Southeast Asian Studies

Contact your librarian

  • Virginia Shih
  • Source: Fiat Lux Spring 2008 no. 7 p. 5

  • Office Hours: By appointment only
  • Office Location: 120 Doe Library
  • Contact Info:

    (510) 643-0850
  • Library Hours:
    Semester: M-F 10AM-5PM
    Summer and Winter: M-F 1PM-5PM
    Closed on weekends and holidays You must allow embedded content.

Introduction to the Southeast Asian Studies Collection

Southeast Asian studies at Berkeley cover the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary areas of humanities, social sciences, and sciences of the Southeast Asia region. Over thirty courses in Southeast Asian studies are offered in fourteen departments during the academic year. The Center for Southeast Asia Studies promotes and enriches Southeast Asian studies through its lecture series, annual conference, outreach and academic activities.

Related Pages

Center for Southeast Asia Studies
Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies
Group in Asian Studies

About the Collection

Collection Description

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 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.

The Library has been collecting Southeast Asian vernacular materials in Burmese, Chinese, Hmong, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, and Vietnamese to support our teaching and research in Southeast Asia Studies. The Library of Congress Cooperative Acquisitions Program on Southeast Asia (CAPSEA), formerly known as the Public Law 480 Program in Jakarta, Indonesia, has played a critical role in acquiring both English and Southeast Asian vernacular materials in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences for Berkeley since 1964. To further enhance our Southeast Asian vernacular collections, The Library also collects materials from commercial vendors as well as through gift and exchange programs with Southeast Asia counterparts and acquisition trips.

Due to space restrictions, the South/Southeast Asia Library includes only the reference collection, a small non-circulating collection of basic works on the Southeast Asia region, and a collection of high-use newspapers and journals. The rest of the Southeast Asian collections in both printed and non-printed formats, over 400,000 holdings, is housed in Doe and Moffitt libraries, subject specialty libraries, and affiliated libraries on the Berkeley campus.

Electronic Journals

Journals in electronic form, available online either individually or as part of a larger collection. E-Journals only available for the Berkeley campus are listed in Pathfinder. The California Digital Library maintains a list of e-journals available to all UC libraries.

New Acquisitions

Monthly lists of new acquisitions in a given subject area.

South/Southeast Library Recent Acquisitions

Purchase Recommendation Form

If you'd like to recommend an item to be added to the collection, please use the Purchase Recommendation Form.

Map of SEA


Research Tools

Archival Collections and Primary Sources

Resources that list, or provide access to, materials typically found in archives and used for primary source research. Examples include manuscripts, diaries, letters, first-hand accounts or documentary sources on a subject, person, event or issue.


Article Databases and Indexes for Southeast Asian Studies

Listings of articles in journals, magazines, newspapers, etc. Many include abstracts (article summaries). Some include, or link to, the full text of articles.

Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers

Resources that provide maps or tools you can use to generate maps. Gazetteers are geographical dictionaries, giving information about cities, mountains, rivers, etc.

Bibliographies and Subject Guides

Lists of materials in any format (books, articles, videos, web sites, etc.) organized around a common theme or topic.

Biographical Sources

Information about people, including biographical dictionaries, profiles of people or "Who's Whos", personal narratives, and other resources with significant biographical information.

Country Data Sources

Sources of information about specific countries.

Dictionaries, Thesauri, and Quotations

General and subject specific dictionaries in any language, dual language dictionaries, thesauri, dictionaries of quotations, and acronym lists.

Dissertation and Thesis Sources

Sources for locating masters theses and doctoral dissertations.

Encyclopedias and Almanacs

General or subject-specific encyclopedias, almanacs, and other collections of factual information.

Government Information Sources

Listings of publications and other information published by authority of a governmental body, whether federal, state, local, or foreign, and of intergovernmental organizations, such as UNESCO, etc. Many of these sources include the full text of the items.

Handbooks, Manuals and Yearbooks

Collections of information designed to help practitioners in a specific field or profession, or in the case of yearbooks, to provide annually cumulated information in brief descriptive and statistic form.

Library and Book Catalogs

Listings of books and other items belonging to a particular library or, as with union catalogs, a group of libraries, and usually containing information on the location and subject classification of each item. This category also includes national bibliographies, or lists of all books published in a particular country.


News Databases, Indexes and Web Sites

Listings (may include abstracts or full text) of articles in newspapers, newsmagazines broadcast, news transcripts, or wire services. Also includes web sites of these media, or directories of such sites.


Listings of subject-related associations, learned societies, or professional organizations.

Statistics and Numeric Data

Resources that provide tables of numerical information, or listings indicating where such information can be found.

Related Subject Guides

Related Course Guides

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