Explore Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with the Library of Congress

May is National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Looking for ways to commemorate this month using primary sources? Blogs from Library of Congress provide links to resources you can use. Here are some suggestions:

Chinese Band, 1904

Chinese Band, 1904

  • Learn the story behind the creation of Asian-Pacific Heritage Month on the In Custodia Legis blog.
  • Folklife Today features links to folk recordings from China, Japan and Korea.
  • Learn about the history of the 50th U.S. state from Teaching with the Library of Congress.
  • Teaching with the Library of Congress also provides ideas for working with the oral histories of veterans from the Asian-Pacific American community. You’ll find links to even more in Folklife Today.

Here are some suggestions for more primary sources relating to Asian-Pacific American heritage:

Listen to interviews with the people of Tibet as they talk about life in traditional Tibet and also under the cultural revolution.

Explore the various languages of southern Asia through the South Asian Literary Recordings Project.

Some of the hundreds of participants at the 10th-annual Hmong New Year Celebration in downtown Chico, California. Carol Highsmith, 2012

Some of the hundreds of participants at the 10th-annual Hmong New Year Celebration in downtown Chico, California. Carol Highsmith, 2012

Learn about Hawaiian music, Laotian American Song and Dance,and Chinese American Song in features from the Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America.

The World Digital Library can also lead to materials that document the lives of the ancestors of those from the Asian and Pacific Islands.

For even more, visit the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month portal. This page features resources from a variety of federal cultural heritage organizations and teaching resources.

Let us know in the comments how you and your students will commemorate this special month.

Tragedy and Transformation: Looking at San Francisco’s Chinatown with Primary Sources

Much of the city, including its Chinese immigration enclave, Chinatown, was destroyed by tremors and fires. While this was a devastating tragedy, it was also an opportunity to rebuild and renew. Below is a series of photographs from the Library’s Prints and Photographs collections that offers a path for student engagement with San Francisco’s pre- and post-earthquake Chinatown.