Border and Migration Studies Online | Alexander Street

Border and Migration Studies Online

In 2015, the world recorded the largest number of displaced individuals in modern history. Across Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe, the environmental, financial, political, and cultural impacts of migrant populations and borderland disputes dominate headlines. Yet in order to contextualize modern crises, it is vital to understand the historical, geographic, demographic, economic, social, and diplomatic dimensions of past border and migration issues. Border and Migration Studies Online helps students and researchers understand today’s world through primary source documents, archives, films, and ephemera related to significant border areas and events from the 19th to 21st centuries.


"It is a fantastic commentary on the inhumanity of our times that for thousands and thousands of people a piece of paper with a stamp on it is the difference between life and death." 

- Dorothy Thompson, American journalist and radio broadcaster

Border and Migration Studies Online provides historical context and resources, representing both personal and institutional perspectives, for the growing fields of border(land) studies and migration studies, as well as history, law, politics, diplomacy, area and global studies, anthropology, medicine, the arts, and more. At completion, the collection will include 100,000 pages of text, 175 hours of video, and 1,000 images. In collaboration with an international board of scholars, materials were selected and organized around fundamental themes such as:

  • Border Identities
  • Border Enforcement and Control
  • Border Disputes
  • Border Criminologies
  • Maritime Borders
  • Human Trafficking
  • Sea Migration
  • Undocumented and Unauthorized Migration
  • Global Governance of Migration

Teaching and Research Applications:

With Border and Migration Studies Online, students and researchers can utilize primary and secondary sources to study borders and migrations through interdisciplinary, comparative, and cross-national perspectives. For example, users can:
  • Examine events through the interaction of personal documents (firsthand accounts) and institutional sources (from governments and organizations).
  • Compare events related to the walls in Berlin, Israel/Palestine, and U.S./Mexico.
  • Evaluate colonial responses to a range of conflicts.
  • Examine policies towards control in different settings.
  • Research the history of U.S./Mexico relations, Turkey’s evolution, and Latin American borders.
  • Explore the situations of refugees in Europe during WWII and compare those with today’s responses.

Key Border Events and Areas Covered:

  • Border Events and Areas Context*
  • Afghanistan and its Borders*
  • Angola and Namibia
  • Argentina and its Borders*
  • Austria and Hungary*
  • Australia-Indonesia-East Timor*
  • Bangladesh and India
  • Benin and Nigeria
  • Botswana and Namibia
  • British Guiana Boundary Disputes (Venezuela and Brazil)*
  • Bulgaria, Macedonia, and the Balkans
  • Burma and Thailand*
  • Burundi and Tanzania
  • Cambodia and Thailand*
  • Canada and the United States*
  • China and its Borders*
  • Colombia and Venezuela
  • The Congo and its Borders*
  • Cuba and the United States*
  • Dominican Republic and Haiti
  • Eastern European Borders*
  • Egypt and its Borders
  • European Union and its Borders,
  • Internal and External*
  • France and its Borders*
  • Germany and its Borders*
  • Guatemala and Mexico
  • Indigenous Peoples and the Americas
  • India and Pakistan*
  • Indonesia and Malaysia
  • Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria
  • Iraq and Syria
  • Irish Border*
  • Korea and its Borders
  • Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan
  • Mexico and the United States*
  • Morocco and Spain
  • Mozambique and its Borders*
  • Sea Migrations*
  • Sierra Leone and Liberia*
  • South Africa and its Borders*
  • Sudan and its Borders*
  • Turkey and its Borders*