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Scope - Database Features - Methodology


Mapping Asia defines a newspaper as any periodical publication which serves as a source of news of current events and carries a masthead rather than a title page. This includes news reviews, subject newspapers, and reprints or archival editions of newspapers, but excludes news magazines, based on a similar format to Time, since these have a title page. Electronic newspapers are also excluded, however selected online resources are accessible from the links page.

The geographic area covered by the Mapping Asia project includes East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Near & Middle East and North Africa. The database contains records for newspapers published within this area in any language. Records for international editions, which may be published outside this area, are also included where the main edition is published within this area.

The project aims to distinguish between different editions and formats of the newspapers covered, wherever possible. This includes morning and evening editions, regional editions, international editions, electronic editions, microform editions produced by a publisher, and microform/digitised copies produced for preservation and other purposes.

Database Features

Bibliographic records for newspaper titles, selected by Mapping Asia Project Officers, are maintained by the web-site administrator. The contributing institutions are responsible for adding and updating their holdings information.


The quick search allows users to search for newspaper titles by entering a simple search word or phrase. Records are only retrieved if the search term entered is found in the title fields (edition title, title, varying title, alternative transliterated form of title).

  • Users may select whether they wish their search to display records in table format or MARC format. When viewing records, users can also change from one format to the other
  • The results can be ordered according to edition title, city or country
  • Additional fields (e.g. publisher) can be selected to view with the list of results
  • The number of titles listed per page can be changed

The advanced search offers users two methods of performing more complex searches:

  • Firstly, by entering up to three separate search terms or phrases, and combining these terms using Boolean AND, OR and NOT operators, users can search the title fields with greater precision
  • Secondly, a variety of filters can be set to limit the search results to a particular language, country, city, regularity, frequency, date range (publication), reproduction format, holding institution, or whether a title is currently being subscribed to or not. Since these filters operate by checking defined values in the non-title fields of the records, a search which combines these two methods (i.e. entering search term(s) and setting one or more filters) will operate on the entire content of the records, affording the most accurate results
  • Filters work in combination, so setting more than one filter will limit the search results even further.

The browse function allows users to browse the whole database, ordering the records according to edition title, country, language or holding institution.

  • Users may select whether they wish their browse to display records in table format or MARC format. When viewing records, users can also change from one format to the other
  • A variety of filters can be set to limit the browse results to a particular country, language or holding institution. As with the filters in the advanced search, setting more than one filter will limit the browse even further.


    • Handlists of newspaper titles held in UK libraries were requested from partner institutions
    • MARC 21 was adopted as the project standard for bibliographic description
    • MARC records were made available to the project via an agreement with the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago (CRL) and from a number of other sources
    • A unique database was designed to store MARC data for newspaper records
    • MARC records were uploaded to the database and selected MARC fields stored
    • For titles not readily available in MARC format, records were created (to these selected specifications), using information either derived from published sources or obtained from the original items
    • Additional newspaper titles can only be added by the administrator
    • Newspaper holdings information made available by partner libraries was entered in textual format, and then handed back to these institutions for checking
    • All contributing libraries have password access to edit their holdings information at any time and export up-to-date handlists for their own purposes
    • Further data is continually being added and amended by the contributors.