Collection Notes

In the late 1980s, when the Southeast Asian Archive was in its beginning stages, I visited Galen Berry, who formerly worked with the International Voluntary Services and AID in Southeast Asia. At that time he gave me newspaper clippings given to him by a friend. The articles were mainly from the Los Angeles Times, and covered the period after the first arrival of Vietnamese refugees in April 1975. We began to photocopy the articles for our files, but didn’t finish due to lack of time and staff.

In May of this year I received an email from Danell Matsumoto Waters, asking about the clippings. In turns out that she was the collector.  Danell’s interest in the refugees was brought about by her work with Operation Baby Lift. She was a “lapper” who was assigned one of the newly arrived children, who then rode on her lap from the airport to the shelter, and whom she took care of during her shift.  She remembers that there was a frenzy to adopt the children and how upset the children were when there was gun fire on the TV, even ducking to avoid the bullets.

I was very happy to get the background story of the origin of this collection. Now, currently student assistants Nhi and Dat are busy photocopying the articles to add to our newspaper clippings collection.