Asian American Studies Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources


Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help

Asian/Pacific American Studies Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

“Asian Americans’’ will be defined as the population living in the U.S. who are Asian or Pacific Islander descent, “in whole or in part, regardless of whether they’re U.S.- or foreign-born, a U.S. citizen or not, their length of residence, or in the U.S. legally or illegally. I also use the following terms to mean the same thing: Asian Pacific American (APA), and Asian Pacific Islander (API).”

C. N . Le, Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asia America .

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Specific subject headings by ethnic group:

Ethnic groups:


Filipino Americans

Pakistani Americans

Asian Americans



Cambodian Americans

Hmong Americans

South Asians— United States

Chamorro (Microneisan People)

Japanese Americans

Thai Americans

Chinese Americans

Khmers— United States


East Indian Americans

Korean Americans

Vietnamese Americans

East Indians-- United States

Laotian Americans


Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject.

Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on Asian/Pacific American Studies include:
Alien labor, Asian
American Literature--Asian American Authors
Asian American Families
Asian Americans in Television
Asian Americans--Ethnic identity
Asian Americans in literature
Asian Americans--Fiction
Asian Americans--Politics and government

Immigrants-economic conditions
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation
Japanese-American soldiers--History
Mail order brides
Somoan Islands
Women immigrants
World War, 1939-1945 -- Women.


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in Women's Studies include:

Asian Americans Information Directory. Detroit: Gale, 1994. Rosenberg REF E184.O6 A844 1994

Gall, Susan and Irene Natividad, eds. Asian American Almanac: A Reference Work on Asians in the United States. 1995. Rosenberg REF E184.O6 A824 1995

Gall, Susan and Irene Natividad, eds. Reference Library of Asian America.Rosenberg REF E184 .O6 R45 1995 (JAD)

Gall, Susan B. and Timothy L. Gall. Statistical Record of Asian Americans. Detroit: Gale, 1993.Rosenberg REF E184.O6 S73 1993

Kim, Hyung-Chan. Dictionary of Asian American History. New York: Greenwood, 1986. Rosenberg REF E184.O6 D53 1986

Kim, Hyung-chan. Distinguished Asian Americans: A Biographical Dictionary. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999. Rosenberg REF E184.O6 D57 1999

Nelson, Emmanuel S. Asian American Novelists : A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000. Rosenberg REF PS153.A84 A825 2000

Ng, Franklin, ed. Asian American Encyclopedia. New York: Cavendish, 1995. Rosenberg REF E184.O6 A827 1995

Sinnott, Susan . Extraordinary Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. New York: Children’s Press, 2003. Rosenberg REF E184.O6 S558 2003

Trudeau, Lawrence J., ed. Asian American Literature: Reviews and Criticism of Works by American Writers of Asian Descent. Detroit: Gale, 1999. Rosenberg REF PS153.A84 A82 1999

Who's Who among Asian Americans. New York: Gale, 1995. Rosenberg REF E184.06 W46 1995

Zia, Helen and Susan B. Gall, eds. Asian American Biography. Detroit: U.X.L., 2004. Rosenberg REF E186.06 .A822 2004

Zia, Helen and Susan B. Gall, eds. Notable Asian Americans. Detroit: Gale, 1995. Rosenberg REF E184.06 N67 1995

Immigration Reference

Ciment, James. Encyclopedia of American Immigration. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 2001. Rosenberg REF JV6465 .E53 2001

Cordasco, Francesco. Dictionary of American Immigration History. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1990. Rosenberg REF JV6450 .D53 1990

Dinnerstein, Leonard. Ethnic Americans: A History of Immigration. New York: Columbia, 1999. Rosenberg REF E184.A1 D48 1999

Flanders, Stephen A. Atlas of American Migration. New York: Facts, 1998. REF G1201.E27 F5 1998 (DTN)

Haines, David W. Refugees in America in the 1990s: A Reference Handbook. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996. Rosenberg REF E184 .A1 R43 1985

Multicultural Reference

Allen, James Paul. We the People: An Atlas of America’s Ethnic Diversity. New York: Macmillan, 1988. Rosenberg REF E184.A1 A479 1988.

Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1995.Rosenberg REF E184.A1 G14 1995

Levinson, David and Melvin Ember. American Immigrant Cultures: Builders of a Nation. New York: Simon, 1997.Rosenberg REF E184.A1 A63448 1997

Shcaefer, Richard T. Racial and Ethnic Groups. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice, 2000. Rosenberg REF E184.A1 S3 2000

Shinagawa, Larry Hajime and Michael Jang. Atlas of American Diversity. Walnut Creek, Ca.: AltaMira Press, 1998. Rosenberg REF E184.A1 S575 1998

Pacific Studies Reference

An Illustrated History of Samoans in California. Carson, CA: Kin, 1994. F870.S17 P68 1994

 Lal, Brij V. and Kate Fortune. The Pacific Islands : An Encyclopedia. Honolulu: U Hawaii, 2000. DU17 .P3 2000

Asian Americans (Specific groups)

Do, Hien Duc. The Vietnamese Americans. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999. E184.V53 D6 1999

Pan, Lynn. The Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas. Cambridge: Harvard U, 1998.DS732 .E53 1999

Niiya, Brian. Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present. New York: Facts on File, 2001. E184.J3 E53 2001



Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online. More information about obtaining a library bar code.

Suggested Titles of Periodicals: Amerasia Journal, Asian Pages (St. Paul), Asian Reporter, The (Portland), Asian Week (San Francisco), Filipinas, Filipino Reporter (NY), Journal of Asian American Studies, Little India (NY), Northwest Asian Weekly (Seattle), Hyphen Magazine, Jade Magazine, and Yolk.

At your local libraries, you may be able to access many of the journals with full-text by using various electronic periodical databases such as InfoTrac and Ethnic Newswatch or online from the Internet.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for hospitality topics are the InfoTrac Business File ASAP, Academic ASAP, and the OneFile. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Refereed titles."

Ethnic Newswatch

"Ethnic NewsWatch is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish) and comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Designed to provide the 'other side of the story,' ENW titles offer additional viewpoints from those proffered by the mainstream press. Coverage begins in 1990."


Online Texts

The Asian Population 2002 (U.S. Census Brief)

Facts for Features: Asian American Heritage Month, May 2004 (Census Bureau)

Map of Asian American Population. Census 2000 ( U.S. Census Bureau)

A Profile of the Nation's Foreign-Born Population From Asia (Census Bureau, 2000 Update)

We, the Asian Americans


Finding Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites for Women's Studies. If yu use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.
Stanford University Libraries offer a quick start guide to library research on Asian American Studies.
Asian and Pacific Island population census statistics and reports (1990 and 2000).
Facts on Feature: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2004. ( April 19, 2004 )
Asian Americans: An Annotated Directory of Internet Resources from University of Redlands.
This is a short Asian American subject page from UC Santa Barbara Library.
The Smithsonian Program for APA Studies featured many excellent exhibitions.
Asian American History Timeline
(Center for Educational Telecommunications) is adapted from Sucheng Chan’s Book Asian Americans: An Interpretive History, Boston, Twayne Publishers, 1991. celebrates Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month —- a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Preliminary Guide to Resources on Asian Pacific American Artists is posted by the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
UCI Southeast Asian Archive.
This site is run by the Asian Pacific American Caucus (APAC) for resources on the study of Asian Pacific American politics.
Organization of Chinese Americans has compiled a searchable national directory of 2,300 APA organizations.
Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus lists over 100 Asian Pacific American community resources.


Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Webpages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask
A UC Berkeley - Teaching Library Internet Workshops

Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Developed by Olin-Kroch-Uris Libraries at Cornell University.

Evaluating and Citing Source
A quick and easy check list to use when determining the quality of web documents. Prepared by Librarians at CCSF.


Need More Assistance?

For additional help you may contact the Reference Desk by phone at (415) 452-5543 or stop by the East and West reference desks at the Rosenberg Library.

Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
Fifty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs available!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Yi Liang
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5469

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Last updated March 15, 2005