This page has information and links to information related to history. See Biographical Research for history of individual people. For specific time periods, places/areas, and/or topics see left-hand side for topics.

Asian Emperor or Empress Introduction

This page has information to help with the HIST492 course How to Be an Emperor or Empress (Asia). The time period is 7th-20th century. Asia in this context includes China, India, Central/Inner Asia (Mongols, Turks), and Japan. Anyone doing research on this and related historical topics (Asia, Asian history, Asian civilization) should find this page useful.

Reference Resources
Print Indexes
Journals Owned by CSU
Terms to Search in Library Catalog Research Databases Web Resources
Circulating Items    


Reference Resources

Print (and a few Electronic) Reference Resources--Encyclopedias & More
Encyclopedias can be a great place to start your research, get an overview of your topic, or help you narrow your area of focus. Morgan Library has a number of encyclopedia sets that may be useful to you as you begin your research. Encyclopedias are located in the Reference collection, so they may not be checked out. General encyclopedias can also be extremely useful.

For this particular historical topic, it will be important to consider not only history, but politics, religion, philosophy, and attire. The powerfully dressed emperor or empress is more likely to keep his or her people in line. ("Dress for Success" pretty much applies to everyone, but especially political leaders.)

  • China and Japan. Cultures and Costumes: Symbols of Their Period. GT 1555 .H26 2003 Reference
  • Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors. DS 734 .P285 1998 Reference
  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. DS 33 .C63 2000 Reference
  • Cultural Atlas of India. DS 421 .J6 1996 Reference
  • Cultural Atlas of Japan. DS 821 .C62 1988 Reference
  • Dictionary of Oriental Literatures. 3 vols. 1974. PJ31 .D5 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Ancient Asian Civilizations. DS 12 .H5 2004 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Asian History. 4 vols. 1988. DS31 .E53 1988 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy. B121 .E53 2001 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of China. DS 705 .P47 1999 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. 3 vols., 2005. Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Encyclopedia of India. 4 vols., 2006. Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. 6 vols. DS 4 .L48 2002 Reference; also online in GVRL
  • Encyclopedia of Mongolian and the Mongol Empire. DS 798.4 .A88 2004 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2nd ed. 10 vols. B 51 .E53 2006 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion. 2 vols. BL 65 .P7 E53 2007 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of Religion. 15 vols. BL 31 .E46 2005 Reference
  • Encyclopedia of World Costume. GT 507 .Y37 Reference
  • Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. 5 vols., 2004. Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Greece and Turkey. Cultures and Costumes: Symbols of Their Period. GT 940 .H35 2003 Reference
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism. 2 vols. BL 1105 .L63 2002 Reference
  • India and Sri Lanka. Cultures and Costumes: Symbols of Their Period. GT 1460 .K55 2003 Reference
  • Information China. 3 vols. DS 706 .I5 1989 Reference
  • Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. 2 vols. DS 805 .J263 1993 Reference
  • Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan. 9 vols. + suppl. DS 805 .K633 1983 Reference
  • Routledge Curzone Encyclopedia of Confucianism. 2 vols. BL 1840 .R68 2003 Reference
  • Students’ Britannica: India. 7 vols. DS 405 .S78 2000 Reference
  • World Encyclopedia of Political Systems & Parties. JF 2001 .W67 2006 Reference South
  • Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations . Vol. 4 Asia & Oceania. G63 .W67 2004 Reference
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library. Online.

