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Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies: Welcome

Resources to explore Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. Take your time exploring and feel free to reach out with any questions!


Welcome to the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Library Guide!

This library guide provides information on how to access the many resources related to Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at the UC Berkeley Library, the Ethnic Studies Library and beyond.

Need information on the new UC Library Search system? Visit the UC Library Search page of this guide and the UC Library Search Library Guide!

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies is the critical and interdisciplinary study of the history, experiences, culture, and politics of Asian-ancestry groups in local, national, and global contexts. The term "Asian American" was coined by historian Yuji Ichioka in the late-1960s in conjunction with the Asian American social movement. The UC Berkeley Library collects at a research level in the subject of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, an interdisciplinary field which includes history, literature, political science, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and more.  

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies collections are located in multiple campus libraries.  Humanities and social sciences materials are located in the Main (Gardner) Stacks, with additional materials in subject specialty libraries such as the Social Research, Anthropology, Environmental Design, Media Resources Center, etc.  

The Ethnic Studies Library, with its departmental focus, features an Asian American Studies Collection in connection with the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Program within the Ethnic Studies Department.  The Asian American Studies Collection features books, serials, newspapers, archival materials, and media on the history, culture, and politics of Asian America and the Asian Diaspora.

The Bancroft Library, in addition to being the UC Berkeley’s manuscript and archival collections, holds materials relevant to American ethnic groups in California, the Western United States and Mexico; see the Western Americana collection description for details. The South/Southeast Asian Library also features materials related to the South and Southeast Asian diaspora. See related LibGuides to explore these collections. 

The Ethnic Studies Library

The Ethnic Studies Library is the departmental library of the Department of Ethnic Studies. It was established in 1997 by merging the Asian American Studies Library, the Chicano Studies Library, and the Native American Studies Library. Since the founding of the Department following the Third World Liberation Front student strike in 1969, the collections of these libraries grew from student interest in collecting and preserving a perspective by and for racialized communities that they saw as lacking or marginalized in other campus libraries. The specialized ethnic studies books and serials, archival collections, posters, and audio collections from those three libraries live on in a centralized space on the ground floor of Stephens Hall, a short walk from Barrows Hall. The library consists of these four collections: Asian American Studies Collection; Chicano Studies Collection; Native American Studies Collection; Comparative Ethnic Studies Collection. In addition to our collections, the ESL regularly hosts events, ESL librarians provide reference and instruction for the department and larger campus community, and takes recommendations on purchasing books in the field of Ethnic Studies. Visit the Ethnic Studies Library website for more information.

Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program

The Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies (AAADS) Program, one of the programs under the Department of Ethnic Studies, is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of historical and contemporary experiences of Asian-ancestry groups in local, national, and global contexts. Asian American is a pan-ethnic term designating a racialized population made up of various groups of Asian ancestry, and encompassing both the foreign-born and the U.S.-born.

As initially constituted as a component of the emergent field of ethnic studies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Asian American Studies program centered on domestic U.S. concerns. It continues to be part of a national activist effort to increase the political, economic and cultural representation of people of color in American life, more specifically, to improve the educational relevance and ethnic diversity of institutions of higher learning. However, the Asian American Studies program has also been responsive to the shifting geopolitical, economic and sociocultural forces most conveniently summed up by the term globalization, and is now increasingly attentive to issues of transnationality and diaspora while retaining its original commitment to community empowerment.


The AAADSP is committed to expanding and enriching the intellectual fabric of the entire academy by contributing to:

  1. the critical understanding of the rich and complex histories and experiences of Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry;
  2. the framing of this knowledge and understanding within larger intellectual inquiries regarding race and ethnicity in national and global contexts;
  3. the development of critical thinking and innovative learning through a socially engaged research and teaching curriculum;
  4. the promotion of comparative, multi- and inter disciplinary approaches to the study of the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans in local, national, and global contexts;
  5. the strengthening of relationship between the university and the community by fusing academic learning with community engagement.

Asian American Studies Librarian

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Sine Hwang Jensen
UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library
30 Stephens Hall
(510) 642-9072

Getting Help

Need help??  Contact a librarian!

Research help: 24/7 chat, in person, by e-mail, etc.

Sine Hwang Jensen - Asian American and Comparative Ethnic Studies Librarian, Ethnic Studies Library

Corliss Lee - Liaison to Ethnic Studies, Doe and Moffitt Libraries

Lillian Castillo-Speed  - Chicano Studies and Head Librarian, Ethnic Studies Library  

Purchase Recommendation

Purchase Recommendation

You can suggest items that the Library should consider purchasing. Use the Purchase Recommendation form to submit your suggestion.

Doe Library, North Reading Room