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Topic/Course Guides


This guide was created to support the course HW0221 – Essay Writing : Crafting an Argument.

This guide was created to support the course HW0201 – Research Writing for Social Sciences.

A compilation of useful resources (primary resources database, journals, books, etc) for History Freshmen.

A compilation of books, AVs, journal articles related to shipwreck archaeology

A compilation of books, journals, AVs and websites related to the history of the Islamic world.


Feel free to contact the library for your Research needs such as:

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  2. Requests for new resources
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Tel: (65) 6790 5776
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Selected Resources


As Mark Twain aptly phrases it, “the man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that cannot read them”. In spite of the convenience of the Internet for quick answers to academic dilemmas, the charm behind holding a book and reading it cannot be denied. Till today, books still retain their authoritativeness, especially in an academic environment. For e-resources, the titles are labelled with [e-resource].

Browsing the collection

Have you ever wondered how library books and journals are assigned their places on the shelves?

NTU Library, like many major academic libraries in the world, uses the Library of Congress Classification System for call numbers. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subjects. Therefore, you can often find several helpful books on the same shelf, or nearby.

You can browse the main History book collection at the Humanities & Social Sciences Library. Below is a selective listing of topics which may be of interest to you.

Subject LC Class
Philosophy of History D16 – 18
History of Civilizations CB305 – 430
History of the Islamic World DS35.3 – 35.7
Southeast Asia DS520 – 560.72
Singapore DS608 – 610.9
East Asia DS501 – 518.9
China DS701 – 779.32
Japan DS801 – 897
Korea DS901 – 937

Searching for books

You can also search for books using our Library Catalogue. Enter any appropriate subject terms in “subject” field to retrieve all books under that subject category. Subject headings describe the key contents of a book. Hence, narrowing your search by “subject” helps to improve the accuracy and efficiency of searching.

Check out our Catalogue Tips to find out how you can further improve your search results.

Selected book lists by subject

Here’s a list of topics which may be of interest to you. Click on them for a quick scan of the collection at HSS Library.

  1. Historiography
  2. East Asia
  3. Southeast Asia
  4. Singapore
  5. Southeast Asia & China
  6. Islamic History
  7. Gender in History

The library does not have a particular book? Recommend it to us!

Students can send an e-mail to with as much details about the item as possible – Title, Author/editor, Place of publication, Publisher or producer, Date of publication, ISBN, Edition and Price.

Staff can use Staff Link. Under Resource Request — Library Services —Book Recommendation. Refer to New Title Recommendation for more details.


E-books brings convenience and flexibility to learning. You can access them anywhere 24/7 be it on campus or from the comfort of your own home.

Browsing the collection

NetLibrary is a multi-disciplinary ebook library that allows you to read the complete book online, print pages, and make annotations.

Here are some titles on Singapore that you can access via NetLibrary:

  1. Beyond Description: Singapore Space Historicity
    Bishop, Ryan; Phillips, John; Yeo, Wei-Wei.
  2. Singapore:The State and the Culture of Excess
    Yao, Souchou.
  3. Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore
    Chua, Beng Huat
  4. The Politics of Multiculturalism: Pluralism and Citizenship in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
    Hefner, Robert W.

To browse more titles at NetLibrary, click on eBooks under “In Our Collection” for list of books subscribed by the Library.

Other E-book Collections

We have a range of e-encyclopedias and e-dictionaries too!
To view more of these reference works, go to Resources >> Reference works

For a quick check of historical facts, try;

  1. A dictionary of contemporary world history: from 1900 to the present day by Jan Palmowski
  2. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
    Neil J. Smelser, Paul B. Baltes.

Searching for books

Looking for a specific e-book title?

You can search for e-books using the Library Catalogue. Follow the instructions at the E-books Page. Alternatively, a step-by-step instruction is available in IFAQ.

Reference Works

Not to be confused with general sources like the Encyclopedia Britannica or Oxford English Dictionary, specialised dictionaries and encyclopedias offer the depth and detail that you need on a particular topic.

A subject dictionary is also an excellent source to find terms and keywords to use when searching for periodical articles in databases. An encyclopedia gives a concise treatment to the entry, including discussing and listing key publications in a field of study. Unlike Wikipedia which provides useful information, these reference works are credible and authoritative sources. For e-resources, the titles are labelled with [e-resource].


