The Library holds a unique collection of Southeast Asian-related materials in economics, international relations, politics, social and cultural studies. With more than 700,000 items in English and Southeast Asian languages, the physical collection comprises books, journals, maps, microforms and photographs among other formats.

Search and locate physical collection at SEALion, the Library’s online catalogue, or view selected digitised items on SEALionPLUS, the Library’s online digital archives.

Private Papers

The private papers collection provides a historical perspective on the social and political events of 20th century Southeast Asia, and comprises the donated materials of more than 30 prominent individuals like David Marshall and Tan Cheng Lock. Visit the Private Papers hub page at SEALionPLUS for more information.

Antiquarian Books

The Library’s collection of rare and antiquarian books on the region date between 1585 to 1930.  Most have been converted into microform or digitised to facilitate easier access. The list of titles is available here on the SEALion catalogue.
A selection of antiquarian books have been digitised. Please consult the Antiquarian Books hub page at SEALionPLUS for more information.

Audio Visual Recordings

The audio-visual recordings consist largely of folk tales (via storytelling), documentaries, docudramas, and feature films.

Journals, Newspapers and Statistics

The Library subscribes to a number of print and electronic resources to support research needs. It provides access to more than 10,000 electronic resources, including full text journal articles. A resource listing can be found on this page.

The newspaper collection includes contemporary and historical newspapers in print, digital, and microform formats. For more information, please refer to the Microform Collection.

The statistics collection covers trade data, population data, household and housing data, etc. in Southeast Asian countries.

Maps and Atlases

The Library’s map collection is a unique collection of Southeast Asian cartographic materials. It consists of approximately 1,200 titles from 1768 onwards.

Oral History Interviews

ISEAS’ oral history project was first initiated in 1973 to generate primary source materials for scholarly use. The first interviews focused on local experiences of the Japanese Occupation and Singapore in the immediate post-war period and later expanded to include prominent personalities in Southeast Asian business, education, and politics. A notable part of the collection includes the oral histories of over a dozen generals and high-ranking policymakers on Myanmar’s post-independence political development and their involvement in various aspects of social and political development of post-war Myanmar in the 20th century.

More information is available at the Oral History hub page at SEALionPLUS.