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Exhibits and Collections


Asian Pacific American History

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders can trace their histories to a region that spans more than half the globe. They have played key roles in shaping America's past, leaving an enduring impact in areas such as work, politics, culture, and law. They have done so as immigrants, sojourners, settlers, refugees, citizens, non-citizens, residents, U.S. nationals, and members of overthrown sovereign kingdoms. Join us in exploring the rich and complex histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through NMAH's collections, exhibitions, archives, and scholarly research

Image Credit: Pro skater Judi Oyama skating downhill at the Capitola Classic, 1980. Photo by Richard Oyama.

Past Highlights



Image Credit: Bravespace, illustration by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Abstract oil painting depicting cows on with a geometric background.

Works by Asian American Artists from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art on Pinterest

Image credit: Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Cows in Pasture, 1923, oil on canvas, overall: 51.12 × 76.52 cm (20 1/8 × 30 1/8 in.), framed: 24 × 33.94 × 2.19 cm (9 7/16 × 13 3/8 × 7/8 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (Gift of George Biddle), 2014.136.94

Exhibits and Collections

The Asian and Pacific Islander Experience in America

Guide to Asian American and Pacific Islander Resources at the Library of Congress Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese American Internment at Manzanar Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Highlights from the Veterans History Project Behind Barbed Wire: Japanese American Internment Camp Newspapers (illustrated StoryMap) Ethnic Arts Project Collection Chinese American Song Chinese Exclusion Act: Primary Documents in American History Collections Overviews—American Studies: Asian and Pacific-Islander Americans Collection Snapshot: John Katsu and the End of WWII Discrimination Against Asian and Pacific Islander Americans: A Research Guide Filipino American Materials: A Resource Guide From Snowballs to Sculptures: Material Culture that Melts Guam Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture (Finding Aid) Guide to Asian American and Pacific Islander Materials in the Manuscript Division Hawaii Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture (Finding Aid) Hawaiian mixed-race young adults and children photographed by Caroline Haskins, 1905-1909 Hawaiian Song Japanese American Internment Camp Newspapers, 1942 to 1946 Japanese Students Enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy, 1904 Laotian American Song and Dance Library of Congress Research Center: Asian Reading Room
Local Legacies: Celebrating Community Roots
Lowell Folklife Project Collection (Finding Aid) Margaret Mead Human Nature and the Power of Culture Patsy T. Mink Papers Relational Reconstruction Toolkit The Seeing Lost Enclaves Project with Innovator in Residence Jeffrey Yoo Warren Today in History: Potomac Blossoms Today in History: The Rock Springs Massacre Warren M. Tsuneishi papers (PDF finding aid)

Voices from the Veterans History Project

Asian Pacific Americans: Going for Broke Finding Aid to Personal Narratives of Evacuation and Relocation of Japanese Americans During World War II, 1924-2018: Veterans History Project (U.S.) Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Highlights from the Veterans History Project

Asia and the Pacific Islands

Asian Collections: An Illustrated Guide The Chinese Rare Books Digital Collection Country Study by Continent: Asia
Digitized Newspapers: Topics from Chronicling America
The Fahnestock South Sea Collection Four Masters of Chinese Storytelling Video Collection (Finding Aid) Harold C. Conklin Philippine Collection (Finding Aid) Japanese Prints: Seasons and Places (Flickr site) Japanese Rare Books Korean Bibliography Korean Rare Books Philippine Bibliography Selections from the Naxi Manuscript Collection South Asian Manuscripts at the Library of Congress—Research Guide South Asian Newspapers at the Library of Congress—Research Guide South Asian Recordings in the Archive of Folk Culture (Finding Aid) South Manchurian Railway Company Publications—Research Guide Tai Manuscripts in the Southeast Asia Rare Book Collection at the Library of Congress—Research Guide Tibetan Oral History Vasant Panchami: A Celebration of Learning Yongle Encyclopedia

Asian American Artists Care Package | Cultural Nutrients For Times Like This (Presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center) Celebrate! Where Asia Meets America Cherry Blossoms Chiura Obata: American Modern A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle by Asians in America Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands Phenomenal Physicist: A Portrait of Chien-Shiung Wu A Single Heart Can Transform a Nation What Does It Mean to Be American?

