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Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies: Digital Archives & Oral History Collections

Digital Collections

A list of digital collections of primary source materials related to Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies.

Asian American Studies Digital Archives and Websites

Archive of Immigrant Voices, University of Maryland, College Park

In 2012, the Center for the History of the New America (now the Center for Global Migration Studies) established the Archive of Immigrant Voices to collect stories of the experience of migration. The purpose of the archive is to create, accumulate, and preserve a repository of memories that will not only reveal living history and features of the recent past, but will also document the fine lines of social change that might be otherwise ignored or lost to history. These stories will provide the basis for understanding how newcomers adapt to challenges and successes. The Archive unites the Center's mission to advance scholarship and teaching while enhancing the Center's connection to migrant communities by capturing, recording, and preserving the experience of migration, dislocation, and community formation as immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, and other newcomers themselves understood it. In addition to housing these oral interviews, the Archive also contains further information on the history of immigration, educator resources, and tools for conducting oral histories.

Asian American Movement 1968

This website features the Asian American Movement 40th Anniversary collection from the archives of the Asian Community Center (once located on Kearny St. in San Francisco). The collection focuses on 1968 because that year was the beginning point for the Asian American movement. 1968 witnessed world changing events and many Asian Americans responded to make the world a better place for humanity. This project is sponsored by the Asian Community Center History Group.

The Berkeley Revolution Digital Archive

This website is a collective project, one which emerged from an honors undergraduate seminar in American Studies at UC-Berkeley, “The Bay Area in the Seventies,” taught by Scott Saul in the spring of 2017. The eleven students in that seminar shaped their own research projects, burrowing into archives official and unofficial so as to recover the stories missing from, or hidden within, standard accounts of Berkeley’s history. This curated archive—with 300 documents organized across their six main projects—is the result.

Chinese Canadian Stories

These digitized collections consist of materials that document Chinese Canadian history represented in the holdings of UBC Library, SFU Library, City of Vancouver Archives, Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP) community partners, and other community contributors. The collections contain digitized photographs, audio/video recordings, manuscripts (including correspondence and diaries), newspapers and other publications. The digital collections can be searched individually or all at once. To conduct a search, enter keywords, place names, personal names, or dates using our Search function. You can also Browse the collections individually.

Chinese Workers Mutual Aid Association Records on the Internet Archive

Digitized Federal Bureau of Investigation File on the Chinese Workesr Mutual Aid Association.

Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

Densho is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy. The legacy we offer is an American story with ongoing relevance: during World War II, the United States government incarcerated innocent people solely because of their ancestry.

Densho is a nonprofit organization started in 1996, with the initial goal of documenting oral histories from Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. This evolved into a mission to educate, preserve, collaborate and inspire action for equity. Densho uses digital technology to preserve and make accessible primary source materials on the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. We present these materials and related resources for their historic value and as a means of exploring issues of democracy, intolerance, wartime hysteria, civil rights and the responsibilities of citizenship in our increasingly global society.

FoundSF: San Francisco's Digital Archive

FoundSF is a wiki that invites history buffs, community leaders, and San Francisco citizens of all kinds to share their unique stories, images, and videos from past and present. There are over 1,800 articles here presenting primary sources, essays, and images from history.

Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection: Japanese Diaspora Initiative, Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University

The Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection is currently the world’s largest online archive of open-access, full‑image Japanese American and other overseas Japanese newspapers. All image content in this collection has enhancements added where possible, thus rendering the text maximally searchable. The holdings of each title are also browsable by date, with each title cross searchable with other titles on the platform. This collection is planned to contain some sixty newspapers published in Hawaii and North America. Most publications present a mix of content in Japanese and English, with formats and the proportionality of Japanese/English often changing as a reflection of shifting business and social circumstances.

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA) contains thousands of primary sources documenting Japanese American internment, including:

  • Personal diaries, letters, photographs, and drawings;
  • US War Relocation Authority materials, including camp newsletters, final reports, photographs, and other documents relating to the day-to-day administration of the camps;
  • And personal histories documenting the lives of the people who lived in the camps, as well as of the administrators who created and worked there.

Korean American Digital Archive, University of Southern California

The Korean American Digital Archive brings more than 13,000 pages of documents, over 1,900 photographs, and about 180 sound files together in one searchable collection that documents the Korean American community during the period of resistance to Japanese rule in Korea and reveal the organizational and private experience of Koreans in America between 1903 and 1965.

Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive, Unversity of California, Davis

This archive offers a window into the story of South Asian immigrants from the Punjab region in north India to California since the turn of the twentieth century.  Explore over 700 video interviews, speeches, diaries, photographs, articles, and letters in which Punjabi Americans share their life stories, values, and contributions to California’s history over the last hundred and twenty years.

Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, University of Washington

This multi-media web site brings the vital history of Seattle's civil rights movements to life with scores of video oral histories, hundreds of rare photographs, documents, movement histories, and personal biographies, more than 300 pages in all. Based at the University of Washington, the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project is a collaboration between community groups and UW faculty and students.

South Asian American Digital Archive

​SAADA creates a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their unique and diverse experiences.

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.

Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project, University of California, Irvine

Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project at the University of California, Irvine actively assembles, preserves, and disseminates the life stories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California. The project contributes to expanding archives on Vietnamese Americans with the primary goal of capturing first-generation stories for students, researchers, and the community. Launched in 2011, VAOHP is housed in the Department of Asian American Studies in the School of Humanities and collaborates with the UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive.

Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation (VAHF) Interviews, Rice University

This collection consists of video interviews dating from 2011 and conducted by the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation. These interviewees are Texas-based, and form part of the national 500 Oral Histories Project conducted by the Vietnamese Heritage Foundation. These interviews are online at Most are in Vietnamese, although some are in English. The collection guide can be found at

Welga Project Digital Archive and Repository, University of California, Davis

The Welga Project Digital Archive and Repository focuses on preserving and presenting primary sources regarding the Filipino American Labor and Activism History. Currently, most our collections focus on mid-20th century labor history. From 2017 forward, we are committed to expanding our collection to include the broad topic of Filipino American activism and labor history.

Digital Collections

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