  1. A dictionary of contemporary world history: from 1900 to the present day [e-resource]
    Jan Palmowski
  2. A dictionary of world history [e-resource]
  3. Historical dictionary of ancient Southeast Asia
    John N. Miksic
    Call no.: DS524.M636
  4. Dictionary of the modern politics of South-East Asia
    Michael Leifer
    Call no.: DS526.7.L527 2001


  1. Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor
    Ooi Keat Gin
    Call no.: DS524.S727 (V1-3)
  2. Encyclopedia of modern Asia
    David Levinson
    Call no.: DS4.L665 (V1-6)
  3. Encyclopedia of Islam [e-resource]
    Brill Academic Publishers
  4. Encyclopedia of Islamic civilisation and religion
    Ian Richard Netton
    Call No.: BP40.E56
  5. The Oxford encyclopedia of women in world history [e-resource]
    Bonnie G Smith
  6. Encyclopedia of social history
    Peter N. Stearns
    Call no.: HN28.E56
  7. Modern China : an encyclopedia of history, culture, and nationalism
    Wang Ke-wen.
    Call no.: JC311.M689
  8. Encyclopedia of China : the essential reference to China, its history and culture
    Dorothy Perkins
    Call no.: DS705.P448
  9. Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages
    André Vauchez
  10. Colonial America : an encyclopedia of social, political, cultural, and economic history
    James Ciment
    Call no.: E162.C719
  11. The Oxford encyclopedia of economic history [e-resource]
    Joel Mokyr
    Call no.: HN28.E56

Searching for Reference Works

Reference works can be found by using the Library Catalogue. A step-by-step instruction is available in IFAQ.


Students should expand their History and data search beyond the obvious information searching tool like Google. Databases are subject-specialised “search engines” that enable you to search across scholarly journal titles.

Browse the Library’s comprehensive list of databases.

Here are some core databases that you can start off with:

Core databases

  1. JSTOR
    JSTOR is a full-text database that has an excellent retrospective access to journal articles, in some cases going back to the 1800s. This made it a recommended resource for history students to begin their research. Another unique feature of JSTOR is that it also displays images, graphs and charts that were originally presented in the article (unlike other databases which only preserves the text). However, JSTOR does not offer access to the most recent articles published. There is usually a gap of 2 to 5 years which is also known as the “moving wall”. View its Database information page.
  2. EBSCOHost
    EBSCOHost is another huge database with a very large selection of articles. Unlike JSTOR, EBSCO may have access to more recent journal articles. However, full-text linking may not be available for all articles listed on EBSCO.If this is the case, check our E-Journals A to Z List if we have other databases that offer the journal title with the coverage that your require. View its Database information page.
  3. Project Muse
    Project Muse is a multidisciplinary databases created for the Humanities, arts and social sciences. It is rich resources for the History students. View its Database information page.
  4. Factiva
    Factiva offers same-day and archival coverage of local newspapers from around the world. This includes The Straits Times, The New York Times, South China Morning Post and The Wall Street Journal. This is useful for students attempting to analyse topics covered by the media. View its Database information page.

Journals are a great source for academic discussion on specific history topics. Students can strengthen their term paper by citing sources from these scholarly journals. Here are some journal titles recommended by your lecturers. Click on the link to to view the journal description and access the journal articles.

Faculty Picks

  1. International Journal of Middle East Studies
  2. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East
  3. Modern Asian Studies
  4. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
  5. The China Quarterly
  6. The International History Review
  7. The Journal of Asian Studies
  8. The Economic History Review
  9. Muqarnas
  10. Frontiers of History in China

Going Beyond the Lists

There are thousands of e-journal titles in the Library. You can BROWSE or SEARCH for more journal titles with the NTU Library Subscribed E-journals: A to-Z List.


See history unfold itself before your eyes while learning from the experts at the same time! Audio-visuals provide an alternative and fun way of understanding a subject.

Our AV collection can be found at Business Library, level B2.
Staff and Masters/PhD students can borrow the titles home while undergraduate students can approach the service desk to borrow a title and view it within the library.

