Collections

The Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) Institute connects New York’s Asian/Pacific American (A/PA) communities with students and scholars, promoting exchanges of knowledges to encourage change. Founded in 1996 in response to student interest, the A/P/A Institute nurtures the production of academic, literary, and artistic work about the largely marginalized experience of A/PAs. The building of collections and archives is a crucial component of this mission. Archives preserve physical documentation of the past. Scholars, artists, activists, and community members need access to the materials from which their present has been created. A/P/A Institute is facilitating the process of finding an accessible, permanent home for New York Metro region and East Coast A/PA materials. Our vision is to provide collections that allow for engagement with and dialogue about the experiences of A/PAs.

For its efforts, the A/P/A Institute at NYU was awarded the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York’s 2015 Award for Outstanding Support of Archives and the Society for American Archivists‘ (SAA) 2013 Diversity Award.

By combining scholarship, collecting, and the community, we can begin to tell the stories that have structured our political culture but often go unnoticed. We are building archives where filmmakers can engage representations of the past to comment on the present, where community organizers can learn from their predecessors, and where school-groups can come to terms with their history. Armed with access and knowledge we can forward our stories and fight for our needs.

A/P/A collections are housed in multiple repositories within NYU Special Collections including Fales Library & Special CollectionsTamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, and New York University Archives. The Fales Library & Special Collections houses literary, artistic, and pop cultural collections. The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives houses collections that document political and social movements. The New York University Archives serves as the final repository for the historical records of NYU.

Many collections are stored off-site, so research visits must be scheduled in advance. To make an appointment to access A/P/A collections, please create a Special Collections Research Account. All collections are open to the public. Please direct questions on how to create a Special Collections Research Account or schedule an appointment to the appropriate repository:

The Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU
Located on the 3rd floor of the New York University Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012.
fales.library@nyu.edu, (212) 998-2596

The NYU Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Located on the 10th floor of the New York University Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012.
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu, (212) 998-2630

New York University Archives
Located on the 10th floor of the New York University Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012.
university-archives@nyu.edu, (212) 998-2641

Please note that NYU Special Collections is undergoing a major renovation over the next two years (2019-20), during which time the repositories will sometimes be closed to visitors. For more information, please visit the Special Collections Renovation Project website.


Collection-building and archiving is a major effort. In addition to identifying important collections, archival resources must be preserved and organized to make them accessible to researchers. To assist in this work, the A/P/A Institute funded Graduate Scholars in A/PA Archives from 2005-17. These Graduate Scholars worked at the A/P/A Institute with community groups, researchers, and the NYU library to procure and promote A/PA-relevant collections, while pursuing a Master of Arts in the Archives and Public History program. The academic program and work at A/P/A Institute uniquely equipped the students with the knowledge and background to advocate for A/PA-relevant collections and collecting practices. Through their necessary work at A/P/A Institute, students connected community groups and researchers to the A/P/A Institute research archives. Together, researchers, archivists, and collections promoted the value of understanding of A/PA experiences and history.

With a network of archival students and professionals, A/P/A Institute continues to conduct survey visits by request. If you would like to request a survey visit, or learn more about archival donation, please contact us at apa.archives@nyu.edu.