Skip to Main Content

Critical Pacific Islands Studies Library Guide

Finding Books

Finding Books

There is a rich oral and literary tradition in the Pacific Islands and literature exists on Pacific Islands Studies spanning many disciplines. Disciplines themselves and the academy have been structured by colonialism and imperialism. Historically, studies on Pacific Islands and Pacific Islands communities were dominated by anthropologists steeped in a colonialist and Eurocentric worldview. However, there have always been Pacific Islander voices, authors, and scholars and in the last few decades as Pacific Islands Studies and Critical Pacific Islands Studies has become more established, there has been a steady rise in published books and resources.

This guide is intended to help you navigate the UC Berkeley library system, but we also want it to be helpful to community members. Check here for suggested books from librarians, students and community members, relevant subject headings related to Pacific Islands Studies, and tips on how to find books in the UC Berkeley Libraries. These books are intended as a starting point. See below for information on how to access books at UC Berkeley, across the UC campuses, and make requests from the Northern Regional Library Facility, a storage repository which holds books from UC campuses in Northern California. At the Ethnic Studies Library, the Native American Studies Collection is the primary collection for Pacific Islands Studies materials. 

Don't see a book or other resource in the catalog? Please help add to the library collections by filling out this Purchase Recommendation Form! To suggest a book for the Ethnic Studies Library, please e-mail Sine at 

Thanks to a generous donation from Dr. David Palaita in honor of his brother, Matthew Palaita, the Ethnic Studies Library has created the Pacific Islands Collection, which serves to bring together materials previously located in the Asian American Studies, Native American Studies and Comparative Ethnic Studies Collections as well as an establish a collecting imperative to build our materials related to Pacific Islands Studies. Titles will continually be added, so please check back frequently. 


Palaita, David Ga’oupu. 2015. The Space That Is Sacred (VASA/Ocean) : Pacific Islanders in Higher Education. Berkeley, CA, 2015,

Abstract: "Vāsā (Ocean)--The Space that is Sacred: Pacific Islanders in Higher Education" investigates how Pacific Islander students across three college campuses--City College of San Francisco, University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of California, Berkeley--change their schools though the use of their indigenous cultures (ocean). Creating a voice for an often invisible community in higher education, students "talk-story" about the challenges and triumphs of their journey in higher education while questioning the politics of knowledge production, identity constructions, indigenous cultural practices, community formations, and inclusion in their schools. The project illustrates how these Pacific Islander movements are critiques of diversity in post-secondary educational institutions but also explores students' engagement with contemporary colonization as a way of understanding their personal lives, their families and communities, and their worlds.

Publishers and Series

Digitized Books