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An Overview of Southeast Asian Collections

The University of California at Berkeley has historical strengths in the areas of social sciences and humanities in both western and vernacular languages. The Southeast Asian Collections are some of the finest in the United States, comparable to those of Yale University Library, Cornell University Library and the Library of Congress.

In particular, the collection on Indonesia is one of the most comprehensive among the Southeast Asia collections in this country. Since 1964 Berkeley has participated in the Library of Congress Southeast Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program, under which it has received more than 230,000 items including books, government documents, periodicals and newspapers. Since 1970 the collections on Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei have also been strengthened by the Library's participation in the Library of Congress Program for these countries.

Berkeley has had a strong interest in the Philippines that has resulted in comprehensive library collections on the American and Republic periods. The Library has developed strong collections on Thailand and Vietnam, in western as well as vernacular languages, and has purchased extensively on all countries of Indochina since the pre-second World War period.

The general collection on Southeast Asia and materials on Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are mostly in western languages. The Library maintains these collections through the Library of Congress Co-operative Acquisitions Program in New Delhi Office for the Myanmar Collection and approval plans with book dealers in the United States, Europe, Commonwealth countries, and in Southeast Asia.

The South/Southeast Asia Library has a comprehensive collection of specialized reference material for Southeast Asia and a collection of unbound current periodicals and newspapers. Most circulating items for language and literature, history, political science, economics, sociology, government documents, philosophy and religion, Southeast Asian art and art history and women's studies are shelved in the Gardner Main Stacks or Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF). Some subject specialty branches and Affiliated Libraries have collections of Southeast Asian material, including Anthropology, Education/Psychology, Biosciences, Environmental Design, Music, etc.

The number of monographs in all languages, including English, is over 400,000. Current collecting in Southeast Asian languages focuses on literature, history, and religion, with special strengths in Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese.

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