Finding Background Information: Island Studies

In addition to the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, there are a number of other scholarly and scientific groups actively engaged in Island Studies research that share publications, news, and other significant information through their Web sites. These include:

The Global Islands Network (

The Global Islands Network is a non-profit organisation established to conduct and promote, on islands worldwide, development that is: "culturally appropriate; ecologically sound; economically sustainable, [and]; socially equitable." To that end, the GIN Website offers a current digest of islands-related news from around the world, and the largest online directly available of island-related websites, indexed by nation, region (North Atlantic, Pacific, etc.), and theme. 

The International Small Islands Studies Association (http://

ISISA is a voluntary, non-profit and independent organization, dedicated to: "study[ing] islands on their own terms, and to encourag[ing] free scholarly discussion on small island related matters such as islandness, smallness, insularity, dependency, resource management and environment, and the nature of island life." 

The Small Island Cultures Research Initiative (

SICRI was established to" facilitate communication and collaboration between researchers and cultural practitioners working with small island communities. SICRI’s principal aim is to research and assist the maintenance and development of the language, literature, music, dance, folkloric and media cultures of small island communities." Of particular interest on its Web site are the full-text proceedings of its International Conference on Small Island Cultures, held annually since 2005.

Note: The Institute of Island Studies maintains a listing of other organizations involved with islands / small states research on its Island Networking page.


Background Information: Library Sources

When you are doing research on a topic, you will often encounter unfamiliar terms and concepts, or familiar ones used in a specialized way. ENCYCLOPEDIAS provide background information on unfamiliar subjects, leading you quickly to key ideas and sources in developing your topic. Encyclopedias covering Island Studies topics include:

Encyclopedia of Islands -- REF: GB471.E53 2009

Island studies : critical concepts in geography -- REF: GB471.I8 2016

The Pacific Islands : an encyclopedia -- REF: DU17.P3 2000

Standard encyclopedia of the world's oceans and islands -- REF: GB471.H9

Though not specific to Island Studies, "world" encyclopedias can be especially helpful when researching small nations/jurisdictions which often have little other published information available. A good example of this type of resource is:

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations -- REF: G63.W67 2001

The United Nations also publishes a number of titles which can be particularly helpful when researching jurisdictions too small or poor to generate -- or attract -- much publishing activity. Two especially usueful titles are:

United Nations Statistical Yearbook -- REF: HA12.5.U63

United Nations Demographic Yearbook -- REF: HA17.D45 (and online)

Created by: Simon Lloyd, B.A., M.L.I.S.
Island Studies Liaison Librarian
Phone: 902-566-0536
Date Created: 30-September-2010

Date Updated: 12-September-2018