Circulating Items

Circulating Items: Morgan Stacks, Movable Shelves & Storage Books

  • Admonitions on Governing the People: Manual for All Administrators. [Korea. Chŏng Yagyong, written 1821, trans. by Choi Byonghyon.] JS7394 .A2 C45733 2010 Morgan
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives. DS334.9 .C36 1989 Storage
  • The Cambridge History of China. Scattered vols. DS 735 C3145 Morgan
  • The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. DS329.4 .C35 1990 Morgan
  • The Cambridge History of Japan. 6 vols. DS 835 C36 1988 Morgan
  • The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia. 2 vols. DS525 .T37 1992 Morgan
  • Chinese History: A Manual. Rev. & enl. DS735 .W695 2000 Morgan
  • A Dictionary of Asian Mythology. BL1005 .L46 2001 Morgan
  • A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China. CR4161 .H8 1985 Storage Access
  • Everyday Life in Imperial Japan. DS822.2 .D8 1972 & 1989 Morgan
  • The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature. 2 vols. Z3108.L5 I53 1986 Movable Shelves
  • Japanese Loyalism Reconstrued: Yamagata Daini's Ryūshi Shinron of 1759. DS843 .W25 1995 Morgan [emperor worship]
  • The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia 1256-1353. N 7283 .L44 2002 Oversz
  • The Mughal Emperors: And the Islamic Dynasties of India, Iran, Central Asia, 1206-1925. DS461.9.A1 R63 2007 Morgan [Emperors Asia Biography]
  • Pre-Ottoman Turkey: A General Survey of the Material and Spiritual Culture and History, c. 1071-1330. DR481 .C3313 1968B Storage
  • Science and Civilisation in China. 5 vols. in multiple parts. DS721 .N39 Morgan
  • A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy. B125 .C45 Morgan and Storage
  • Sources of Chinese Tradition. 2 vols. DS721 .D37 1999 Morgan
  • Sources of Indian Tradition. DS423 .D33 Morgan
  • Sources of Japanese Tradition. 2 vols. DS821 . S68 2001 Morgan
  • Sources of Korean Tradition. 2 vols. DS904 .S69 1997 (may not be relevant to this course, by FYI)

Titles of Interest Not Owned by CSU

Items may be requested from the Regional Catalog Prospector by CSU affiliates.

  • Cambridge History of India. Prospector libraries own. (CSU owns the supplement, 2nd & 3rd editions, The Indus Civilization DS485 .I6 W4 Morgan)
  • Facts about China. Prospector libraries own.
  • Land of Emperors and Sultans: The Forgotten Cultures of Asia Minor. Prospector libraries own.

Example Dissertations (May or May not be Available Full Text)

  • Love Lost: Qian Xuan (c. 1235--c. 1307) and Images of Emperor Ming Huang and Yang Guifei. by Owen, Elizabeth Marie, Ph.D., Yale University, 2005, 298 pages; AAT 3194692
  • The Emperor's Generals, a Study of the Sanya Commanders in the Northern Song (960--1126). by Yang, Li, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2004, 253 pages; AAT 3132273
  • The Yongzheng Emperor Revisited: The Confucian and Legalist Elements in His Policies, 1723--1735. by Choi, Siu Man Angela, M. Phil., University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), 2004; AAT 0667408
  • Rhetoric, Ritual, and Support Constituencies in the Political Authority of Wu Zhao, Eoman Emperor of China. by Rothschild, Norman Harry, Ph.D., Brown University, 2003, 447 pages; AAT 3087337
  • The Three Great Campaigns of the Wanli Emperor, 1592--1600: Court, Military, and Society in Late Sixteenth-Century China. by Swope, Kenneth Michael, Jr., Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2001, 516 pages; AAT 3022033

Terms to Search in the Library Catalog

Terms to Search in Library Catalog & Regional Catalog Prospector

Subject headings are the most efficient search for identifying books in the library catalog. Identify useful books in the library catalog (and the Regional Catalog Prospector) doing a (LC) Subject search for:

Asia Bibliography
Asia Civilization
Asia History
China Civilization
China Civilization Sources
China History
China History 221 B C 960 A D
China History 960 1644
China History 1644 1795
China History 1861 1912
China History 1912 1928
China Kings and Rulers
China Kings and Rulers Biography
China Kings and Rulers Clothing (one book)
Chinese Literature History and Criticism
Emperors Japan
Emperors Japan Biography
Emperors Japan History
India Civilization
India History 324 B C 1000 A D
India History 1000 1526
India History 1000 1765
India History 1526 1765
India Kings and Rulers (see related terms)
Japan Civilization
Japan History

