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Garden Grove Students Tour Southeast Asian Archive

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Tammy La, 15 yrs, 9th grader, points to a picture
of her mother found in the book The Stormy Escape
by Kim Hà (Tammy's grandmother).
(Photo by: Linh Nguyễn/Người Việt)

On January 9, 2014, Garden Grove High School teacher, Katy Jue brought 26 students from her Vietnamese American History class to the UCI Libraries to expose them to the rich resources available in the Libraries’ highly regarded Southeast Asian Archive and UCI’s Vietnamese American Oral History Project.

The UCI Libraries continues to strengthen its outreach efforts in collaboration with the School of Humanities' Vietnamese American Oral History Project. The project's new Associate Director, Tram Le, took active part in hosting the Garden Grove group throughout the day. 

Thuy Vo Dang, Archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive and Regional History, gave an overview of the resources available and how to access them, then took the students on a tour of the Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room.  The library visit concluded with a presentation by Public Services Librarian Steve MacLeod in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room where students viewed a display of refugee art work, photographs and other archival records relevant to Vietnamese American History.

The students were very positive about the experience, leading one of them to comment “The Archives are super sick!” A special moment occurred when 9th grader Tammy La discovered the papers of her grandmother Kim Hà in the Archive.  Hà is a local community activist and author whose work documents the experiences of Vietnamese refugees.

“I am delighted to share our historical resources with these high school students,” said Vo Dang. “Our goal is to help K-12 students feel empowered by seeing their histories reflected in the materials, and to spark their imagination to pursue research here.”

Following the library tour, the students attended a college panel presentation by the UCI Southeast Asian Student Association, and enjoyed lunch sponsored by Cathy Lam at Our 1 World.

The student group was joined by history teachers from the Garden Grove and Bolsa Grande High Schools, Garden Grove Unified School District Board Trustee Bao Nguyen (an alumnus of UCI), and Garden Grove City Councilman Christopher Phan. 

Image“We are very grateful to have UCI in the community, said Bao Nguyen. “The Southeast Asian Archive is an invaluable resource for Garden Grove students to contextualize their academic studies as well as their personal experience growing up in Little Saigon.”

 “The Southeast Asian Archive is an important physical and intellectual space for the community,” said Vo Dang.  “My goal is to make it even more accessible and reflective of the community's dynamism.”


For further information about the UCI Libraries Southeast Asian Archive, please contact Thuy Vo Dang, at 949.824.4968 or thuy.vodang@uci.edu.