Where can I find information about the Korean War?
Image: Korean houseboy and New Zealand soldiers by [unknown] on Alexander Turnbull Library.
Entry last updated: 19/12/19
The Korean War was fought between North Korea (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) and South Korea (Republic of Korea). North Korea had the support of China and the Soviet Union while South Korea was supported by the United Nations, primarily the United States. The war began in June 1950 and ended in July 1953. It is estimated that 2 million civilians and 1 million soldiers died in this conflict.
Here are a selection of reliable databases and websites that have a range of media such as articles, videos, images, audio, primary sources and more on the Korean War.
World History in Context is part of EPIC, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
- Type the keywords 'Korean War' to bring up a menu of related material for you to select from.
- This is an excellent place to get the most information on related topics like an Introduction to the Korean War, United States enters the Korean War and primary source Address to Congress.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6 pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [Korean War]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
Encyclopaedia Britannica School is also part of EPIC. It has three levels to choose from. Its information comes from selected websites, multimedia, and magazine sources.
- Use 'Korean War' as a search term to bring up related material such as the article called Korean War (1950-1953).
Tips: The EPIC databases are updated regularly so information here is up-to-date. Check out Tools, On this Page and Related Subjects. These features will make your searching easy and focused.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is one of the oldest broadcasting organisations. Their global network covers television, radio and online services.
- Enter 'Korean War' in the search box.
- Listen to Witness: Ethiopia's Korean War Hero about an Ethiopian soldier who became a hero in the Korean War.
- Explore other interviews in the search results, especially the ones that start with Witness History.
Tips: Interviews are a good primary source of information. However we must remember that they can be disturbing as they are based on sensitive issues such as wars. We advise you to discuss your reactions with your teachers or mature members of your family.
History.com is the official website of the History Channel. It has a lot of information, facts and videos on the Korean War.
- Search this site using the keywords 'Korean War'.
- Explore the link Korean War - History, it has some great information, videos and images.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
HistoryNet.com comes to you from the largest publisher of historical magazines. It contains features, photo galleries and thousands of articles.
- You can search this site using the keywords 'Korean War'.
- Scroll down the page to find articles that are of interest for your research.
Tips: Some websites have advertisements (or ads) which ask us to buy something or tell us to 'click here', it's best to ignore these ads and focus on the information we're looking for.
New Zealand websites
These New Zealand websites are good sources of information on how New Zealand became involved in the Korean War from 1950 to 1957.
NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
- You can search this website using the search box at the top of the page.
- Or scroll down the page to New Zealand at war and find Korean War under the heading Post Second War World .
- This page has a handy list of contents on the right hand side to guide through the events of this war and New Zealand's participation.
Tips: 'How to site this page' found at the foot of this page is a good way of acknowledging the source of this information. You can use this in your bibliography if you need to list the websites you have used to research this topic.
Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
- Search this site using the keyword 'Korean War'.
- The first result 'Korean War' has some helpful information about how New Zealand contributed to this war.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
DigitalNZ is a search site that focuses on all things New Zealand. It connects you to reliable digital collections from a variety of content partners—libraries, museums, galleries, government departments, the media, community groups and others.
- The search words 'Korean War' will bring up images, audio, videos, articles, research papers and books and more on this topic.
- Watch the video Kayforce training in NZ to see how this New Zealand contingent served during this war.
There have been many books written on the Korean War. Check out your local public or school library to see what they have.
Some recommended titles are:
- The Korean War by Max Hastings
- Korean War almanac by Harry G Summers
- The Korean War : a history by Bruce Cumings.