Japan History 19th century
Japan History 20th century
Japan History 1185 1600
Japan History 1868
Japan History 1912 1945
Japan Kings and Rulers
Japan -- Social life and customs -- 1600-1868
Mehmed II, Sultan of the Turks, 1432-1481
Mogul Empire Civilization
Mogul Empire History
Mogul Empire -- Kings and rulers -- Biography
Mongols History
Mongols -- Kings and rulers -- Biography
Shoguns Biography
South Asia -- History
Turkey Civilization
Turkey History
Turkey History 18th century
Turkey History 19th century
Turkey History 20th century
Turkey History 1288 1453
Turkey History 1453 1683
Turkey History 1683 1829
Turkey History Ottoman Empire 1288 1918
Turkey Kings and Rulers [Prospector only]

Print Indexes

Terms and subjects will vary from source to source. In addition, terminology changes over time, so it will be necessary to be creative (i.e. know your history) in order to succeed in identifying articles of interest.

  • Bibliography of Asian Studies. 1969-1981 Z3001 .B49 Storage 1991 Movable Shelves
  • Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. AI 3 .R48 Reference 1900-
  • Humanities Index. AI 3 .I495 Reference 1974-1998
  • International Index to Periodicals. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1920/1923-1952/1955
  • International Index. AI 3 .I49 Reference 1955/1958-1964/1965
  • International Political Science Abstracts. JA 36 .I5 Reference 1951-2006
  • London Times (various titles: Palmer's, etc.) AI 21 T51 & AI21 .T46 Reference & others nearby 1785-
  • Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890-1899; with supplementary indexing, 1900-1922. AI3 .R496 Reference
  • Poole's index to Periodical Literature. AI3 .P6 Reference 1802-1901
  • Social Sciences Index. AI 3 .I496 Reference South 1974/75-1998/99
  • Social Sciences & Humanities index. AI 3 .I49 Reference South 1965/1966-1973/1974

Research Databases

Take note that the exact terms and types of terms will vary from index (database) to index. Case (capitalization) does not matter when doing searches. Use Truncation and proximity operators to do advanced searching. When the full text of an article is not available, use the  button to find out if the article is available full text in another electronic location. Also check for printed versions. If not available at CSU, request the article from Interlibrary Loan.

  • Academic Search Premier.
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies. 1971-
  • Historical Abstracts. (unless you know an Asian language, limit to English for this topic)
  • International Political Science Abstracts. IPSA2007- (earlier years in print)
  • Social Science Abstracts.
  • JSTOR. (keywords, not subjects--contemporary vocabulary is vital for success)
  • Nineteenth Century Masterfile.
  • Digital Dissertation Abstracts.
  • ProjectMUSE. (only marginally useful for this topic)
  • WorldCat. (Subject terms should match those listed under Library Catalog & Prospector.)
  • New York Times 1851- . (contemporary vocabulary is vital for success)
  • Web of Science. (Arts & Humanities Citation Index)

Journals Owned by CSU

Example Journal Articles (from different Research Databases)

  • Kohle N. "Why did the Kangxi emperor go to Wutai shan? Patronage, pilgrimage, and the place of Tibetan Buddhism at the early Qing court." Late Imperial China 29.1 (2008): 73-119.
  • Liu Z. H. "The ministry of revenue's financial rectification measures in the early years of Emperor Guangxu's reign: Between restoration and innovation."  Part 2 Bulletin of the Institute Of History and Philology Academia Sinica 79 (2008): 235-299.
  • Guthrie J. P. "Emperor and aristocracy in Japan, 1467-1680." Sixteenth Century Journal 36.2 (2005): 576-77


Click here for information about evaluating Web sites.

General        Japanese History        Chinese History        India History        Turkey History         Mongolia History         Other


Internet East Asian History Sourcebook. Fordham University. 

Subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks: Internet Ancient History Sourcebook, Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Provides links out to various types of sites, some of them secondary sources.

Historical Maps of Middle East and Southwest Asia. also Southeast Asia and Japan and Asia Continent and East Asia and South Asia and East Asia. Alabama Maps.

