Skip to Main Content

Asian American Studies *

Finding Reference Sources

There are several ways to search for reference resources on your topic.

1) In the USC Libraries main search box, conduct a keyword search that includes the type of resource you're looking for.  In the results page, select the Location: "Reference".

2) Search Reference Universe and other online Reference Collections (see the box at right)  

3) Conduct a keyword search that includes the type of resource you're looking for, as in:

    Asian Americans AND bibliographies

   Korean Americans AND encyclopedias


Reference Sources: Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Bibliographies

Reference sources are extremely useful for providing authoritative overviews and background information on a topic. They will give you the terminology and the key names, dates and concepts that can be used when conducting online searches for scholarly articles and books on your topic. Many reference sources also provide extensive bibliographies that list the important and influential scholarship on a given topic.

Selected Online Reference Books:

Asian American Society: An Encyclopedia, 2014 (Sage)

A Companion to Asian American Studies, 2005 (Blackwell Reference)

Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife (2010)

Online Reference Collections & Resources:

America: History and Life - CLIO Notes - Within AHL, click on the Clio Notes tab (in the upper left hand corner of the screen) to access chronologies and background information on major periods of US history

Blackwell Reference Online  (most also available in print) This extensive multidisciplinary database includes hundreds of key reference titles, including in History, Race and Ethnicity Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, and Geography. Selected titles of interest include the following; please also consult the History, US and Canada and the American Studies and Ethnicity Guides for more selected titles:

  • A Companion to Asian American Studies 
  • A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies
  • A Companion to American Immigration

CQ Press Political Reference Suite of Online Editions  Publications from CQ Press dating back to 1945, a total of 110 reference works, including directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, compendia, yearbooks, etc. on topics including California politics and politicians; US legislative and political history; US Indian policy and law; historic documents, and much more

Gale Virtual Reference Library - This database includes hundreds of reference books, some of which are also available in print. 

Oxford Bibliographies - Includes introductory essays with selective lists of the most authoritative and significant research on a subject. The introductory essays are written by experts and scholars who present theoretical and historical background, along with the scholarly context for the citations included in the bibliographies. Each subject area is overseen by an editorial board and peer reviewers.

Selected Print Reference Books:

Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia, 2015 (Call #: E184.A75 A8287 2010 DML Bookstacks)

Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today, 2010 (Call #: E184.A75 E53 2010 DML Reference)

The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian-American Literature, 2009 (Call #: PS153.A84 G74 2009, DML Reference)

Encyclopedia of Asian-American Literature, 2007 (Call #: PS153.A84O37 2007, DML Bookstacks)

Encyclopedia of Japanese American history: An A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present, 2001 (Call #: E184.J3E53 2001, DML Reference)

The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature, 2015 (Call #: PS153.A84 C36 2015; DML Bookstacks)

American Ethnic Literatures: Native American, African American, Chicano/Latino, and Asian American Writers and their Backgrounds: An Annotated Bibliography, 1992 (Call #: Z1229.E87P43 1992; DML Bookstacks

Asian American Short Story Writers: an A-to-Z Guide, 2003 (Call #: PS153.A84A828 2003; DML Reference)

Century of the Tiger: One Hundred Years of Korean Culture in America, 1903-2003. 2003 (Call #: PN771.M28 v. 14 no. 2, East Asian Library, Oversize)