Southeast Asian History & Culture

Garebeg Maulud.
Garebeg Maulud. "Scarlet" kraton troops resting after a parade, 1931.

Supplementing the holdings of the Echols Collection on Southeast Asia, the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections contains substantial manuscript collections. Because of Cornell's predominance in Southeast Asian area studies, the Division has significant holdings relating to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Burma. Jacob Gould Schurman, third president of Cornell, was appointed to head the first Philippine Commission in 1898. His papers include extensive correspondence about the situation there, documenting his continuing advocacy of Philippine independence. After World War II Cornell participated in assistance programs in agricultural research and education at the Colleges of Agriculture and Forestry, University of the Philippines, under the sponsorship of the International Cooperation Administration, documented in collections including the Cornell Los Banos Records, Department of Plant Breeding Records, and the records of deans of the college of Agriculture William I. Myers and Charles Palm. Other collections on the Philippines include two photograph albums compiled by a provincial school superintendent from 1911 to 1923, items from the World War II Santo Thomas Internment Camp, and papers of Gerow D. Brill, an agricultural economist who served with the Department of Public instruction of the Philippine Islands, 1901-1902.

In the papers of anthropologist Lauriston Sharp, the Division also holds records from the Cornell-in-Thailand project, one of the Cross-Cultural Methodology projects conducted by the Department of Anthropology during the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, the papers of Hazel M. Hauck, a nutrition specialist, and Harry Hauser Love, who served as an advisor in rice breeding, document Cornell activities in Thailand.

There are also significant collections from elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The papers of Francois-Jules Harman, a French physician, natural scientist, and diplomat contain extensive diplomatic, archaeological, botanical, and ethnographic information. There are also records of the Governor of Cochin-china and its rule by the French. The photographs of Niels Douwes Dekker, a Dutch photographer, document Indonesia during the 1940s. This extensive collection is complemented by a number of other photograph albums documenting Dutch colonial life in Indonesia. The Division holds the papers of Professor John M. Echols on linguistics and Indonesian languages and literature.

Since 1982 the Division has collected papers of Vietnam War veterans. Other collections documenting the war include a set of photocopied documents on its origins, acquired through the Freedom of Information act by Cornell professor George McT. Kahin.

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