SOAS University of London

Trials to electronic resources

28 April 2017

The Library is currently trialling the following databases.

Please test them out and send us any feedback, bearing in mind the following questions:

1) Is the information relevant and useful? How will you use it in your work?
2) Is it easy to find what you need? What did you think of the way the information is set up, and how the search works?
3) Did you have any technical problems? If so, what were they?

Access South Africa - trial available until until 25th May 2017

Access South Africa provides full text news articles (current and archived) which can be used to pinpoint sources, compare perspectives and track subjects historically and geographically. It includes more than 120 titles from seven provinces, including titles such as Mail & Guardian, Beeld, The Citizen, City Press, The Witness, Son, Daily Sun, Hermanus Times, Kouga Express, Ons Stad, Potchefstroom Herald, Stellenbosch Gazette, Vaal Weekblad and Volksblad, as well as Cape Argus, Mercury, The Star, Sowetan, Bolander and Isolezwe ngeSonto. Access South Africa offers detailed coverage of culture, sports, business, the arts, government, politics, finance, health, technology and much more. Daily updates keep users informed about the latest developments. Retrospective articles are ideal for comparing today’s issues and events with those that took place in years past. Access South Africa also includes a series of Special Reports— for example news articles, maps, images and videos grouped under specific topics and themes.

On-campus and Off-campus access (username: ncd8198 and password: ncd8198)

Please send feedback to Dawn Wright ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.

African Blue Books of Statistics, 1821-1953 - trial available until 1st May 2017

‘Blue Book’ is the name given to the annual statistical reports of the former British colonies in Africa. Colonial regulations issued in 1843 state: 'The Annual Blue Book containing accounts of the Civil Establishment, of the Colonial Revenue and Expenditure and of various statistical particulars, etc. ... must be filled up with the greatest possible accuracy and the Statistical Tables must be full and complete'. They are an essential tool for research into the the economic and political history of the colonial era in Africa.  

The British Online Archives collection covers:

Basutoland 1926- 1946
Cape of Good Hope 1821-1909
Gambia 1828-1945
Gold Coast 1846-1939
Kenya 1901- 1946
Nigeria 1862- 1945
Northern Rhodesia 1924-1948
Nyasaland 1904-1938
Sierra Leone 1824-1943
Southern Rhodesia 1906-1953
Tanganyika 1921-1948
Uganda 1901-1945
Zanzibar 1913-1947

On-campus access

Please send feedback to Dawn Wright ( or Mary Fisk ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.

African Development Data Explorer - trial available until 3rd May 2017

Do you need standardised data for all 54 African economies produced from numerous sources? Why not trial the African Development Data Explorer?
Key economic data indicators, stretching back to the 1940s. Topics covered include trade, banking, industrial development, urbanisation, infrastructure and quality of life.

Key Features:

  • 190 local and international sources
  • Accredited data, reported as published by the source
  • Sophisticated charting functionality
  • Updated daily as per sources
  • Dedicated support

On campus and Off campus access (NB: off campus access is best to use IE and Google Chrome web browser)

Please send feedback to Vicky Bird ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.

Dingxiu Ancient Books database 鼎秀古籍全文检索数据库  - trial available until 30th September 2017

Dingxiu is a full-text search Ancient Chinese book database. The collection materials from private collectors and research organizations in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Its cover the periods from Xian Qin 21BC to Minquo 

广泛收录中国大陆及港澳台地区公共机构、私人藏家、 研究机构及博物馆所藏历代古籍资源, 特色古籍采录海外所藏中国古籍,尤以日本、韩国数量最多。
收录从先秦至民国撰写并经写抄、刻印、排印、 影印的历朝历代汉文古籍。
版本包含稿抄本、刻本、石印本、铅印本、活字本等均有收录。 在版本选择时,尤以同类版本中保存良好的为先,要求书籍品相好, 避免虫蛀、漫漶情况。
著录规则分类标准沿用“经、史、子、集” 传统分类的基础上增设丛书部。

On campus and off campus access 

Please send feedback to Wai Hing Tse ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.

e-Marefa database -  trial available until 5th May 2017

The e-Marefa specialized databases is an multilingual content (Arabic, English and French) integrated databases of full text & comprehensive metadata of over 700,000 journals, research papers, theses and dissertations, conference papers, statistical reports, and e-books, which have produced 22 of specialized databases covering all disciplines including: Islamic studies, Arabic literature  & Middle Eastern Studies, Social Sciences, Humanities,  etc. It gives access to 1900 academic & statistical journals in full text, and 400,000 articles and statistical reports (full text)

On campus access and Off campus access (log in details username: SOAS password: soas)

Please send feedback to or complete a feedback form

OpenEdition Freemium Journals - trial available until 30th April 2017

This database gives access to the PDF and ePUB formats of 146 journals (see list here) of the Open Access Freemium package and the possibiblity to download them without DRM or quota.

The bundle includes the following publishers: Collège de France, CNRS Editions, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, École Française de Rome, Éditions de l’École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS), Éditions de la maison des sciences de l’homme, Presses universitaires du Midi and Éditions de l’École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), etc. All high-standing world-class research publishing institutions, with many articles in English.

On-campus and Off-campus access

Please send feedback to or complete a feedback form

OpenEdition Freemium Books - trial available until 30th April 2017

This package gives access to the PDF and ePUB formats of 200+ electronic books published by OpenEdition on the linguistic and cultural areas of Central Europe and the Balkans, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle and Near East, Central Asia, Asia and indigenous civilisations and peoples of Oceania.

Most of the works in the French language include recent themes of research on cultural areas, but also include orientalist classics, as well as some general works on the humanities and social sciences. While the Middle and Near East feature strongly in this package, the variety of its titles offers a broad panorama of the current research and epistemology of area studies.

On-campus and Off-campus access

Please send feedback to or complete a feedback form

Oxford Handbooks Online (History) - trial available until 31st May 2017

Range chronologically from ancient times to the Cold War and have a global geographical reach. The collection is continuously updated and expanded to cover new areas and approaches to history. Newly written essays will be added to the database, often published online in advance of the volume for which they have been planned and existing essays are regularly updated.

The whole range of available volumes for history will be cross-searchable. Volume editors are all renowned scholars in their fields

On-campus and Off-campus access

Please send feedback to Mary Fisk ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.

SCC Online - trial available until 30 September 2017

It is a full text database of, primarily, Indian case law & legislation but it additionally covers case law from many other countries including:

Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and Thailand

Full details of coverage at the web site

You will need to set up a personal username/password on the login screen before using for the first time.

On-campus and Off-campus access

Please send feedback to Bob Burns ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.

Selected papers from the personal library of Colin Legum, 1919-2003 -  trial available until 1st May 2017 

Colin Legum was a South African-born journalist and anti-apartheid activist. This archive brings together a wealth of material relating to the modern development of South Africa, with particular reference to the anti-apartheid movement. 

On-campus access 

Please send feedback to Dawn Wright ( or Mary Fisk ( bearing in mind the queries at the top of the page.