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Category: Asian Division

“Communism or freedom?”: Thai Anti-Communist Posters at the Library of Congress

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

The Southeast Asian Rare Book Collection, accessible at the Asian Reading Room, contains some unique items from the Cold War era; specifically, documents produced by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and disseminated in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar. This blog features the USIA Cold War-era Thai collection and a series of posters, “Communism or freedom?”

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Lao Literature in Diaspora at 50

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

Lao poetry in America has gone in diverse directions since the end of the Southeast Asian conflicts in the 1970s. It has served a variety of social and cultural purposes for many of the communities who were rebuilding their lives and considering their next directions. Over the last five decades, poetry has been one of the leading forms of literary expression among those with roots in Laos, including ethnic Lao, Khmu, Tai Dam, Lue, Iu Mien, and Hmong, with works composed primarily in American English but often introducing new words from their heritage, in addition to sharing their perspectives on history and traditional beliefs, myths, and their personal and collective dreams as they engaged with an America on the verge of significant cultural shifts thanks to computers and the internet. This post takes a look at some of the opportunities and challenges readers and writers alike have faced to collect and share these works.

Black and white photo of Jade Snow Wong in pottery studio

New Display at Library of Congress Highlights Jade Snow Wong

Posted by: Joshua Kueh

In conjunction with May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, a new display titled “Celebrating the Art and Literature of Jade Snow Wong (1922-2006)” is open to the public in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building until June 5, 2023. This blog introduces several display items that showcase the career of this pioneering Chinese American ceramist and author.

A yellow book cover with Chinese writing in the upper left corner.

Yongle Encyclopedia Volumes Fully Digitized

Posted by: Cameron Penwell

The Yongle Encyclopedia (Yongle dadian), completed in 1408, was premodern China's, and perhaps the world's, largest reference work. The Library of Congress holds 41 unique volumes, which have been fully digitized and made available online. This post traces the compilation, transmission, near loss, and contemporary preservation of this momentous work. We invite book-lovers to enjoy in high resolution its exquisite calligraphy and illustrations.

Collection of Wartime Messages from China to the American People (1943-1945) and Other Materials at the Asian Division, Library of Congress

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

This blog post highlights the Library of Congress Asian Division’s “Collection of Wartime Messages from China to the American People (1943-1945) and Other Materials.” The collection is made up of items related to the Second Sino-Japanese War, among which are 2,100 rarely seen hand-written letters, booklets, and scrolls in Chinese that were created in wartime China.

Large metal hollow globe on a metal frame with metal orbit trails surrounding it

An Evening with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Maria Ressa

Posted by: Joshua Kueh

(The following is a cross-post by Joshua Kueh, Southeast Asian Reference Librarian, Asian Division. It originally appeared in the blog, From the Catbird Seat.) On Saturday, December 3, 2022, the Library of Congress will host an evening with 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Maria Ressa. A journalist with extensive experience in Asia, Maria Ressa is …