Preserving & Sharing Our Histories
The UMass Lowell Southeast Asian Digital Archive is a community-centered archive of cultural heritage materials from Southeast Asian American communities in the greater Lowell, Mass., region.
The Southeast Asian Digital Archive seeks to collect, preserve, and share historical materials related to Southeast Asians in the Greater Lowell area, with particular focus on refugee resettlement and community building from the 1970s to the present. Our goal is to highlight Southeast Asian voices and viewpoints, and to educate the public about the resilience and diversity of Southeast Asian Americans.
At SEADA, we believe that it is important to preserve the histories of Southeast Asian communities in their own voices. By collecting, preserving, and sharing these stories, SEADA seeks to contribute to the understanding of Southeast Asians in the US.
Abbreviated Statement on Refugee Camp Collections
Through the years UMass Lowell has acquired collections from white western former international aid workers (records creators) created during their time working in and visiting refugee camps, holding centers, and border settlements in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand during the 1970s and 1980s. The collections have displaced Southeast Asian peoples (Cambodians, Hmong, Lao, Vietnamese, and others) as records subjects. These collections provide partial context for the resettlement of Southeast Asian communities to the Lowell area during the same period. Oral histories created by UMass Lowell through the years have included Southeast Asians and have touched on the gaps of knowledge and record. All of these collections directly support the courses at UMass Lowell and research conducted by students and faculty (records users).
SEADA is digitizing parts of these collections about displaced Southeast Asian communities to give access to these historical records. SEADA does not necessarily endorse the views in these collections.
These collections are historical and as such may have views, language and imagery in them that are no longer used or considered appropriate today.
SEADA is made possible by support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the UMass Creative Economy Initiatives Fund, the Lowell Cultural Council, and the Chancellor’s 2020 Challenge Grant and donors like you.