Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Each week in May, MIT libraries will highlight different materials to help you learn more about the Asian Pacific American experience. This week, you can find a variety of primary and secondary sources on Asian Pacific American history.

To start, Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History can provide some basic information and insight, as can The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History.

MIT has a variety of primary sources online and in print. If you didn’t get a chance to see the exhibit in the Maihaugen Gallery, China Comes to MIT is still digitally accessible and provides insight into the early Chinese and Chinese American experience at MIT and in Boston. MIT also has newspapers produced in Japanese internment camps that can be read here. For a broader selection of materials, try Cathy Schlund Vials’s Asian America : A Primary Source Reader, or the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA).

For secondary sources, the classic Strangers from a Distant Shore by Ronald Takaki is available in its first as well as its updated edition. Please also consider picking up Growing up Asian American by Maria Hong, Bengali Harlem by Vivek Bald about Bengali Muslims in America, or Asian American Women and Men by Yen Le Espiritu. Mae Ngai offers an examination of specifically illegal migration and immigration policy in the United States in her book Impossible Subjects. For a book specifically about social change affecting Chinese-American women, Judy Yung’s Unbound Feet is for you. Erika Lee’s powerful The Making of Asian America considers a very wide range of experiences with a more historical lens, while Robert Lee’s Orientals does the same from a pop cultural perspective.

MIT students have done their own original research on Asian Pacific American experiences, and you can find theses in the DSpace repository. Works like An Ambitious Social Experiment: Education in Japanese-American Internment Camps, 1942-1945 and Asian American Engineers in the Massachusetts High Technology Industry: Are Glass Ceilings a Reality? are freely available for download at any time.

If you would like to explore more, try using our libguide, which also contains links in case you would like to have a research consultation. MIT is committed to providing diverse and up-to-date materials for all its patrons. If you would like materials that MIT does not own, please use our Borrow Direct or ILB services. Or, if you would like MIT to own certain resources, use Suggest a Purchase.