Located on the first floor in Doe Library, the South/Southeast Asia Library (S/SEAL) is a designated reference and bibliographical center for research on South/Southeast Asia regions. It contains an extensive reference collection of over 4,000 items including national, general and specialized bibliographies, indexes, printed library catalogs, dictionaries, directories, and other reference and bibliographical works. It provides full access to the library information system including local, regional and international online catalogs, CD-ROM databases, and a gateway to worldwide web resources. S/SEAL holds non-circulating monographs of current interest, high-use newspapers, and journals. S/SEAL also serves as a central subject-specific gateway to over 300,000 Southeast Asia holdings available in the Gardner Stacks, subject specialty libraries, affiliated libraries on the Berkeley campus, and the Northern Regional Library Facility in Richmond, California.

Historically, the Southeast Asia Collections at the University of California, Berkeley were known as one of the finest collections in the United States along with those in the Yale University Library, Cornell University Library, and The Library of Congress (LC). They were the strongest research collections in the West Coast, with the emphasis on social sciences and humanities in western and regional languages, covering both prewar and postwar periods of Southeast Asia. The collections are quite strong in earlier western language publications on Burma, the Philippines, and Indochina since the Pre-World War II period. The Library has an excellent run of annual reports of 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 the United States. Berkeley participated in the LC Cooperative Acquisitions Program on Southeast Asia (CAPSEA), formerly known as the Public Law 480 Program, since its inception in 1964. The collections on Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei have also been strengthened by The Library's full participation in the LC Program for these countries since 1970. Subsequently, since the 1990s, The Library has also participated in the full-fledged acquisitions program for the rest of Southeast Asian countries.

A significant number of monographs in Southeast Asian languages and western languages on Chinese Overseas in Southeast Asia and other areas of the world is housed in S/SEAL, Gardner Stacks, and subject specialty libraries on the Berkeley campus. Monographs, journals and newspapers in Chinese about Southeast Asian Chinese through LC CAPSEA are primarily housed at the Ethnic Studies Library for convenient access to its primary clientele.

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