David Rumsey Map Collection

Go to view the map collection in the LUNA 6.0 Browser. Type in "Asia" into the keyword search to find maps from the 18th and 19th centuries. Click on maps to enlarge. Zoom larger and smaller. Additional information about some maps is provided.

Emperors of the Sangoku, the "Three Kingdoms," of India, China, & Japan. Copyright (c) Kelley L. Ross. Los Angeles Valley College. 

Lengthy document with many maps and tables (with dynasties). After the introduction there is an extensive index.

East Asia. Various authors. (c) All Empires. 

Overview with links to histories of China and Japan.

Japanese History

The History of Early Modern Japan: A Selected Source Bibliography. Lee A. Makela. HIS 372/572. Cleveland State University. 

A lengthy bibliography on Japan during the Tokugawa Period between 1600 and 1868. Check the library catalog (and Prospector) for local ownership.

Photographic Views of Meiji: A Portrait of Old Japan. Richard Gadd. The Monterey Museum of Art. 

Hand-tinted photographic images from 1870-1885. Information about the time period in Japan. Brief biographical information about the photographers.

The Seclusion of Japan. 32 - Tokugawa Iemitsu,

"Closed Country Edict of 1635" and "Exclusion of the Portuguese, 1639." Sara Watts. Wake Forest University.  Introduction discussing Christianity's presence in Japan and then text of the edicts.

National Museum of Japanese History (Japan).  Main activities and events.

Tokugawa Shogunate: A Taste for Blood, Arts and Culture. Michael Dunn. Special to The Japan Times. Nov. 22, 2007. 

Description and discussion of items in the exhibition "Legacy of the Tokugawa — The Glories and Treasures of the Last Samurai Dynasty" at the Tokyo National Museum. (The show closed on Dec. 2, 2007.)

National Archives of Japan Digital Archive. Link is to English version. 

Documents, maps, scrolls, photographs, drawings, and posters.

About Licenses for Trade between Japan and Ming China. Calligraphy Stories. Mamoru Shimosaka, Satoshi Ichida. English translation Melissa M. Rinne. Kyoto National Museum.

  History of trade (and when it was not allowed), what was traded, and description of what trade it. Starts in the 9th century.

Sociology of Japanese Rulership and Religion. Moriyki Abukuma. Logos Library. 

"This study examines the historical relationships between rulership and religion in Japan from the viewpoint of Max Weber's sociology." Jump to sections of the text. Bibliography. Page has frames.

Michinoku (The Yamato Court and The Deep North). History and Tradition. Fukushima Prefecture. 

History of the Japanese government from the 4th century.

Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR). National Archives of Japan. 

There are eight articles with rules of use of the database. "This site provides access to official documents—dating from the Meiji era through 1945—of the Japanese Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Army and Navy." Need Djvu loaded to View digital images in Djvu or JPEG.

Tokyo National Museum. Japan. 

Information about exhibitions. Items available to view online from Japan, China, and Korea, India and Southeast Asia, and more.

History of Kyoto. Japan Reference.

Overview that includes select terms in Japanese.

Japan Photo History. Philbert Ono. Wiki format. 

Photo history starts in 1646. One image is from 1851. Under construction, but a lot of material already available. Links to Japan's own Photoguide, a kind of Flickr.

Chinese History

Timeline of Chinese History and Dynasties. Michael Tsin. Asia for Educators.

Starts ca. 2100-1600 BCE to 1949-present. Annotated outline adds details.

Naxi Manuscripts. Harvard College Library. 

Manuscripts from "the Dongba, an ethnic minority in southwest China." 600+ digitized items. Arranged by subject.

Texts and Documents: China. History Department. Hanover College. 

Links out to materials categorized by: General; Classical Period; Era of Division and the Tang Dynasty; Late Imperial China; 20th Century China; and Resources. Many are primary sources. Not all links are active--many of them are not, but ones that work are useful. Note: items are in Chinese.

