Asian American Resources

The Department of Special Collections at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has a wide range of ethnographic, historical, literary, music, and other resources related to Asian American Studies. This includes books, serials, pamphlets, newspapers, letters, diaries, documents, photographs, and sound recordings. Materials can be found using the UCSB Library Catalog, the OAC-Online Archives of California, and by subject using our Subject Guides as well as the Alphabetical List of Collections.

The majority of our Asian American Studies material is part of the CEMA collections. However, there are also related collections in the Bernath Memorial Collection and other manuscripts collections.

Additional resources can be found at UCSB and its various libraries. For details, consult the Research Guide for Asian Studies, the Department of Asian Studies and the Asian American Studies Collection. The UCSB Research Databases provides useful links to relevant resources at other institutions regarding Asian American Studies.

Manuscript Collections

The following is a partial list of collections held at the Department of Special Collections related to Asian American Studies.

  • Asia and Ireland Travel Photograph Album, 1909-1910. (SC 1042).
  • Asia and Middle East Tour Album, 1928-1929. (SC 1101).
  • Asian American Theater Company (AATC) Archives. Administrative and financial records, correspondence, production files, scripts, audio and video recordings, photographs, slides, posters, and other materials relating to the San Francisco-based AATC, one of only three Asian American theaters in the United States, founded in 1973 by the Chinese American writer and playwright Frank Chin and others. (CEMA 9).
  • Asian American Theater Company (AATC) Archives. Administrative and financial records, correspondence, production files, scripts, audio and video recordings, photographs, slides, posters, and other materials relating to the San Francisco-based AATC, one of only three Asian American theaters in the United States, founded in 1973 by the Chinese American writer and playwright Frank Chin and others. (CEMA 9).
  • Billigmeier (Robert) Collection, 1940-1987 [bulk dates 1942-1943]. Materials from a UCSB professor, re his study of the World War II Japanese evacuation and Tule Lake Relocation Center. (CEMA 60).
  • California Chinese Chatter, edited by Albert Dressler. Prospectus, describing the work as "Sixty-two pleasant and provoking pages of rare and original telegrams on various subjects, exchanged by the cinese to and from Downieville, Sierra County, California, during the year 1874…," along with a list of other publications by Dressler, ca, 1930. (SC 497).
  • Chang (Iris) Papers, 1923-2002 [bulk dates 1980-1995]. Research and other materials of the Chinese American author, whose works include Thread of the Silkworm and The Rape of Nanking. (CEMA 39).
  • Chin (Frank) Papers, 1940-2001. Chinese American playwright, author. (Wyles Mss 103).
  • Chinese American Advertising Cards. Three cards, one for the play "My Partner," one for linen goods, and one for laundry service (with stereotypical character), all ca. late nineteenth century, apparently New York and Boston. (SC 758).
  • Chinese American Democratic Club (CADC) Archives, 1988-2000. Files of the CADC, chartered in 1957 by the California State Democratic Central Committee and the California Democratic Council in response to growing political repression and violations of Chinese American civil rights. (CEMA 49).
  • Chinese American Political Association Archives, 1984-2006 . Records of a San Francisco Bay Area organization focused on educating and empowering Chinese Americans in the political process. (CEMA 48).
  • Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Inc. (CAVEC) Archives, 1984-2000 [bulk dates 1986-1992]. Files of the CAVEC, a non-profit, non- partisan citizen education organization in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded in 1976 to help the large population of Asian immigrants become active participants in the civic life of the area. (CEMA 61).
  • Hsiang (Bob) Papers. (CEMA 108).
  • Hom (Nancy) Papers. Materials relating to the Chinese American cultural/visual artist. (CEMA 46).
  • Ito (Michio) Collection. Materials relating to the Japanese American dancer and choreographer. (CEMA 25).
  • Kearny Street Workshop Archives, 1972-2002 [bulk dates 1980-2002]. Materials relating to the oldest multidisciplinary Asian American arts organization in the United States, which was established in 1972 as a collective of artists in San Francisco’s Chinatown/ Manila town neighborhood. (CEMA 33).
  • Lim (Genny) Papers, 1982-1987. Manuscripts and other materials relating to the work of the Chinese-American playwright, journalist, musician, poet, and teacher Genny Lim, known for works such as the play Paper Angels. (CEMA 34).
  • Manzanar Relocation Center Collection, ca. early 1940s. Correspondence, photographs, newsletters, and related materials. (SC 198).
  • Pacific Islanders Communities Collection. Small collection of ephemera about Polynesian communities resident in California, their annual events and activities. (CEMA 41).
  • Pai Hsien-Yung [Kenneth Pai] Collection, ca. 1971-1997. Literary manuscripts and other material relating to the novels, short stories, plays, and films adapted from the work of Pai (also known as Kenneth Pai), UCSB professor emeritus of Chinese language and literature and acclaimed author, best known for works such as Wandering in the Garden, Waking from a Dream: Tales of Taipei Characters and Crystal Boy. (UArch FacP 29).
  • Soriano-Hewitt (Ester) Papers. Materials relating to the Filipina American civil rights activist. (CEMA 62).
  • Takeda (Helen S. Komoto) Oral History. Interviews with a Japanese Niseii family. (OH 90).
  • Takeda (Horoshi) Oral History. (OH 91).
  • Tanaka (Gayle) Papers. Personal collection of an award-winning Asian American painter, print-maker and photographer. (CEMA 19).
  • (Sam) Collection. (CEMA 107).
  • UCSB, Student Organizations Collection, ca. 1935-2001 [bulk dates 1960s-1980s]. The collection contains mainly flyers and posters for events, issues of interest, meetings, etc. for student organizations, clubs, and groups. Includes files on ethnic, GLBT, women’s, political & protest, religious & spiritual groups. Some files on Isla Vista, including student services, events, and groups not directly affiliated with the university but formed by students, are included, as well as files on student protests, including the bank burning and Vietnam War. (UArch 101).
  • Wong (Elizabeth) Papers, 1980-2003. Materials of the award-winning Chinese American playwright, television screenwriter, and columnist specializing in Asian American issues. (CEMA 16).
  • Wong (Flo) Papers. (CEMA 123).
  • Wong (Nellie) Papers, 1972-2001. Mainly writings of Chinese-American author and union activist Wong, including prose and poetry (manuscripts and numerous drafts), and related correspondence, publicity and professional files. Also, files on individuals, conferences, and subjects. (CEMA 14).