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Celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month with the Library of Congress

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The Library of Congress Asian Division provides access to a variety of interesting online resources that students might explore during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Here are a few examples.

Pacific Encounters in Nineteenth-Century Japan: Japan was isolated from many countries in the world for several centuries. However, in the 1800s, relations with other countries, including the United States, became more formalized. This collection highlights materials that document these interactions. Students can explore these materials and learn what the people of Japan thought of these visitors.

Pacific Encounters in Nineteenth-Century Japan; collection homepage

The Tibetan Oral History Project includes interviews with Tibetan people discussing the history of the country and some of the political and historical events taking place at the time of the interviews. Students might listen to the interviews and compare what they hear in the interviews with information they might find in current news media and other resources. English translations are included.

The journals of William Speiden document his travels as part of the mission of Commodore Matthew Perry to the China Seas and Japan in the 1850s. Student can compare his diary entries to the material in the Pacific Encounters in Nineteenth-Century Japan collection and compare and contrast the experiences and perspectives of Speiden and the Japanese.

William Speiden Journals, collection homepage

The South Asian Digital Collection contains material from and documenting activities from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Some of these items are in English and include translation dictionaries, travel logs, commentary on events of the day, and poetry and other kinds of literature.

For additional guidance in using these and other materials from the Library’s Asian Division, explore the research guide with information on the collections. Other research guides point to additional resources that may be of interest. The Library’s Four Corners of the World blog highlights resources from the Library’s international collections, including previous celebrations of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and other collection highlights from the Asian Division.

Looking for other teaching ideas? Explore the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog for previous blog posts on topics relating to Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. Minerva’s Kaleidoscope will also have ideas for kids and families that you can incorporate into classroom activities.

The Library will also be hosting a Family Day in celebration of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month on May 11 from 10:30-3:30pm. Participants will be able to see materials from the Library’s collections and participate in other activities.

How will you incorporate these and other materials into lessons celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage month? Please share them in the comments.

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