Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open! Learn more.

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. 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. 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 just a starting point to all the resources out there, to set up a reference appointment with a librarian, e-mail Sine Hwang Jensen at

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. It 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. You can browse the titles in this collection by visiting Oskicat and searching "Pacific Islands Collection." Titles will continually be added, so please check back frequently. Please note that these do not reflect the total holdings of the UC Berkeley Libraries but only the holdings of the Ethnic Studies Library. 


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.

Subject Headings

The Library of Congress creates Subject Headings which are then applied to different books by catalogers. By searching these subject headings you can see all the items tagged with that heading in the catalog. Note that not everyone book may have been tagged correctly, especially because catalogers may have limited subject expertise and bias. This is also not a comprehensive list. Click here a full list of Library of Congress Subject Headings. To search, go to, then select "Subject" from the drop down menu and cut and paste the below subject headings.

Aesthetics -- Social aspects -- Oceania

Aesthetics -- Political aspects -- Oceania

Gays -- Oceania

Islands -- Pacific Islands (Trust Territory)

Islands of the Pacific -- Emigration and immigration

Islands of the Pacific -- Poetry

Islands of the Pacific -- In motion pictures


Melanesian literature


Micronesian literature (English)

Micronesian literature (English) -- History and crticism

National characteristics -- Oceania.

Navigation -- Oceania -- History.


Oceania -- History.

Oceania -- Environmental conditions.

Oceania -- Periodicals.

Oceania -- Social life and customs.

Pacific Area -- Poetry

Pacific Area -- History

Pacific Area -- Historiography

Pacific Area -- Forecasting

Pacific Island drama (French)

Pacific Island fiction (English)

Pacific Island fiction (English)

Pacific Island literature

Pacific Island literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism

Pacific Island literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism

Pacific Island literature (English)

Pacific Island literature (English) -- History and criticism

Pacific Island poetry (English)

Pacific Islanders.

Pacific Islanders -- Social life and customs.

Pacific Islander Americans

Political anthropology -- Melanesia

Polynesia -- Poetry.

Rhetoric -- Oceania

Seafaring life -- Oceania.

Self-determination, National -- Hawaii.

Transgender people -- Oceania

Publishers and Series

Google Books

Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books.  Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book?  Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.

Why use Google Books?

Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  Try it now:

Google Book Search