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Asian Life in America

The experience and impact of Asian Americans as recorded by the news media
Learn what makes this product unique
  • A comprehensive collection that captures the full scope of the Asian American experience
  • More than 35 million primary documents from diverse sources and perspectives, both historical and contemporary
  • An easy-to-use online resource—updated daily—that reveals broader insights, from the 18th century to today

The contributions and experiences of Asian Americans are integral to United States history. From 18th-century immigrant communities to 19th-century labor rights to contemporary discourse around social justice, people of Asian descent have helped shape the story of America. Now, with a greater focus on uncovering the full depth of our shared history, students and scholars are examining America’s past and present through a wider, more diverse lens.

Asian Life in America is the most comprehensive digital collection of primary source documents from and about Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage—including Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, South Asians, Vietnamese and many others. Featuring diverse perspectives from more than 35 million primary source documents in 41 languages, this three-part series allows researchers in numerous disciplines to interpret and understand the cultures, histories and daily lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across four centuries.

Series 1: 1704-1941: Early 18th century to U.S. entry into World War II
Asian American history comes to life in this wide-ranging series. Through firsthand perspectives and reportage, Series 1: 1704-1941 sheds light on the experiences of and attitudes toward early immigrants, offering insight into three centuries of Asian American communities and cultures. Coverage includes the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the California gold rush, the Chinese Exclusion Act, U.S. expansion in American Samoa and Hawai’i, Angel Island, relevant court cases, and many other issues and events. Researchers and students will also find coverage of international events, such as the Philippine Insurrection, the Opium Wars and European colonization in Asia; as well as important figures, from Anna May Wong and Duke Kahanamoku to Tye Leung Schulze and Wong Kim Ark.

Series 2: 1942-2017: World War II to the 21st century
Spanning a period of rapid change, Series 2: 1942-2017 covers the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Japanese internment camps, the Vietnam and Korean wars, numerous labor and civil rights struggles, and the first Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to serve in Congress. It documents the careers of I.M. Pei, Bruce Lee, Kalpana Chawla, Philip Vera Cruz and many others. Through firsthand reporting, editorials, obituaries, illustrations and advertisements, students and researchers will find rich primary source material to complement a variety of fields, including immigration, politics, film, anthropology, history and much more.

Series 3: 2018-Today: Asian Americans in the 21st century
Available by subscription from NewsBank. For more information on Series 3, visit

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Areas of Study
This product supports the following subjects
American Studies
Asian Studies
Ethnic Studies
Immigration Studies
South Asian Studies
US History
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