Dear colleagues,

On May, 16, the campus will celebrate the Southeast Asian Archive’s 30th anniversary with the opening of the UCI Libraries’ spring exhibit, “After-Lives of War: The Southeast Asian Archive Over 30 Years.” Through a partnership with UCI Illuminations and the School of Humanities, the exhibit is curated by Thuy Vo Dang, archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive and the regional history collection, and Cécile Whiting, Chancellor’s Professor of art history and professor of visual studies.

The event will feature a keynote presentation in the Student Center’s Crystal Cove Auditorium by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, professor of English and Asian & Asian American studies at the University of Connecticut, as well as a performance by Cambodian musician and film producer praCh. A reception and exhibit viewing will immediately follow at Langson Library.

The Southeast Asian Archive was established in 1987 by founding Southeast Asian Archive Librarian Anne Frank to preserve the rich histories of the local Southeast Asian American community. Among scholars and those involved in the archives world, the SEAA is lauded as an excellent model of a “community-based archive,” so it’s important that we continue to convey our commitment to keeping this identity.

A special focus on materials pertaining to all communities that have shaped the history of the region led to the opening of the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center in 2015. Its collection areas highlight the Orange County region, including:

  • People of color, 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

Today the center’s strategic priorities include public programming, providing oral history training to internal and external groups, and building community archiving skills. Equally, the center offers a flexible teaching and research space for UCI students and visiting scholars.

This anniversary event is open to the entire UCI community. I hope you will join us as we celebrate the rich history and diversity of the Orange County region and our campus.


Lorelei Tanji
University Librarian