Overview

The Library holds a unique collection of Southeast Asian-related materials in areas encompassing 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, photographs among other formats. SEALion , the Library's online catalogue, allows you to search and browse the collection.

The Private Papers Collection  provides an historical perspective on the social, political and other aspects related to the region. The Collection comprises the donated materials of more than 30 prominent individuals like David Marshal and Tan Cheng Lock. Visit the Private Papers webpage 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, and users can request access at the Circulation Counter.

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 ranging from the years 1768 to current.

Oral History Interviews

ISEAS' oral history project was first initiated in 1973 to generate primary source materials for scholarly use. The interviews focused on local experiences of the Japanese Occupation and Singapore in the immediate post-war period. Subsequently, the scope of the interviews expanded to cover autobiographical memoirs of prominent personalities in business, education, and politics. Due to limited resources, the oral history programme became dormant after 1997. Oral history interviews at ISEAS are now conducted on a project basis.

Of special note in the collection are the oral histories of Myanmar's post-independence political development, conducted from 2017 to 2019 with the help of ISEAS’s former Senior Visiting Fellow U Ye Htut.  Over a dozen prominent generals and high-ranking policymakers have contributed their oral histories that document their life experiences and involvement in various aspects of social and political development of post-war Myanmar in the 20th century.

These interviews comprise more than 110 hours of audio recordings, with almost 2,900 pages of transcripts in the Burmese language. Sixteen interview recordings are available for access by scholars and academics interested in modern Myanmar history, while another three are embargoed until 31 Dec 2022.

Interested researchers may contact ISEAS Library (iseaslib@iseas.edu.sg) for more details.