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Southeast Asian Diaspora Studies: Home

The UCI Libraries' Southeast Asian Archive is the richest collection of books, reports, manuscripts, archival materials, photos, artwork, and ephemera documenting the peoples of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia outside their homelands.

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What is Southeast Asian Diaspora Studies?

Southeast Asian Diaspora Studies is a relatively new field developed by scholars from across a wide range of academic disciplines. The strong focus on imperialism, war, immigration and their legacies often link research inquiries within the field. It can be situated within umbrella interdisciplinary fields such as U.S. ethnic studies and area studies, but remains resistant to fixed categorization. While the region of Southeast Asia includes more than ten nations, the Southeast Asian Archive at UC Irvine has a tighter scope to focus on the populations and histories of those from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam—the three countries directly involved with the Vietnam-American War and formerly known as French Indochina.

Since the end of the Vietnam-American War in 1975, millions of immigrants and refugees have left Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to resettle in the United States and other countries. The Southeast Asian diaspora is diverse in their homeland histories, languages, and cultures, but their refugee and immigrant experiences are often parallel. For researchers interested in the Southeast Asian diaspora, we provide circulating, reference, and archival materials that reflect an engagement with the strong and growing Southeast Asian American communities in Southern California. Our Libraries’ many other databases can also provide valuable information, such as journal articles, government reports, statistics, and dissertations. You may also search select digitized materials from our Southeast Asian Archive or explore full oral histories from our Viet Stories: the Vietnamese American Oral History Project collection. Check back with us as we continue to grow our collections.

Southeast Asian Archive

The UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive collects, preserves, and makes accessible primary and secondary source materials documenting the history of the Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese diaspora. Collection strengths include Southeast Asian American experiences of resettlement and community formations since the Vietnam War, Cambodian Genocide, and geopolitical turmoil in the former French-occupied "Indochina" in the latter half of the 20th century. 

To view FINDING AIDS to archival collections in the SEAA, please visit the Online Archive of California

To search for book, film, thesis and dissertation titles in the SEAA collection, use UC Library Search

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Suzanne Im

Viet Stories: the Vietnamese American Oral History Project

Thuy Vo Dang was the inaugural project director for the Vietnamese American Oral History Project, a UCI Libraries and UCI Department of Asian American Studies collboration. The project documents and preserves life stories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California.