Understanding the Global Information Society

Resources on Oceania

Introduction: This guide links users to some of the important electronic resources on Oceania that are available at OSU Libraries.
The region known as "Oceania" is a collective name for a scattered set of islands found in the Pacific Ocean. The term is neither fixed or static; different groups of people have different definitions - and even names - for this broad region. Sometimes referred to as the tropical Pacific or the South Pacific, Oceania generally refers to many groups of islands located south of China, in the southern and central parts of the Pacific Ocean. In its most restricted sense, Oceania is thought to encompass more than 10,000 islands including Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia. New Zealand is often considered a part of this region, and Australia is also sometimes included.

Below are two short reference pieces on Oceania that can be found in OSU's main reference database Credo. The pieces exemplify the different ways in which scholars and other experts define the geographical borders of Oceania, depending on their different views or academic purposes. 
  • "Oceania." National Geographic Video Collection. INTELECOM Intelligent Telecommunications. Pasadena: INTELECOM Learning, 2014. Credo Reference. Web. 22 June 2016.
  • White, Peter. "The Origins of the Pacific Peoples." World History Encyclopedia. Alfred J. Andrea. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2011. Credo Reference. Web. 22 June 2016.
Map of Pacific Settlements
Oceania Studies at The Ohio State University:
Unlike many of the world regions, there are currently no academic programs, centers, or research institutes focusing on Oceania Studies at OSU. It is useful to take a moment and reflect on the possible reasons for this. How does this region compare politically, strategically, or economically to the other regions in the world for instance? Does the State of Ohio conduct much business in the Oceania region?
While there are as of yet no programs, there are a few select courses at OSU and opportunities to study abroad. In Anthropology, for instance, there is ANTHROP 3403: Polynesia and the South Pacific, and ANTHROP 3452: Archaeology of the Pacific Islands; and in Animal Sciences, there is ANIMSCI 5797.03: History, Culture and Economies of Australia, and ANIMSCI 5797.02: Animal Production Systems in Diverse Environments.
Some of the strongest programs in Oceania or Pacific Island Studies are located, not surprisingly, in the Pacific Rim. The University of Hawai'i is distinct in the US for offering a wide array of courses through its Center for Pacific Island Studies. Outside of the North America, there are a number of centers for the study of the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Aboriginal and Indigenous Studies, to name a few.  


Geography and Natural Environment:

Sources focused on climate, water resources and vegetation

Books & Articles
Reports & Databases
  • Search for your own articles in Oceania, a journal devoted to the study of the native peoples of Australia, New Guinea, and the Islands of the Pacific.
Multimedia Sources


Sources focused on population (spatial) distribution, migration, demographics


Sources focused on the economic sector, urbanization, and economic systems

Books & Articles


Sources focused on current and changing ideology, ethnicity, language, religion, and social class

Books & Articles


Sources focused on territorial divisions, cooperation (economic/security/military), and conflict

Multimedia & Online Sources


News Sources

Experience Oceania in Columbus

Traces of Oceania in Columbus, Ohio: Restaurants, Groups, and Associations