Evolution of the Southeast Asian Archive

It has been almost five years since the UCI Library first issued a call in local newspapers, asking for donations of materials to establish a collection concerning the refugees and immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos who have come to the United States since the end of the Vietnam Conflict in 1975.  UCI was the logical place to start such a collection as Orange County has a larger concentration of people from Southeast Asia than any comparable area in the United States.  Since that time, the Southeast Asian Archive has evolved from a few drawers in a file cabinet to a closet sized 5' x 13' room, to its present quarters in the basement of the UCI Library where materials can be housed and used with ease.

The initial donations came not only from people in the Southeast Asian communities in Southern California, but from other parts of the United States and even abroad.  These materials documented their own experiences as refugees and provided background information on the culture and history of their home countries.  Gradually, other materials have been added, including dissertations and theses, reports from government and social service agencies, directories, pamphlets, journal articles, unpublished papers, and audiovisual materials.  A newspaper clippings file has been established, along with a separate information file on Southeast Asian American organizations and other groups involved with Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants.  Ephemera, such as political fliers, posters, programs from social and cultural events has also been added to the collection.

Thanks in great part to the continued generosity of Paul Tran, the Southeast Asian Archive has been fortunate to be able to build an ongoing collection of serial publications -  newsletters, magazines, journals, student publications - representing Vietnamese refugee and immigrant groups primarily from the United States but also Europe and Asia, dating from 1975.  Mr. Tran has also contributed correspondence and papers from groups in the United States concerned with the plight of the boat people.  Together all these sources are becoming an evolving collection for research and general public inquiry.

Cataloging of the books in the collection has been an important priority.  Since February 1990 the majority of the English language material and a growing portion of the Vietnamese language material has been processed and is accessible through MELVYL, the University of California online catalog.  This exposure of the archive's collection has generated interlibrary loans from libraries all over the United States.  Future plans include creating bibliographies of uncataloged parts of the collection such as journal articles, unpublished papers, archival materials through the use of Pro-Cite, a bibliographic data software package.  Meanwhile, monthly lists of works received and cataloged, and a list of dissertations and theses in the collection are available.  An exhaustive list of serial titles is in progress.

The Southeast Asian Archive is available for study and research to students, faculty and staff of the University of California and other educational institutions, and to the general public. 


Total volumes:  ca.1050

Cataloged titles: 448

Serial titles: 239

Audiovisual:  21 

Interlibrary Loan:  50

(since 6/90)