Research Guides

Asian-American and Asian Diaspora Research Guide

Statement of Acknowledgement
Chinatown Community Mural
In 1978, a joint Congressional resolution established a 7-day period beginning in May of 1979 as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week." The month of May was specifically chosen to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and the completion of the Transcontintental Railroad (May 10, 1869), which heavily relied on Chinese workers.

In 1992, the heritage week was officially extended to a month-long recognition of the contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islander Americans.
Origins and Influence
AAPI Heritage Month online
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Graphic Novels
What's Wrong with Frank Chin? : a Novel Documentary
Documentary about the work and life of Chinese American author Frank Chin and his role in the changing perception of Asian Americans by Asian Americans and American society in general. Chin's role in creating Aiiieeeee!, an anthology of Asian American writers; The Asian American Theater Workshop and the Asian American Writer's Conference is discussed by numerous friends and writers who have been influenced by Chin.

A Village Called Versailles
A documentary about Versailles, a community in eastern New Orleans first settled by Vietnamese refugees. After Hurricane Katrina, Versailles residents impressively rise to the challenges by returning and rebuilding before most neighborhoods in New Orleans, only to have their homes threatened by a new government-imposed toxic landfill just two miles away. [It] recounts the empowering story of how this group of people, who has already suffered so much in their lifetime, turns a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change and a chance for a better future.

Streaming Videos
10th Festival of Pacific Arts
The Festival of Pacific Arts (FOPA) is regarded as the premiere festival of the Pacific. The festival provides the opportunity for Pacific Islanders to share their knowledge and experiences and celebrate who they are as oceanic people. This documentary gives you a glimpse of the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa in 2008.

Asian Americans, PBS, 2020, 5 episodes
This series covers the history of Asians in America. Episode 5, Breaking Through, documents the civil rights movement by Asian Americans since the 1980’s.
Chinese in America, CNN, 2017
Lisa Ling explores the massive and economically diverse movement of immigration from China to the United States – and traces her own family roots, to find out what it means to be Chinese in America.
Hollywood and the Yellow Threat, Wichita Films, 2019
This documentary explores how Hollywood portrayed Asians, especially Japanese, during World War II and the Cold War.
Island of Warriors
Pacific Islanders
serve in the U.S. military in disproportionally high numbers and have suffered the highest casualty rates in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We visit Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, to speak to some of the island’s veterans. The men and women here are American citizens and serve in our country’s military at a rate three times higher than the rest of the country. We explore why Guam’s returning veterans say they can’t get the healthcare they need.

Nuclear savage
Featuring recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and unseen archival footage, Nuclear Savage uncovers one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history: how Marshall Islanders, considered an uncivilized culture, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs to study the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings. The film raises disturbing questions about racism, the U.S. government's moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands, and why the government is continuing to cover up the intent of the tests and Project 4.1 after several decades.


Project Yellow, Border2Border Entertainment, 2015
A documentary by an Asian guy about Asian guys and the stigma they often face. Yellow is a documentary about the Asian male phenomena perceived in the media and gay culture and how it reflects from their childhood.
Slaying the Dragon
A comprehensive look at media stereotypes of Asian and Asian American women since the silent era. From the racist use of white actors to portray Asians in early Hollywood films to the Asian-American anchorwoman of today, this fascinating film shows how stereotypes of exoticism and docility have affected the perception of Asian-American women.

Slaying the Dragon Reloaded
Looks at the past 25 years of representation of Asian and Asian American women in U.S. visual media -- from blockbuster films and network television to Asian American cinema and YouTube -- to explore what's changed, what's been recycled, and what we can hope for in the future.

Urban Love Poem, PBS, 2020
Explore San Francisco's history, from the Gold Rush and early Chinese immigration to the rise of Silicon Valley, through Marilyn Chin's poem of her San Francisco youth.
Dear Asian Americans
Is a podcast for and by Asian Americans, focusing on authentic storytelling rooted in origin, identity, and legacy. Host Jerry Won brings on guests from diverse backgrounds and career paths to celebrate, support, and inspire the Asian American community.

Self-Evident: Asian American Stories

Tells Asian American stories and each episode presents an in-depth audio documentary or radically open conversations from Asian American communities — across generations, cultures, and class.

Asian Boss Girl 
A podcast for contemporary Asian American women hosted by Melody Cheng, Helen Wu, & Janet Wang. It's no secret that Asian women are lacking in almost all media outlets, and those who are present mostly represent the fashion, beauty, or blogging industries.

They Call Us Bruce
Hosts Jeff Yang and Phil Yu present an unfiltered conversation about what's happening in Asian America.

Asian American: The Ken Fong Podcast
Explores the cultural, artistic, historical, and spiritual aspects of the Asian American community. Each podcast interviews guests across all sectors of society who are transforming what it means to be Asian American.
Asian-American Student Organization (AASA) - 1988 Ibis Yearbook
University of Miami Organizations and Resources
National Organizations and Resources
Racial Justice Toolkits
Pan Am World Tours: Asian-Pacific Travel (1927-1991)

From Pan Am’s founding in 1927 through its closing in 1991, the airline served as an international leader in aviation and was a pioneer in the development of airplane design and technology, air routes, commercial passenger service, navigation techniques, and communication systems. Items showcased from the collection include official brochures, photographs, menus, and ephemera.
Items included are from the holdings of the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records, University of Miami Libraries Special Collections.

Online Archives

Asia Art Archive
With one of the most valuable growing collections of material on the recent history of art from Asia, freely available from their website and onsite library, AAA builds tools and communities to collectively expand knowledge through research, residency, and educational programmes.

Japan Center for Asian Historical Records
JACAR has built and operates an online database for releasing Asian historical records, that are historical documents of Japan concerning to the modern Japanese relations with other countries, particularly those in Asia. The documents of the archive are provided by the National Archives of Japan, the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the National Institute for Defense Studies of the Ministry of Defense of Japan.

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA)
The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA) contains thousands of primary sources documenting Japanese American internment

Korean American Digital Archive
The Korean American Digital Archive brings more than 13,000 pages of documents, over 1,900 photographs, and about 180 sound files together in one searchable collection that documents the Korean American community during the period of resistance to Japanese rule in Korea and reveal the organizational and private experience of Koreans in America between 1903 and 1965.
Library of Congress: Asian Division Digital Collections
The Asian Division has an on-going effort, in cooperation with the Library’s digitization initiative and external partners, to digitize select items from its collections of high research value. Many items in the digital collections are rare materials, some of which are the most valuable titles and editions dating back to the 11th or 12th century and are the only extant copies in the world. Also included are contemporary materials in the public domain that cover all manner of topics and offer insights into the study of multiple facets of Asian countries and peoples.

Smithsonian: Asian Pacific American Center
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is a migratory museum that brings history, art and culture to you through innovative community-focused experiences.

South Asian American Digital Archive
SAADA digitally documents, preserves, and shares stories of South Asian Americans.

Southeast Asian Archive
The UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive collects, preserves, and makes accessible primary and secondary source materials documenting the history of the Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese diaspora. Collection strengths include Southeast Asian American experiences of resettlement and community formations since the Vietnam War, Cambodian Genocide, and geopolitical turmoil in the former French-occupied "Indochina" in the latter half of the 20th century. 

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