Our collections for Southeast Asia feature both western language and indigenous publications with a particular focus on the humanities and social sciences. The central strength of the collection lies in the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, with growing holdings from Vietnam. Other countries represented include Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, East Timor, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei.
Spanish, Dutch, French, English, Japanese and German language collections support the indigenous collection, reflecting the colonial powers present in the region.
Important related collections
Our Philippine American History Special Collection covers the period in the early 1900s. The Labadie Collection documents American activities in the Philippines, the protest movement during the Marcos era, Mai Lai legal transcripts, and poster collections from the Vietnam War.
Noted collections outside of the U-M Library system include those at the:
- Bentley Historical Library, which houses Philippine American collections, as well as the field notes of William Gedney on the languages of Thailand and Laos
- Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, which holds ethnological slides, archaeological finds, and botanical specimens of the Philippines
- William L. Clements Library, where the collection includes materials from the Christian missionary efforts in Thailand
- Visual Resources Collection, which includes the Southeast Asia Art Foundation Archive of photographs and slides compiled by John Adams Thierry (the University of Michigan Museum of Art holds the Thierry Art Collection)
- Law Library also has relevant materials
History of the collection
The Southeast Asia collection was established in the early 1960s in line with the university’s growing foreign area studies programs.