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East Asian Studies

Starter Searches: topic and known item

Known title 

If you know the title of a book, article, report, etc: start with "search the library"

Tips: Use whole title or distinctive portions. Use quotation marks to get fewer but more exact matches. Select "catalogue only" box on the main library page before you search, or databases > "university of Alberta library" in left menu of search results. Journal articles: start with article title but if necessary, search for the journal title. 

Topic or Keyword search starters (if you don't have a known title)

English Language Databases

Korean Language Databases

Newspapers, Pamphlets, etc

Korea-specific or in Korean

English newspaper databases with Korean content: 


Print (hard-copy)

UAlberta Subscribed Online

Free (out of our control, may contain ads)

Audio / Visual (art, music, films, documentaries, etc)

Music Recordings

Also see subject guide for music


Also see subject guide for Art & Design

Film, Movies, Cinema, Documentaries

See the Audio & Video subject guide for a variety of streaming film and video sources

DVD / Blu-Ray / VHS

Use terms like "feature films" or "television programs" combined with the country name (e.g. Korea, Seoul, Hamhung).

Limit results by searching in the subject field (or using DE in Ebsco databases).  

  • "feature films" AND Korea*
  • "television programs" AND Korea*
  • DE "Feature films" AND Seoul


  • DVD region code: Most are Region 1 (Canada and USA). Discs with other region codes require multi-region DVD player.
  • Subtitles: Many have English subtitles - but not all

Searching non-roman scripts (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean)

Search tools (catalogues & databases) may search for original language and/or transliteration and/or translations. The results depend on what metadata exists for each item so try a variety of methods and variations. Result lists don't necessarily show the original language until you click into the item record. 

Original language searching:

  • Cut-and-paste (e.g. from internet, bibliography, etc.) 
  • Add input languages to your keyboard language bar

Transliteration searching.

There are many schemes to "transliterate" different languages into the "roman" alphabet so trying several variations is important. Long vowels are the biggest challenge (e.g. o, ou, oo, ō, oh). Search engines often ignore accents and macrons. 

The Library of Congress Romanization tables (see below) are commonly used in library catalogues but older items may use an older scheme. Just some examples: Japanese - revised Hepburn, nihon-shiki, kunrei-shiki; Chinese - Wade-Giles, pinyin; Korean -  Revised Romanization of Korean (RR), McCune-Reischauer (MR), Yale, ISO/TR 11941.

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