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Expanded Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room and create new Center for Regional History

UC Irvine Libraries expand Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room and create new Center for Regional History

Shakespeare First Folio
UCI Libraries' copy of Shakespeare's 1623 First Folio.

June 2014 - IRVINE. The UC Irvine Libraries announce a new and enhanced space to showcase the general collections and services related to the Libraries Southeast Asian Archive and regional history. Expected to open in September of 2014, the new Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room & Center for Regional History (link to library web posting) will be a collections, learning, and programming space located on the first floor of the Libraries Gateway Study Center, across the plaza from Langson Library.

Strong community enthusiasm and generous financial support inspired the Libraries to create the permanent position of Archivist for the Southeast Asian Archive & Regional History. Now, the Libraries are creating a new space that reflects the growth of its internationally recognized collections. The Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room & Center for Regional History will be the premier center to document the community's changing demographics, engage with emerging scholarship, and provide resources for conscientious, critical thinking about the region.

"The development of the Reading Room and Center is part of an important strategic direction for the UCI Libraries," said University Librarian Lorelei Tanji. "Nationally, universities are incorporating the use of primary resources in the curriculum to a much greater extent, and a corresponding trend in academic libraries is the location of special collections in more visible and accessible locations to highlight their unique holdings and to facilitate the use of primary resources in research and instruction. By highlighting collections that have both broad regional and international appeal, we anticipate that this new facility will foster community and alumni interest while supporting the scholarly use of the materials by researchers throughout the region an d from around the world."

The new space reflects the Libraries' commitment to improve access, storage, and services while providing a place for community-building and innovation. With nearly 2800 square feet of space, it significantly expands the current Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room's space, providing ample room to house rapidly growing collections of books, serials, audiovisual material, and reference resources. It will include spaces for exhibits, instruction, and special events.

The Libraries Gateway Study Center, designed by William Pereira, is part of the architectural heritage of UC Irvine and is ideally situated to serve a cross section of the community. It is located on Aldrich Park at the heart of campus, close to student services and cultural resources. This highly visible and important facility is located next to a patio that can be used for large-scale events and performances.

Julia Lupton
Julia Lupton

About the UC Irvine Libraries: As the largest research collection in the area, the UC Irvine Libraries are a strategic information resource for the Orange County region, and play an important role in advancing research, development, education and patient care at UCI, and at the local, State and national level. The Libraries are comprised of four facilities: the Langson Library, the Ayala Science Library, the Grunigen Medical Library, and the Libraries Gateway Study Center, and its premier collections include over 3.4 million volumes, and 137,000 journals in electronic and print subscriptions. Each year, over 1.7 million visitors enter the Libraries for learning and discovery. For more information, visit lib.uci.edu.
About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving employment hub in one of the nation's safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it's ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 year s old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It's Orange County's second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.