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Michigan State University

Buddhism: Bibliographies

This guide provides basic reference sources, periodical indexes, sacred texts, and suggested popular works about Buddhism.


A bibliography is a work containing recommendations of things to read on a topic.  The best ones have annotations for the entries contained, or discuss them in a narrative. The things to read that the bibliography identifies may be online resources or physical books located in the Main Library's book stacks.  Look up call numbers in our online catalog.  Our collection is probably not strong and interlibrary services may be needed. 

This section is arranged more or less in reverse chronological order;  the most recently written bibliographies are listed first.  This is the order to consult them in, to find the most recently written material.

 Oxford Bibliographies Online Buddhism

Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics in a growing range of subject areas in the humanities and social sciences. There are at least 50 specific topical bibliographies in each subject area. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. Contains a "My OBO" function that allows users to create personalized bibliographies of individual citations from different bibliographies.

Historical Dictionary of Buddhism  Main BQ 130 .P74 2009

Has extensive bibliography pp. 247 to end.  Mostly Unannotated, but this is the newest bibliography we have in paper book form on Buddhism, as of summer, 2013.

Yogacara School of Buddhism, a Bibliography Main BQ 7494 .P69 1991

Comprehensive list of primary and secondary sources in many Asian and Western languages.  Invaluable as a tool for locating sutras and philosophical and historical texts in canonical sources, critical editions, and Western-language translations.  Provides copy location information for a number of scarce works.  No annotations.  Indexes of modern authors and technical terms, traditional Indian authors, titles of Sanskrit works, Tibetan authors and titles, and traditional Chinese and Japanese authors and works.

Zen Buddhism, a Classified Bibliography of Western-Language Publications through 1990.   Main BQ 9265.4 .G37 1991

Buddhist Scriptures, a Bibliography.  Main Z 7862 .C66 1982

A renowned scholar’s bibliographic guide to the editions, translations, and studies of the Buddhist scriptures, including sections on Old Wisdom (Hinayana) Schools, Mahayana Sutras, Madhyamikas, Faith School, and Mind-Only.  Title index and comparative catalog indexes for Tohoku-Conze and Taisho-Conze numbers.  This is Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, v. 113.

Books on Buddhism, an Annotated Subject Guide. Main BQ 4012 .Y64 1976

Short sketch of Buddha, section on general reference works, and chapters on Buddhism in art, architecture, dance, drama.  Also works on:  history of Buddhism, ethics, fiction, juvenile literature, meditation, missions, biographies of famous Buddhists, Buddhism in various countries, Buddhism's relations with other religions, works on different schools of Buddhist thought, and lots more.  Older, though, published in 1976, so only includes references to works published awhile ago.

Zen Buddhism, a Bibliography of Books and Articles in English, 1892-1975.  Main Z 7864 .Z4 V47

760 items in a classed arrangement.  Pt. 1 includes general, historical, texts and commentaries, and Zen sects.  Sections in Pt. 2 relate Zen to such topics as archery, the arts, food, and psychology.  No index.

Buddhism, a Subject Index to Periodical Articles in English, 1728-1971.  Main Z 7860 .Y65

Indexes 240 international English-language periodicals.  Broad subject arrangement, with author/subject and title indexes.

Bibliographie du Bouddhisme Zen Main Z 7835 .B9 B4

In French.  More than 700 entries grouped as: Generalities, Texts and commentaries, doctrine and philosophy, history and biography, art, literature, comparative studies.  Indexed by author. 

Bibliography on Buddhism Main Z 7835 .B9 H3

Extensive bibliography of 15,073 numbered entries, arranged alphabetically.  Covers Western-language books and articles.

Bibliography on Japanese Buddhism Main Z 7835 .B9 B63

Lists about 1600 items, mainly in Western languages, written prior to July 1958. 

Bibliography Bouddhique Main Z 7835 .B9 B5

We have numbers 1-32, covering 1928-1958.  Annotated bibliography of books and articles published in some 200 periodicals in French, German, English, and Japanese.  Some issues contain special, retrospective author bibliographies.


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