Han Emperor Wu-ti's Interest in Central Asia and Chang Chien's Expeditions. Silkroad Foundation. 

Overview of Western Han (207 BC-9 AD) period.

Chinese Rubbings Collection. Harvard Library. 

"The rubbings were made from ancient stone stelae, tomb tablets, Buddhist and Daoist scriptures on stelae and rocks, as well as inscriptions and designs copied from bronze vessels, jade objects, ceramics, tomb bricks, and roof tiles, objects dating from the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BCE) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). . . . The most significant rubbings in the collection are those from Xiaotangshan (孝堂山) stone chamber, Wu Liang shrine (武梁祠) in Shandong Province dating from the Han Period (206 BCE-220 CE), the Forest of Stelae at Xi'an (西安碑林), and Buddhist grotto sites in Gongxian (巩 县) and Longmen ( 龙门) in Henan Province dating from the Northern Wei period (386-534 CE)."

India History

A number of the regions of India have posted information about their history online. Include below are a few examples of these, along with other types of sources.

History of India. I Love India. 

History of the country, grouped by periods within longer time frames. Ancient to modern.

South and Southeast Asia. Various authors. (c) All Empires. 

Overview with links to pages that give descriptions of different eras.

History of Indian Census. Census of India. 

Overview of India's population starting 3rd or 4th centuries BC.

Indian History: Ancient History. also Medieval History of India and History : Indian Freedom Struggle (1857-1947). National Portal of India india.gov.in.  Overview of India's history in three sections.

Royal History of Cooch Behar. Cooch Behar. 

Overview. Includes dynasty family trees.

History of Dejeerling. Dejeerling, India. 

History of Dejeerling starting with pre-independence.

Turkey History

Turkey: The Sixteen Great Turkish Empires. Ivan Sache. 

Chronology starting in 204BC and going until 1922. Images of flags.

New Findings on the Mining History of Turkey around Tokat Region. Ergun Kaptan.

Mineral Research and Exploration Institute of Turkey.  Article about Turkey history via mining techniques. PDF.

Turkish History in the Islamic Period. tbb.gen.tr 

Overview of history from approximately 840 to 1857.

Turkey and Europe: A Historical Perspective. HALİL İNALCIK.  Starts in 7000BC to the late 1920s. Bibliography. PDF.

The Walls of Nicaea. Roberto Piperno. 

Photographs of the walls with historical background.

Ancient Ephesus. Lance Jenott. Silk Road Seattle. University of Washington (2004). 

History of the city. Images of coins, buildings (what is left of them), etc. Bibliography.

The Turkish Irruption. J. J. Saunders. A History of Medieval Islam. Routledge, London, chpt. 9. 

Describes entry of Turks into Western Asia.

Turkish Empire. Catholic Encyclopedia. 

Discusses geography, history, religion, etc. List of sources.

The History of Turkish Postal Stamps.  History of postage stamps in Turkey from 1840-1939.

The Ottoman Empire. (c) Royalty.nu.

  Extensive annotated book bibliography (link is to bookseller's Web site). Many advertisements, including pop-behind.

Mongolia History

Steppe Nomads and Central Asia. Various authors. (c) All Empires. 

History with chronology from approximately 1167 to 1502. See, for example, The Mongol Empire.

Genghis Khan and the Mongols. Frank E. Smitha. Macrohistory and World History. 

Overview of the period with information about people and the interactions (often battles) with neighboring areas. List of recommended books.

The Mongols in World History. Morris Rossabi. Asian Topics in World History. Columbia University. 

Information about Chinggis (Genghis) Khan--link from this page to separate pages for additional information about him. Image gallery.

Empire of Genghis Khan, 1227. Maps, etc. Courtesy The Private Collection of Roy Winkelman. 

Map of the empire in 1227. India, Persia, Turkestan, and Mongolia

Other--Meanwhile in Rome (& Elsewhere)

Also found under History Library Web pages:

Medieval History (Europe & England).

Medieval Middle East History.

Roman Republic.

Early Modern European History.

Author Information

Content: Naomi Lederer


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