Welcome! In this guide you will find selected major resources western and Southeast Asian languages that will help you begin your research across subjects in Southeast Asian Studies. For assistance in navigating or using these resources, or for additional information on Southeast Asian Studies research material in the Yale University Libraries and beyond, please feel free to contact me using the contact information on the right hand side of this guide.
Yale University Library began collecting material on Southeast Asia in 1899, when Clive Day was appointed to its faculty and a teaching program concerning Southeast Asia was initiated. It was due to this early start that the library was able to acquire many of the now out-of-print serials, especially from the Dutch East Indies. In addition to historical collection strengths for the Dutch East Indies, the Yale University Library because of its long history and collecting strengths also have more unique collections relating to Malaysia, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the history of the Philippines dating back to the Spanish American War, and for the countries of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam dating back to the French Colonial period in Indochina. Historical developments after the Second World War provided a further impetus to the program, and in 1947 Yale established its Southeast Asia Studies Program, the first area studies program in the United States to embark on the study of Southeast Asia in all disciplines. The library added special staff to work in this area and to assure continuous acquisition of this material, now designated as the Southeast Asia Collection.
The current mission of the Southeast Asia Collection is to support teaching and research on the eleven countries of Southeast Asia -- Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Timor Leste and the Philippines. The collection emphasizes primarily social sciences and humanities. Countries of primary focus are Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam. Since 1997, the Southeast Asia Collection has made an additional effort to collect material published in the Chinese language but created and published in Southeast Asia. Materials in the Southeast Asia Collection are in both western and vernacular languages of the countries covered, primarily Malay/Indonesian, Tagalog, Khmer, and Vietnamese. The Southeast Asia Collection has strong historical collections from Laos and Thailand and has begun to build Thai Studies collections with a focus on northern and southern Thailand. The Southeast Asia Collection print resources are integrated in the Sterling Memorial Library stacks.
Yale has participated in the PL-480 Program for acquisitions of Indonesian materials since its inception. The program is now called the Library of Congress Southeast Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program and Yale has expanded its participation to include the collecting of library resources from Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. The Southeast Asia Collection’s subject and collection development specialist librarian has agents in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. We have old serial runs from Thailand as well as Dutch materials on the Dutch East Indies which are unique in the country. Substantial collections on Southeast Asia can also be found in the Social Science Library, Forestry Library, Law Library, and Divinity Library. The Economic Growth Center Collection, located in the Social Science Library, contains economic surveys, statistical publications, development plans and censuses from over 100 developing countries, including those of Southeast Asia.
The Southeast Asia Collection Reading and Seminar Rooms are located in Rooms 214 and 214A of Sterling Memorial Library and contain a current periodical collection of print Southeat Asian origin journals in Thai, Vietnamese, Malay, Indonesian and Burmese as well as a core collection of English language journals from western presses on Southeast Asian Studies. In addition, the Reading and Seminar Rooms contain a small print reference collection of bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias and other traditional print reference and research tools. Room 214 contains the current periodicals and is also a good study space for quiet study.
Room 214A serves as a small meeting and seminar room with a flatscreen monitor which can be reserved for small classes, meetings or seminars of up to 10 people. It also makes an excellent small group study space. If interested in reserving the seminar room for your Southeast Asian-related activities, please contact the Southeast Asian Studies librarian, Rich Richie at (203) 432-1858 to facilitate your request. Outside of regularly scheduled meetings or group study periods, you are welcome to use the space for informal meetings without reserving the room.
The Council on Southeast Asia Studies at Yale promotes research and teaching on all aspects of the cultures, politics and economies of Southeast Asia. The Council publishes a Monograph Series covering historical, political, economic and anthropological subjects relating to Southeast Asia, and two additional series focusing on Vietnamese culture, literature, history and folklore. The Council organizes periodic conferences and sponsors a lunchtime seminar series.
A special program at Yale, the Cambodian Genocide Program, studies the tragedy during the Khmer Rouge revolution between 1975 and 1979, and compiles information on the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge regime. This information is made accessible to Cambodians, international scholars, and legal professionals. There are four searchable databases: bibliographic, biographic, photographic and geographic.