Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center
A place for community-centered archives work.
The Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center provides a collaborative learning and event space, consultation and research support, and community-centered archives partnerships for UC Irvine, the Orange County California region, and the diasporic communities of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
We welcome partnerships with UC Irvine students, faculty and staff, the Orange County community, and those working to share the stories of the Southeast Asian diaspora. We trust in community expertise and lived experience as the impetus for building inclusive, community-centered archives.
The Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center provides training and guidance related to the practice of oral history and historical documentation, rooted in the principles of community-centered archives partnerships. Our team of librarians and staff in the Department of Special Collections & Archives offers consultations, workshops, programming, and research support for the design and implementation of historical documentation, oral history, and preservation projects to empower communities in the process of telling and preserving their own histories.
The OC&SEAA is home to a flexible reading room space for teaching, events, and research. We work with our partners to curate exhibits, conduct oral history and digital history projects, and engage in collaborative initiatives to better preserve the memories and records of the UCI campus, the Orange County community, and the Southeast Asian diaspora.
The UCI Libraries have been at the forefront of community-centered archives partnerships for more than 30 years. In the mid-1980s, members from the Southeast Asian American community in Orange County proposed that UCI Libraries preserve the history of the diasporic communities of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Research librarian Anne Frank, in partnership with community leaders, founded the Southeast Asian Archive in 1987 with the goal of documenting the experiences of refugees and immigrants from the Southeast Asian diaspora.
Since the establishment of the Southeast Asian Archive, the UCI Libraries have worked hand-in-hand with local communities to document unique and valuable histories. Our goal is to empower communities in the process of telling and preserving their own histories. The opening of the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC & SEAA) Center in 2015 solidified UCI Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives’ commitment to fostering community-centered archives.