Archive of Mobility: Studying Asia's Interactions

The Archive of Mobility is a guide to sources for researching networks, sites of interconnection and transnational histories across Asia and beyond. We aim to locate inter-Asian exchanges which took place outside of national or imperial frameworks, to trace non-elite sojourners and settlers who remain elusive in the historical record and to reunite fragments of evidence which legacies of migration have scattered long distances apart. From architectural evidence, to family archives, to smaller libraries attached to social, corporate or religious institutions, we aim to generate interest in neglected sources of Asia's interconnected histories. Identifying the archives of cultural and intellectual exchange across Asia is a key theme in the project Sites of Asian Interaction: Networks, Ideas, Archives at the Cambridge Centre for History and Economics, and this website is an initiative of the 'Sites' project.

Read our guide to written and oral sources, about researchers' experience reading against the grain of conventional archives or discovering less conventional ones to research Asia's interconnections. Discover Asia's built archives and scholars' encounters with markers in the urban and rural landscapes attesting to the movement of ideas and people across Asia. Consider in our section on digital resources how digitisation of library and archival services can bridge the distances between researchers of transnational topics and useful sources, making rare or hidden sources in distant archives increasingly accessible. Look through our online archives of sample documents, which demonstrate the richness of material available and suggest further avenues of inquiry. Join our research network to connect with other scholars studying the cultural and intellectual circuits traversing modern Asia. Explore our page of useful links, to discover more about initiatives in Asia and worldwide to protect documentary and architectural heritage. And please contribute to this site, with a short reflection on your research experience or the sources you have used to study Asia's interactions.