Alternative Forms of Material Available
Collection Scope and Content Summary
Title: Southeast Asian Archive vertical file collection
Collection number: MS-SEA020
Approximately 100 linear feet
96 digitized images
University of California, Irvine. Library. Special
Collections and Archives.
Irvine, California 92623-9557
Abstract: The vertical file is an eclectic accumulation of thousands of
miscellaneous items that document the life of Southeast Asian American communities.
Here can be found information on a wide range of topics such as cultural events,
pertinent issues of the day, organizations and businesses, student activities, local
politics, health concerns, and family relations. Types of material include newspaper
clippings, magazine and journal articles, unpublished student and conference papers,
ephemeral items such as brochures, posters, flyers, event programs, and periodicals
in English and Southeast Asian languages. California sources are best represented in
the clippings file, but newspaper articles from other parts of the United States are
included, as well as limited items from international papers.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English
Selected digitized images from this collection.
Collection open for research.
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are
retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to
reproduce or to publish, please contact the Southeast Asian Archive Librarian.
Southeast Asian Archive vertical file collection. MS-SEA020. Southeast Asian Archive,
The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California.
Acquisition of materials is ongoing.
Alternative Forms of Material Available
A selection of ninety-six images and texts from this collection has been digitized
and is available in the Online Archive of California.
Processed by Julia Stringfellow, 2003-2005. Translation services provided by Quan
Tran, Thu Huyen, and Dat Nguyen, 2003-2005. Processing was supported by a National
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant.
The Southeast Asian Archive of the University of California, Irvine Libraries was
established in 1987 with the primary purpose of documenting the new Southeast Asian
population in Orange County. After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, California
became home to over 400,000 refugees and immigrants from the former Indochina:
Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. By the 1980s Orange County was the site of the largest
Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam, as well as the residence of approximately
10,000 Hmong refugees from Laos. (Most of Orange County's Hmong population have
since migrated to other parts of California and the U.S.)
The impetus for the formation of the Southeast Asian Archive did not come from the
UCI Libraries, or as a response to the curriculum or to a faculty member's research.
Instead the idea for an archive came from a member of the Vietnamese American
community in Orange County, Dr. Pham Cao Duong, who first approached the Comparative
Cultures Program at UCI concerning the need to document the growing Southeast Asian
population in Orange County. As a result, the Southeast Asian Archive was
As there was no funding for the new collection, initial materials were acquired by
donation. Response to articles in local newspapers, both English and Vietnamese,
brought a variety of materials, including items which documented the donors'
personal experiences as refugees and provided background information on the culture
and history of their homelands. Other contributions came from people who had come in
contact with the refugees through social services, church groups and the schools,
and also American Vietnam War veterans.
As the Archive grew, it expanded to include the experiences of Southeast Asian
refugees and immigrants all over the United States, including smaller ethnic groups
such as the Cham, Khmu, Iu Mien and Lahu. However, the special focus on Orange
County and California remains. It has become the mission of the Archive to preserve
and document the social, cultural, religious, political, and economic life of
Southeast Asian Americans, beginning with the exodus from Southeast Asia and
continuing as their new communities develop in the future.
The Southeast Asian Archive's significance has been recognized by the receipt of
prestigious grants from the California State Library in 2002 and the National
Endowment for the Humanities in 2003.
||Southeast Asian Archive is established at the University of California,
||Advisory Board created to enhance the Archive's outreach efforts and
assist in obtaining materials.
||The Archive moves to its current location in Langson Library 360.
||Feature article on the Archive is published in the Los Angeles
||"Documenting the Southeast Asian Refugee Experience" exhibit featuring
materials from the Archive opens in the Muriel Ansley Reynolds Gallery at
UCI Langson Library.
||The Archive joins the UCI Libraries Department of Special
||The Archive hosts a program featuring Dr. Franklin Odo, director of the
Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian Institute.
||The Archive is awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant
from the California State Library.
||The Archive is awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the
||"A SEAA of Memories: Our Changing Southeast Asian American Communities"
exhibit featuring materials from the Archive opens in the Muriel Ansley
Reynolds Gallery at UCI Langson Library.
Collection Scope and Content Summary
The vertical file is an eclectic accumulation of thousands of miscellaneous items
that document the life of Southeast Asian American communities. It includes
information on a wide range of topics such as cultural events, pertinent issues of
the day, organizations and businesses, student activities, local politics, health
concerns, cultural events, and family relations.
Types of material include newspaper clippings, magazine and journal articles,
unpublished student and conference papers, ephemeral items such as brochures,
posters, flyers, event programs, and periodicals in English and Southeast Asian
languages. California sources are best represented in the newspaper clippings. The
clippings file also contains articles published from newspapers from other parts of
the United States as well as a few items from international papers.
Topical strengths include California-based Southeast Asian American organizations and
events, transnational connections of Southeast Asian Americans with their home
countries, and student activities. An A to Z list of topics is available for patrons
to search on a particular topic.
These materials have been collected by the Southeast Asian Archive since its creation
in 1987. They come from a variety of sources: roughly half of the materials have
been donated by individuals and organizations, while the other half has been
gathered by Archive personnel at community events, academic conferences, and social
services meetings. Some materials have been separated from archival collections.
Materials are added on a regular basis.
This collection is arranged in 2 series.
- Series 1. Topical files, 1975-ongoing.
- Series 2. Southeast Asian vernacular periodicals, 1975-ongoing.
Series 1 consists of clippings, ephemera, English language periodicals, articles, and
conference papers. Topical terms are given to items that come from the Southeast
Asian Thesaurus, an A to Z list that of terms that are Library of Congress of
Subject headings, terms from the Asian American Thesaurus published by the
University of California, Berkeley, and local terms. Folder headings are done in the
The folder heading for Newspaper Clippings has the following format: SEA Topical Term
-- Clippings -- Date
The folder heading for Ephemera has the following format: SEA Topical Term -- Ephemera
-- State of publication -- City of publication -- Organization. A spreadsheet for
ephemera in the vertical file can be searched by SEA thesaurus term, by state and
city of publication, and organization.
The folder heading for English language Periodicals has the following format: SEA
Topical Term -- Periodicals -- State of publication -- City of publication --
Organization that published periodical -- Title of periodical. A spreadsheet for
English language Periodicals in the vertical file can be searched by SEA thesaurus
term, by state and city of publication, organization, and by title of periodical.
The folder heading for Conference Papers has the following format: SEA Topical Term --
The folder heading for Articles has the following format: SEA Topical Term -- Articles
For Series 2, the folder heading for Vernacular periodicals has the following format:
Language of periodical -- Country or state -- City -- Publisher -- Title
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Cambodian Americans -- Archival resources
California -- Emigration and immigration
Hmong Americans -- Archival resources
Laotian Americans -- Archival resources
Political refugees -- Cambodia -- Archival resources
Political refugees -- Laos -- Archival resources
Political refugees -- Vietnam -- Archival resources
Refugees -- Asia, Southeastern -- Archival resources
Refugees -- California -- Archival resources
Refugees, Southeast Asian -- California -- Archival resources
Southeast Asian Americans -- California -- Archival resources
Vietnamese Americans -- California -- Orange County -- Archival
Vietnamese Americans -- Archival resources
Southeast Asian Archive