Southeast Asian Studies at Harvard University

Widener Library: East, South and Southeast Asian Section

Widener’s acquisitions from East, South, and Southeast Asia are primarily in English and other Western languages; however, this section also has responsibility for Sanskrit and Tibetan publications. Access to additional materials from those areas in Western and Asian languages is provided by Harvard’s membership in the South Asia Microforms Project, the Southeast Asia Microforms Project, and the Center for Research Libraries.

The central collection of publications in East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Manchu, Mongolian) is in the Harvard-Yenching Library, supplemented by the collections in the Law School Library, the Rubel East Asian Collection (Fine Arts), and the Reischauer (Japan) and Fairbank (China) Centers libraries. South Asian languages in Arabic script are collected by the Middle Eastern Division in Widener. For more information contact Dr. Raymond Lum, Asian Bibliographer, at .

Harvard-Yenching Library: The Vietnamese Collection

The Vietnamese Collection of the Harvard-Yenching Library focuses on humanities and social sciences and is particularly strong in history and literature. Highlights of the collection include a complete set, on microfilm, of the Imperial Archives of the Nguyen Dynasty and rich holdings of the earliest Vietnamese-language newspapers and periodicals from the 1920s and 1930s. It also contains a number of 19th-century publications written in classical Chinese on Vietnamese history, law, political institutions, and Buddhism. In conjunction with the Vietnamese-language holdings of the Law School Library, the Fine Arts Library, and the Harvard Map Collection, the Vietnamese collection of the Harvard-Yenching Library plays an important role in supporting all Vietnam-related teaching and research activities at Harvard.

Questions and comments, including requests for materials and inquiries about how to use the collection, may be directed to Phan Thi Ngoc Chan, Librarian for the Vietnamese Collection, at or at (617) 495-6007.

Ernst Mayr Library

For more than 140 years the library at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, now administered by the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, has served the museum and Harvard communities by providing a vast collection of natural history resources.

The library is located on the second floor of the museum, at 26 Oxford St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. The phone number is (617) 495-2475. The library is open to the Harvard University community, students and faculty of other institutions, as well as to the general public.

The Rübel Asiatic Research Collection

The Rübel Asiatic Research Collection (RARC) is a department of the Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library. It ranks with the Library of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as one of the leading unified collections for the study of Asian art and archaeology in the nation.

The Rübel Asiatic Research Collection comprises approximately 17,000 volumes devoted to the history of Asian art. More specifically, the collection focuses on the art, architecture and archaeology of East Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and India. Its holdings include books, periodicals, offprints of rare and important articles, maps, rubbings of inscriptions from stone monuments, fine reproductions of Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings, auction and exhibition catalogs, and manuscripts, all brought together in a unique collection. The collection is especially strong in the history of Chinese ritual bronzes, Buddhist arts, Chinese and Japanese painting, Japanese woodblock prints and East Asian ceramics. About half of the holdings are in Chinese, Japanese or Korean. The rest are in English or Western European languages.

  The Houghton Library

The Houghton Library is the principal rare book and manuscript library of Harvard College. Its mission is to support research and instruction in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the University by acquiring, cataloging, securing, and preserving significant literary, historical, and visual materials, and by providing access to them through catalogs, finding aids, and an expert staff. The Library supports and supplements Faculty of Arts and Sciences academic programs through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications, and courses. Because of the richness of its holdings and the professional accomplishments of its staff, the Library serves as a resource for the entire Harvard community and for a national and international community of researchers and scholars.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Bibliography of Asian Studies
The Bibliography of Asian Studies contains over 545,000 references to journal articles, chapters in multi-author volumes, conference proceedings, and anthologies from 1971 to the present, as well as individually authored monographs from 1971 to1991. It covers all subjects related to East, Southeast, and South Asia.

Asia Resources on the World Wide Web
Raymond Lum’s extensive list of online resources, used for publication in the Asian Studies Newsletter.

Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia
The Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA) is a committee of the Southeast Asia Council (SEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). It was established to enhance the collection of Southeast Asia research materials and to assist in making them available to Southeast Asia scholars, faculty, and students nationwide.

Harvard Asia Quarterly
Harvard Asia Quarterly, a journal of current affairs affiliated with the Harvard Asia Center, was established in 1997 by students at the Harvard Law School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as an interdisciplinary journal of Asian affairs.

Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies
Published by the Harvard-Yenching Institute

Harvard University Press:
Bayly, C., Harper, T. (2005). Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945
Bayly, C., Harper, T. (2007). Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia
Brandon, J. (1967). Theatre in Southeast Asia
Cochran, S. (2006). Chinese Medicine Men: Consumer Culture in China adn Southeast Asia
Woodside, A. (2006). Lost Modernities:China, Vietnam, Korea and the Hazards of World History

Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology

Founded in 1866, the Peabody Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world devoted to anthropology and houses one of the most comprehensive records of human cultural history in the Western Hemisphere.

 Sackler Museum

The Arthur M. Sackler Museum houses superb collections of ancient, Islamic, Asian, and later Indian art. The museum includes one of the finest collections of Asian Art in the United States. The collection is particularly strong in the arts of East Asia, but also includes modest holdings of works from India, Central Asia and Tibet, and Southeast Asia; the greatest strengths lie in the fields of Chinese archaic jades and bronze ritual vessels, Buddhist art, and ceramics; Korean paintings and ceramics; and Japanese lacquer, calligraphy, printed books, and woodblock prints. The collection includes approximately 16,000 works, some 6,000 of which are woodblock prints.

 Southeast Asian Floras

Center for Tropical Forest Science-Arnold Arboretum Asia Program

The CTFS-AA Asia Program forms part of a global initiative in long-term tropical forest research, coordinated by the Center for Tropical Forest Science of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in conjunction with scientific collaborators around the world.

The broad objectives of the CTFS research program are: (1) to develop a general theory of tropical forest diversity and dynamics, providing explanations of the relative importance of biotic and abiotic factors in controlling species distributions and the regulation of population and community dynamics, and (2) to develop models incorporating ecological and economic analyses for predicting human impacts on and optimizing sustainable utilization of tropical forests. The program believes that these and many other fundamental ecological questions concerning tropical forests are best addressed by a comparative approach involving long-term, individual-based, mapped, permanent forest plots.

The consortium of researchers and institutions collaborating with CTFS has established a pantropical network of 17 large-scale permanent plots in 14 countries representing the diversity of tropical forests in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The information and research infrastructure available through the CTFS program provides a wealth of opportunities for local and international scientists to conduct research, and unparalleled opportunities for the education and training of students at all stages.


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