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Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies: Archives

Archives

Archives are collections of historical materials (documents, media, etc.) located at a repository or institution. Never used archives before? Don't worry! Contact a librarian for help and see the Society of American Archivists guide to Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research.

Archives on Campus

UC Berkeley Asian American Studies Collection

The Asian American Studies Collection at the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library has the largest holdings of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies related archives with over one hundred unique archival collections. Archives can be accessed on-site by members of campus and the public over 18 years of age. The UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library Asian American Archive Collections Summary provides a list of the titles and call numbers of all processed and available collections and finding aids are available on the Online Archive of California as well as the Ethnic Studies Library website. Contact the Asian American Studies Librarian Sine Hwang Jensen for more information. 

 

Visiting the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of the Bancroft Library interiorAmerican West.

Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which includes primary sources from many California libraries and museums. Bancroft also maintains additional digital resources.

Before you go:

1.  Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.

2.  Register as a researcher. Registration is free and takes just a few minutes using the Aeon online registration form to register in advance. For more information, see the Aeon guide.

3.  Search OskiCat to locate materials in Bancroft. You can use the pull-down menu in OskiCat to limit your search to the Bancroft Library only. (Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.)

  • It is recommended that you request your materials in advance of your visit and to submit your request at least one week prior to your visit to Bancroft.  You must have an Aeon account to request materials.  For more information please visit the Aeon guide.
  • If the OskiCat record mentions a finding aid (an index) to a manuscript collection, you should use it to help you find what you need in the collection.  If the finding aid is online, there will be a link from the OskiCat record. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library. You can also search for Bancroft finding aids in the Online Archive of California.

$.  Before you go, read about Access (and bring a quarter for lockers).

During your visit:

  1. Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
  2. Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
  3. Go to the Circulation Desk, where you can pick up the materials you pre-ordered.  That is also where you will request additional materials during your visit. 
  4. For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

How to Get to the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during the summer and Intersession).  Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.

The Bancroft Library is on the second floor of Doe, on the east side (the side closest to the Campanile). See a floor plan of Doe Library 2nd floor (pdf).

Finding Archives

Archival collections are located across campus and it can be hard to know where to start! To search for archival collections on campus, go to Oskicat and from the drop down menu select "Archival Collections." That will limit your search to materials designated "archival." Note that not all archival materials are designated archival so the search may be limited. It is highlight recommended to consult with a subject librarian to help you locate and navigate archives on your topic. 

To locate archives around the world, you can use ArchiveGrid (see link below) and use the databases listed below to identify archival collections both physical and online.

Archives at Local Institutions and Beyond

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Library/Reading Room, University of California, Los Angeles

For over 40 years, the RR/L has been an invaluable resource to generations of students, researchers, and community leaders and activists. It has long been recognized as one of the leading and focused special collections of printed Asian American and Pacific Islander materials in the United States. Its library collection contains over 5,000 books and monographs, along with rare and unique collections of popular and scholarly magazines, 'zines, journals, and ethnic community newspapers from across the nation

California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, University of California, Santa Barbara

The California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, also known as CEMA, is a division of the Special Research Collections Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara Library. CEMA is a permanent program that advances scholarship in ethnic studies through its varied collections of primary research materials.

These unique collections document the lives and activities of African Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans, Chicanos/Latinos, and Native Americans in California. The collections represent the cultural, artistic, ethnic, gender, and racial diversity that characterizes the state's population. Its materials are widely used not only by scholars but also in K-12 classrooms and museum exhibitions. Organizations and individuals have committed to establishing their personal papers and archival materials for preservation and to be made accessible for research and study.

Chinese American Historical Society, San Francisco, CA

The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America.

Filipino American National Historical Society

The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) is truly a community-based organization whose mission is “…to preserve, document, and present Filipino American history and to support scholarly research and artistic works which reflect that rich past…” The national office and archives is housed in Seattle, operating year-round to lend expertise and support to twenty-seven chapters across the United States.

Freedom ArchivesSan Francisco, CA

 

The Immigration History Research Center Archives (IHRCA, or IHRC Archives) is a renowned archives and library for the study of immigration, ethnicity, and race. We select sources documenting a broad range of immigrant and refugee experiences, and strive to connect history to today’s experiences. We work closely with our colleagues in theImmigration History Research Center, and we are part of the Migration and Social Services Collections in Archives & Special Collections (ASC) in the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Our collections' strengths are first and second generation immigrants and displaced persons who came to the USA from central, eastern, and southern Europe; the eastern Mediterranean (formerly called the “Near East” region of the Middle East and North Africa); and late-20th and early 21st century immigrants and refugees. Our collections vary from print to manuscript to born-digital. They include personal papers as well as organizational records of ethnic and immigrant-formed groups, and of social service providers.

Southeast Asian Archive, University of California, Irvine

Since the end of the Vietnam Conflict in 1975 a large number of refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam have come to the United States, and especially to California. In order to document their experiences in a new culture, the UC Irvine Libraries established the Southeast Asian Archive in 1987. The Archive's collection is broad and interdisciplinary in documenting the social, cultural, religious, political, and economic life of Americans of Southeast Asian origin. Strengths include materials relating to the resettlement of Southeast Asian refugees and immigrants in the United States, refugee camp and other experiences of the "boat people" and land refugees, and the development and progress of new ethnic communities. There is a special focus on materials pertaining to Southeast Asian Americans in Orange County and California.

Stanford University Special Collections & University Archives

Stanford University holds many collections of interest to scholars of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. Use the link above to search the finding aids available at the Online Archive of California.

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