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Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Primary sources are characterized by their content, regardless of whether they are available in original format, in microfilm/microfiche, in digital format, or in published format. Primary sources can be found in nearly all of Yale's twenty-two libraries as well as at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Yale Art Gallery. See the “Tools for Discovery” page for tips on identifying materials relevant to your research.
There are special archival and manuscript collections relating to Southeast Asia found throughout the Yale University Library with collection strengths found in Manuscripts and Archives, the Divinity Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Throughout the special collections libraries and departments including the Manuscripts and Archives Department, The Divinity Library's Day Missions Collection and the Beinecke Library are found historical collections relating to Southeast Asia. Two distinctive collections that came to the library were the Maurice Durand Collection, which is particularly strong in literature, history, and civilization of Indo-China and the Yeh Hua Fen Collection, which consists mainly of books on Malaysia and Singapore.
Original woodblock or brush ink texts and translations of Han Nom texts into modern Romanized Vietnamese collected by Maurice Durand, a prominent Vietnamese/French scholar of Han Nom from the mid-20th century. Han Nom script uses classical Chinese characters to represent Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary and some native Vietnamese words, while other words are represented using locally created characters based on the Chinese model.
Maurice M. Durand (born 1914) was a prominent French scholar of Vietnam and China. He also served as director of the École française d'Extrême-Orient in Hanoi, Vietnam, and as director of the École Pratique des Hautes Études de la Sorbonne in Paris, France. Durand died on April 30, 1966.
A collection of Cambodian newspapers in the 1990s, a transition period when Cambodia emerged from a communist to a liberal democratic state. A historical collection that can tell so many stories Cambodia experienced during this transition period.
In the spring of 1891, Professor George Edward Day established a new library to contain a complete collection of works on foreign Christian missions with roots in the United States and other parts of the globe. This collection came to be known as the Day Missions Library and today contains both a strong historical and current research collection on foreign Christian missions including the history of missions in various countries, missionary biography, the annual reports of missionary societies, periodicals, works prepared by missionaries for the use of the peoples of mission fields, literature in areas such as ethnology, geography, comparative religions, and linguistics. In Southeast Asia, the Day Missions Library has formed close ties with the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia at Trinity Theological College in Singapore and Payap University International College in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The University Art Gallery’s Indo-Pacific art collection represents the art of insular Southeast Asia and the Pacific includes about 1,900 objects, with strengths in ethnographic sculpture, Javanese gold from the prehistoric to the late medieval period, and Indonesian textiles.