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Southeast Asian Collection: Asian Collections at the Library of Congress


This collection comprises thousands of books, including monographs, multivolume sets, and pamphlets in various languages, which are accessible in the Asian Reading Room. Please note that English-language books are considered part of the General Collections are available through the Library's Main Reading Room.

Overview of the Southeast Asian Book Collection

Chart showing books in the Library of Congress collections by national languages of Southeast Asian origin.

The Southeast Asian collection at the Asian Division includes books covering a wide array of subjects, excluding legal works which are at the Law Library, in many languages of the region, including Burmese, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese and many others. The following chart depicts a breakdown of Southeast Asian books throughout the Library by language including the five largest languages: Indonesian (121,606 titles), Thai (41,006), Vietnamese (33,406), Malay (13,244), and Burmese (12,943). Some languages and language groups falling within the "other" category include Tagalog, Lao, Javanese, Austronesian, Khmer, Sundanese, Batak, Minangkabau, Iban, Mon-Khmer, Kachin, Shan, Dayak, Cebuano, Bugis, Iloko, and Tai. There are works in many other languages besides those listed here.

In total, the Southeast Asian collection at the Asian Division, plus Southeast Asian material throughout the Library, includes 327,429 titles as of October 2020. That includes 218,242 titles held in the Asian Division, 29,587 in the Law Library, 3,083 in electronic format (e-book, e-journal or online), 1,558 in the Main Reading Room (RRS) and 73,509 titles in the General Collections. Please note the graphic pictured here does not include works in English or other European languages. It represents a smaller subset of all Southeast Asian books at the Library highlighting just those works in a Southeast Asian language.

Learn More About the Southeast Asian Book Collection

For specific information about holdings from different countries and historical colonial entities, please consult the bibliographies listed here. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.