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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Guide to Timor-Leste (East Timor): Overview

This guide provides resources on the country's history, languages, and government.

Map courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Timor-Leste (East Timor) is a country located in Southeast Asia. Having gained full independence in 2002, Timor-Leste is one of the youngest countries in the world. The country was a Portuguese colony from the 1500s to 1975 and then fell under Indonesian control from 1975 to about 1999, when citizens voted for independence. Timor-Leste is a country rich in history, languages, and culture.

Quick Facts

Below are resources that give quick facts about Timor-Leste, from its geography to its economy. Hover the cursor over the resource title to see what information it covers.

Navigating This Guide

This guide was created to highlight resources that could be useful to someone conducting research on Timor-Leste (East Timor); however, it is not a comprehensive review of sources. Instead of being organized by type of resource, this guide is divided into three tabs—history, languages, and government—that feature resources relevant to each topic. 

The history tab lists several books about the periods of Portuguese colonialism, Indonesian control, and independence.

The languages tab showcases six articles about the linguistic makeup of Timor-Leste. In addition, it features links to relevant databases and a 1907 Tetum-Portuguese dictionary.

Lastly, the government tab gives a brief description of Timor-Leste's government structure and has links to some of the country's government entities, such as the Ministry of Finance. It also provides information on Timor-Leste's cultural heritage institutions and statistics office.

All resources provided in this guide come from or can be accessed through the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mariah Schaefer, International and Area Studies Graduate Assistant