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Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies: Getting Started

Getting Started

Get started on your research by familiarizing yourself with the library system, setting up your computer for off-campus access to library databases, using the Start Your Search portal, consulting reference encyclopedias on Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies, and more.

Quick Links for Students

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Read an introduction to the campus libraries for undergraduates.

Set up your computer for off campus access to library databases.

Need a map of the campus libraries?

Each library has its own hours.  Click on the calendar for each library to view a month at a time.

Introduction to citing sources and citation management software.

What is Start your search?

Start your Search includes books, articles and more.

Start your search is powered by EBSCO Discovery Services and combines a variety of library collections, catalogs and databases into a single search experience.

The Ethnic Studies Library Asian American Studies Collection

The Ethnic Studies Library Asian American Studies Collection contains books, serials, media, archives, newspapers, and other materials on Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. You can get started by visiting the library and by making an appointment with a librarian to talk through your research topic, sources, or any other questions you might have.

About the Asian American Studies Collection:

The mission of the Asian American Studies Collection (AASC) is primarily to support the curriculum program of the undergraduate and graduate students and the research of the faculty in the Ethnic Studies Department. It is also to provide support in this area to the other University of California campuses and the general community at large. We also have a mission and commitment to preserving and making accessible the history of Asian Americans to all.

Often the term “Asian” and “Asian American” cause confusion in relation to library collections. For example, traditionally, East Asian collections focus on East Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea, rather than on the distinct experiences of these groups in America or in other countries. The term "Asian American" was coined by historian Yuji Ichioka in the late-1960s in conjunction with the Asian American social movement. It emerged to describe a new pan-ethnic identity forming out of solidarity amongst Asians in the United States. While the term emerged as a political identity, today, it is often used as a demographic marker. The term "Asian," and thus "Asian Americans," encompasses a large number of national and ethnic identities including but not limited to the following groups: Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Sri Lankan, Laotian, Mien, Nepalese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Thai, Tibetan, and Vietnamese Americans. 

The Asian American Studies Collection (AASC) is the result of intensive acquisition for more than forty years. It is today one of the most comprehensive and unique Asian American resources in the United States. It contains materials on the cultural, political, and socio-economic life of Asian Americans. Aside from developing a core collection on the identified Asian American groups, the collection is particularly strong in documenting Asian American social movements. The collection also includes materials on Pacific Islanders. While historically Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been aggregated in demographic data, there is increasing attention paid to the distinct experiences of indigenous Pacific Islander Americans and Asian Americans. The AASC also contains the largest Chinese American archival collection in the world.

Selected Reference Sources for Asian American Studies

A great place to start your research is by consulting an encyclopedia. See below for some reference sources on Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies and visit the Reference Section in the Asian American Studies Collection at the Ethnic Studies Library for more. 

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