Collections

The Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) Institute at New York University connects New York’s Asian/Pacific/American (A/PA) communities with students and scholars, promoting the exchange 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 Asian/Pacific Americans. The building of collections and archives is a crucial component of this mission. Our vision is to provide collections that allow for engagement with and dialogue about the experiences of Asian/Pacific Americans.

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.

As of January 21, 2021: NYU Special Collections is open for limited, appointment-based on-site services for current NYU faculty, staff, and students. A Special Collections Research Account (SCRA) is required to make an appointment. Staff will send information about the on-site service process after an appointment request has been made. Please email special.collections@nyu.edu in advance regarding your research questions. During visits, all individuals must abide by health and safety protocols as per University guidelines.


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 at NYU funded Graduate Scholars in A/P/A Archives from 2005-17. These Graduate Scholars worked with community groups, researchers, and NYU libraries to procure and promote A/P/A-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/P/A-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 A/P/A 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.

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