientalism in literature
  • Colonies in literature
  • Imperialism in literature
  • Exoticism in art —Germany
  • Imperialism in art
  • Travel —History
  • Travelers —Algeria —History
  • Voyages and travels —History
  • Europeans —Egypt —History
  • Egypt —Description and travel
  • Algeria —Description and travel
  • Travelers —Arab countries
  • India —Study and teaching
  • Orientalists —Great Britain
  • Missions, British
  • Missions —China
  • Indochina —Study and teaching
  • Africa —Discovery and exploration
  • Architecture and tourism
  • France —Colonies —Asia
  • Great Britain —Colonies —Bibliography
  • Great Britain —Army —Colonial forces
  • Great Britain —Colonies —Periodicals

You can browse travel narratives by call number, either on the shelf or in the Online Catalog. Note that much of the collection has been moved to remote storage, so it might be best to browse by call number in the Online Catalog. Some relevant call numbers for this course:

  • 915 –Travel to Asia and the Far East
  • 915.1 –Travel to China and adjacent areas
  • 915.2 –Travel to Japan
  • 915.3 –Travel to the Arabian Peninsula and adjacent areas
  • 915.4 –Travel to South Asia and India
  • 915.5 –Travel to Iran
  • 915.6 –Travel to Middle East (Near East)
  • 915.7 –Travel to Siberia (Asiatic Russia)
  • 915.8 –Travel to Central Asia
  • 915.9 –Travel to Southeast Asia
  • 916 –Travel to Africa
  • 916.1 –Travel to Tunisia and Libya
  • 916.2 –Travel to Egypt and Sudan
  • 916.3 –Travel to Ethiopia and Eritrea
  • 916.4 –Travel to Northwest African coast and offshore islands
  • 916.5 –Travel to Algeria
  • 916.9 –Travel to South Indian Ocean islands

4. Microform Collections

Colonial Discourses, Series One: Women, Travel, and Empire, 1660-1914.

Colonial Discourses, Series Two: Imperial Adventurers and Explorers.

Colonial Discourses, Series Three: Colonial Fiction, 1650-1914.