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From the University Librarian

ImageOn May 16, 2017, the Libraries' celebrated the Southeast Asian Archive's (SEAA) 30th Anniversary with the opening of the Libraries' spring exhibit, After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years. Partnering with UCI Illuminations and the School of Humanities, the exhibit was curated by Thuy Vo Dang, Ph.D., Archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive and Regional History and C├ęcile Whiting, Ph.D., Chancellor's Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at UCI and Chair of the Art History Department.

The event featured a keynote presentation by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Ph.D., Professor of English and Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut and a performance by Cambodian-American musician and film producer praCh. Read more about the opening event here.

Background on the Southeast Asian Archive

Members of the local Southeast Asian American community requested that their histories be preserved. The UCI Libraries answered this call in 1987, through the efforts of founding Southeast Asian Archive Librarian Anne Frank (now retired). Among scholars and in the archives world, the SEAA is lauded as an excellent model of a "community-based archive" and we are committed to enhancing and sustaining its impact.

Founding of the OC&SEAA Center

In 2015, the UCI Libraries opened the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center, which makes the circulating elements of the internationally renowned SEAA collection easily available to community members and the public. In addition, the OC&SEAA Center highlights materials pertaining to all communities that have shaped the history of the region, including:

  • Ethnic communities and underrepresented groups.
  • Development, planning, and business history
  • Science and environmental history
  • The history and development of politics, culture, and society
  • UC Irvine history
Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Libraries' Southeast Asian Archive

Today, the OC&SEAA's strategic priorities include public programming, providing oral history training to internal and external groups, and building community archiving skills. Equally, the Center provides a flexible teaching and research space for UCI students and visiting scholars.

In this 30th anniversary year for the SEAA, the Libraries are strategically focused on raising the profile of the OC&SEAA Center on campus and in the community. Support for the OC&SEAA Center ensures that its legacy and profound impact on the diverse communities of UCI and Orange County will prevail for future generations.


Lorelei Tanji
University Librarian