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We are living through a historical event which has not occurred for more than 100 years. We are also living in a time when data is fast and research quickly disseminated, yet there is a paucity of research data about Asian American Pacific Islander people and in what little there is, the human behind the data is lost through summary statistics. There is no collection of individual reflections for what is happening to us as Asian American Pacific Islander people. Lacking a voice, history is written for us. Words are put into our mouths as mainstream institutions write about the Asians American and Pacific Islander communities as a monolith. By building a platform that will give us a voice to speak for ourselves, the collective experiences we’ve cherished and endured during this pandemic will be valuable lessons for future generations. Our stories will also help to fill the void left by the failure of institutions to include meaningful reflections about AAPI individuals during this pandemic.
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.
This collection consists of 21 oral histories from the Beginnings of Activism for the Department of Asian American Studies (BADAAS) at University of California, Irvine project. BADAAS was a group created by the chair of the Department of Asian American Studies, Dr. Judy Wu, and Dr. Thuy Vo Dang, director of the Southeast Asian Archive for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Department of Asian American Studies. They assembled a group of interns to research the history of the creation of Asian American Studies on campus and conducted oral histories with the professors, staff and faculty members, activists, and former students involved its foundation.
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.
An exhibit of Asian American-related material on Calisphere. Calisphere provides free access to unique and historically important artifacts for research, teaching, and curious exploration. Discover over two million photographs, documents, letters, artwork, diaries, oral histories, films, advertisements, musical recordings, and more.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Business directories published by Wells Fargo offer important resources for researchers and family historians. In particular, several Chinese business directories from the 19th century have been digitized and are available here.
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.
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.
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 https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/79696. Most are in Vietnamese, although some are in English. The collection guide can be found at https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ricewrc/00865/rice-00865.html.
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.
The Watsonville is in the Heart digital archive preserves and uplifts the stories of the “manong” generation (Ilokano/Tagalog for "older brother"), the first wave of Filipino migrant farmworkers to arrive in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Focused on the pioneering families of Watsonville and the greater Pajaro Valley, the archive enshrines the manongs’ and their descendents’ memories of migration, labor, leisure, and community formation. The digital archive includes oral histories, family photographs, family heirlooms, letters and correspondences, and newspaper clippings.
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.
Digitized images including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts that reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history.
Gateway to digitized images from the libraries and museums of the University of California campuses, cultural heritage organizations in California, and UC-created websites and collections.
Contains the records of the FBI and the Subversive Activities Control Board investigating “subversive” activities.
This ProQuest History Vault module contains J. Edgar Hoover's office files; documentation on the FBI's so-called "black bag jobs," as they were called before being renamed "surreptitious entries"; and the "Do Not File" File. The "Do Not File" file consists of records that were originally supposed to be destroyed on FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's order, however large portions of these files survived. Another key collection in this module consists of the records of the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB). The SACB files is one of the most valuable resources for the study of left-wing radicalism during the 1950s and 1960s. [1945-1972]
Searchable full text database of 25 newspapers written and produced by Japanese Americans interned during World War II.
"Although subject to censorship the newspapers document the day to day life of the internees. Titles includes: Rohwer Outpost, Poston Chronicle, Gila News Courier, Tulean Dispatch, Granada Pioneer, Minndoka Irrigator, Topaz Times, Manzanar Free Press, Denson Tribune, and Heart Mountain Sentinel. (1942-1945)"
Explores the movement of peoples from Great Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia. [1800-1980]
Unique primary source diaries, correspondence, photographs, oral histories and journals narrate the vivid realities of ocean travel and life in adopted homelands. Organisational correspondence, government proceedings, shipping company papers and records of advocacy groups provide key context to migrants’ everyday struggles.
Testimony and documents from more than 750 individuals involved in the Japanese American Internment during World War II.
"Includes material from more than 750 Japanese-Americans and Aleuts who had lived through the events of World War II, as well as government officials who ran the internment program, public figures, organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League, interested citizens, historians, and other professionals who had studied the internment. Documents include personal stories, publications, reports, press releases, photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. (1981, principally covers 1942 - 1945)"
Rafu Shimpo began in 1903 and is the longest running Japanese American newspaper in the U. S. During WWII, it was suspended from 1942-1945, and was revived in 1946. The digital archive contains all obtainable issues from 1914 through 2018.
Access the digital collections of the Library of Congress.
Ethnic Studies Library Digital Collections
The Ethnic Studies Library has a growing number of digital collections publicly accessible. In Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, we have the following digital collections available.
Chung Sai Yat Po Newspaper (1900-1905) - See issues of Chung Sai Yat Po from 1900-1905 on Calisphere. Additional years are available on microfilm at the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library and the UC Berkeley East Asian Library.
Asian American Political Alliance Oral History Project - The mission of the Asian American Political Alliance Oral History Project is to document the history of the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) at UC Berkeley. AAPA was formed in 1968 and its two main chapters were at UC Berkeley, formed by Yuji Ichioka and Emma Gee, and at San Francisco State College by Penny Nakatsu and others. AAPA was an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, Third World political organization that fought for self-determination and liberation for Asian Americans and emphasized solidarity with Third World peoples in the United States and around the world. Ichioka and Gee were also the co-creators of the term “Asian American” which replaced the term “Oriental” and brought individuals of different Asian backgrounds under a pan-Asian identity for the first time. At both UC Berkeley and San Francisco State, AAPA was a major force in the Third World Liberation Front coalition which joined African American, Asian American, Chicanx, and Native American students in the struggle for Ethnic Studies. Individuals who were involved in AAPA were involved in other struggles for liberation and justice including the KDP, anti-Vietnam War organizing, the Black Panthers, United Farmworkers, and other formations.
H.K. Yuen Social Movement Archive - Audio recordings of Berkeley and Bay Area social movements including the Third World Liberation Front student strike. Digitized recordings are available on the Internet Archive thanks to our collaboration with California Revealed and a CLIR Recordings at Risk grant.
Sut Yung Ying Yee - Sut Yung Ying Yee was a bilingual Chinese and English TV-series co-produced by the Chinese Media Committee of Chinese for Affirmative Action and KPIX-TV Westinghouse in 1971 and aired starting in 1971 on KPIX Channel 5. The series was produced and directed by filmmaker Loni Ding, one of the founders of the National Asian American Telecommunications Association, now the Center for Asian American Media.