UC Berkeley Library > Library Collections > Collection Descriptions > Southeast Asian Studies

Southeast Asian Studies

Contact: Virginia Shih

Scope of Collection
The Southeast Asian collections at Berkeley rank first statewide, and they are among the top collections for Southeast Asian studies nationally. The comprehensive collections include materials from and about the six insular countries (Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore) and five mainland countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) in the region. They are the strongest research collections on the West Coast, with the emphasis on social sciences and humanities in western and vernacular languages, covering both prewar and postwar periods of Southeast Asia.

The collection serves faculty in the Departments of South and Southeast Asian Studies (including the Center for Southeast Asia Studies), Anthropology, Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, Economics, English, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Ethnic Studies, Geography, History, History of Art, Linguistics, Music, Rhetoric, Sociology, and Women's Studies as well as Graduate School of Journalism, Haas School of Business, and School of Public Health.

The collections are quite influential in earlier western language publications on Burma, the Philippines, and Indochina since the pre-World War II period. The Library has an excellent run on annual reports of the colonial administrators in Southeast Asia, including departmental and other agency reports on Burma. Dutch colonial literature on Indonesia is well represented, including all the major journals. In particular, the Indonesia Collection is one of the most comprehensive Southeast Asia collections in this country. Berkeley has had a strong interest in the Philippines that has resulted in comprehensive library collections on the American and Republic periods.

Special Collections

Primary Languages and Formats
Primary languages include Burmese, Chinese, Hmong, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, and Vietnamese in addition to English, French, and Dutch materials related to Southeast Asia. Most of the materials are in printed format with occasional CD-ROMs or DVDs for Southeast Asia ethnomusicology or documentary series.

Related Collections
It overlaps certain English monographs on Southeast Asia with Moffitt Library to support undergraduate studies.

For information about research tools, library guides, and related pages, see Southeast Asia Studies.

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Last updated 11/20/08. Comments?