My Picks

  1. 5000 years of magnificent wonders
    Narrated by: Brosnan, Pierce.
    Discover the history behind some of the most remarkable creations and achievements.
  • Ancient Greece
  • Ancient Rome
  • Ancient Egypt
  • Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Secrets of the Holy Land
  • World Wonders Beyond Time



  • Islam : empire of faith
  • Martin Luther
  • Peter and Paul : and the Christian revolution
  • Kingdom of David : the saga of the Israelites
  • Holy warriors : Richard the Lionheart & Saladin


  • The history of Singapore
    Directed By: Lambert, Tim.
    Discover Singapore’s historic past, from its humble beginnings as a sleepy fishing village to a booming trading post under British rule.


Locating AV titles

Here is a step-by-step instruction guide to search for AV titles in the library catalogue.

Web Resources

Here is a collection of sources from the World Wide Web relevant to the study of History.


  1. National Heritage Board
    The National Heritage Board is dedicated to the preservation, presentation, and interpretation of Singaporean and SE Asian history. The Board operates seven leading museums and heritage interpretative centres as follows:


  1. Access to Archives Online
    A digital collection of the National Archives of Singapore includes photographs, oral histories, documents and other materials.
  2. NewspaperSG
    Offers full text news content from as many as 17 newspapers titles published in Singapore from 1845.
  3. Singapore Infopedia
    “An online electronic encyclopedia on Singapore’s history, culture, people, and events”.


  1. American Historical Association
  2. The Historical Association


  1. Southeast Asia Visions
    A collection of more than 350 European travel accounts of pre-modern Southeast Asia from Cornell University Library.
  2. Today in Asian History
    A calendar of events that happened in Asia.
  3. British Pathe Film Archive
    Includes bulletins about Asia including India, China and Singapore. Many of them trace key moments in Asian history.
  4. Asia Society: Countries & History
    Includes country profiles, current news on conflicts surrounding the region.
  5. ORIGINS: current events in historical perspectives
    Offers analytical articles by academic experts on current issues –political, cultural, or social –in historical perspectives.
  6. eHistory
    Includes information on the Second World War in which Asia is well represented.
  7. Best of History Websites
    Provides convenient access to history-oriented resources online in a wide range of categories.
  8. Bibliographic Information Database of Okinawa Materials (BIDOM)
    BIDOM is useful for locating bibliographic information of articles and books related to Okinawa/Ryukyu.

Recommend a web resource

If you have any useful and relevant websites to recommend, please feel free to email me.


Reserves or commonly referred to as red-spot books or RBR (recommended book room) titles refers to the list of core readings recommended by your course lecturers.

Browsing the Reserves collection

Reserve titles for History are located at the Library Outpost. They can only be borrowed for 2 hours.

Searching for Reserves

You can retrieve Reserves titles via their Course Codes from the Library Catalogue.

Go to the Library Catalogue:

  1. Click the Reserves tab on the top
  2. Key in the course code
  3. Click Lookup Items on Reserve by Course Number


A quick glance

View the entire list of reserved titles held at the Humanities & Social Sciences Library. This list includes recommended book titles for almost all the courses conducted at The School of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Student Works

You can access HSS students’ reports in our Digital Repository, DR-NTU (Restricted Access). The collection comprises of Final Year Project (FYP), Industrial Attachment (IA), Professional Attachment (PA) and Professional Internship (PI).

Please note that these reports are stored in the restricted collection . You will need to log in using your NTU network user name and password to view the full text.

View the Collection Page of the HSS Student Reports. Enter your search terms and click Go. Or browse by author, title, subject and date. Here’s a peek at the search interface:


Staff Publications

The Library collects, indexes and preserves full text articles published by our staff in the Digital Repository (Open Access). The main objective is to promote the scholarly output of the University to the global research community. The papers deposited in this repository are also indexed by Google and therefore searchable to the public.

HSS Staff Papers

We encourage research staff to deposit their research papers with us in the DR-NTU Open Access. Many publishers now allow the self-archiving of publications in institutional repositories. Copyright policies and archiving guidelines from Sherpa Romeo let you know whether the journals or publishers that you are working with allow self-archiving.

If you would like to submit your journal article or conference paper for inclusion into the HSS collection, please see the instructions about submissions to DR-NTU or contact me.

Browse through the current submissions to the DR-NTU from HSS.

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