Folklife Magazine Articles

American Ginseng: Local Knowledge, Global Roots Annotations on a Moment of Silence: Reflections Following the Atlanta Massacre Asian American Chefs Shaping D.C.'s Culinary Landscape Asian American Folklore: Redefining and Debating Meanings and Methodologies Buddha Overcomes All Obstacles: Sharing the Treasures of Cambodian Dance and Music Chinese Recipe: Nourishing Ginseng Chicken Soup A Tribute to Corky Lee and the Fight for “Photographic Justice” Cowboys in the Tropics: A History of the Hawaiian Paniolo Defining Ourselves: Multiracial Identity for Modern-Day Asian Americans Dynasty Center: Exclusion and Displacement in Los Angeles's Chinatown Eighteen Feet of Fabric Can Go a Long Way: How Monica Jahan Bose Connects Bangladesh and D.C. in Climate Action (includes video) For a Better Journey: Losang Samten’s Mandala of Medicine for a Healing World A Forgotten Asian History of Oregon in No-No Boy’s “1603” From Family Photos to Filipiniana: Piecing Together My Filipino American Identity The Happiness Screen: A Korean Daughter’s Story of Pain and Hope How Foraging in My Backyard Helped Me Connect with Korean Culture How Green Is Your Deen? Understanding the Connection Between Environmentalism and Islam How I Found My Father's Memory in Flushing, New York In the Days of Peony Flowers: A Contemporary Reflection on Chinese Kunqu Opera In Fort Smith, Arkansas, a Flag Monument Holds Vietnamese American Generational Memories Journey to the Zest: Food Memories in Taiwanese and Middle Eastern Flavors Just Dance: Connecting Life, Death, Traditions, and Communities in L.A. Kapa Pounding with Micah Kamohoali‘i: Preserving the Art of Hawaiian Bark Cloth Korean Recipe:Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup) Kulintang Kultura: Filipino Musical Musings and American Meanings Madame Kansuma at 102: On Confinement and Little Tokyo's Cultural Heritage A Man of Peace: Grand Master Kim’s Vision for Chicago and the World Programming, Performance, and Public Art: Inclusion through Intrusion Recipe: Chả Giò, More than the “Vietnamese Spring Roll” Sacrifice and Stigma: Mental Health in Chinese America Speaking to Her People: How Rapper Ruby Ibarra Sings to and about Immigrants Spring with a Haft Seen: Family and Food Traditions for Nowruz The Story of a People and a Plant: American Ginseng and the Hmong People Taiwanese Turnip Cake: A Taste of Luck and Grandma’s Love for Lunar New Year Torta — Filipino Christmas Cake, I Think Turkmen Pilaf to Foster Friendship and Celebrate the New Year Voting Their Stories: Asian Americans Reckon with Race and Community What Is “Authentic” Korean Bulgogi? What Is Rijsttafel? A Dish to Bridge Dutch and Indonesian Identities What My North Korean Friend Taught Me about Home What They Carried When the Japanese American Incarceration Camps Closed What We Keep: A Single Mother’s Escape from Laos Where Bapsang Is Home: Korean “Cottage Foods” in America Why Every Filipino American Should Know about Larry Itliong Why Taiko Feels Like Home: Japanese American Diaspora in Nen Daiko You Belong Here: Asian American Women in Agriculture

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Blog (Smithsonian Institution)

Art for Social Action: Soul & Ink's Asian American Identity and D.C. Community Atomic Nancy: Sounds of Los Angeles Blacktop Battles: 9-Man Volleyball and the Chinese Youth Club of Washington, D.C. The Chinese Community of Tacoma, Washington: A Story of Forced Migration Coming to America: The Muslim American Experience Discovering Chinese Heritage, Part 1: Chinatowns Discovering Chinese Heritage, Part 2: Food Echoes of History: Chinese Poetry at the Angel Island Immigration Station George Abe: Ripples of Japanese Internment Love of Life as Survival: Malini Srinivasan and Bharatanatyam Dance Names on the Move: The Stories of My Many Names Remembering E.O. 9066: San Jose Taiko on Musical and Historical Resonances The Root of Our Korean American Community Rumah Indonesia: Young Adults on the Move Ted’s Talk: A Conversation on Chinese Immigration History Uncle Ng and Chinese Muk’yu Music What Does It Mean to Be American Muslim?