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Falvey Memorial Library Shares Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Image courtesy of The Library of Congress.

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month—Celebrating the “histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.” This month was selected to commemorate AAPI heritage as the first Japanese immigrants migrated to the United States on May 7, 1842. The transcontinental railroad was also completed on May 10, 1869—the majority of the construction completed by thousands of Chinese immigrants.

AAPI Heritage Month was originally a commemorative week, with President Jimmy Carter signing House Joint Resolution 1007 (becoming Public Law 95-419) on October 5, 1978, proclaiming the “7 day period beginning on May 4, 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.'” Congress passed Public Law 101-283 on May 9, 1990, extending the observance to a month, and on Oct. 23, 1992, passed Public Law 102-450 annually designating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

As we celebrate the heritage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, we must combat continued racism against the AAPI community. Last year Stop AAPI Hatereported over 2,800 hate incidents across the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Falvey Memorial Library condemns anti-Asian racial discrimination and violence. We stand with the AAPI members of our Villanova community and all AAPI members in solidarity.

The Federal Asian Pacific American Council selected “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration” as the theme for May 2022. In this spirit, we are happy to share AAPI resources available at Falvey Memorial Library. The works listed below are only a snapshot of scholarship on AAPI heritage. No list of this nature could ever be comprehensive, but we hope that this list, will serve as a starting point.

Curated by Jutta Seibert, subject librarian for Global Interdisciplinary Studies, the Asian Studies research guide and the Chinese Culture research guide are excellent resources. Seibert is available for research consultations.

Asian Studies Research Guide

Academic Journals

Newspapers and Magazines

Primary Sources

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, and Companions

Books and Book Chapters

Chinese Culture Research Guide 

Encyclopedias, Handbooks, and Companions

Secondary Sources

Streaming Video

Primary Sources

Be sure to explore scholarship from faculty in Villanova University’s Asian Studies Program:

Andrew B. Liu, Assistant Professor of History

Nathan Badenoch, PhD, Associate Professor of Japanese and Asian Studies

Kayo Shintaku, PhD, Assistant Teaching Professor, Coordinator of Japanese Language & Cultural Studies

Davey K. Tomlinson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy

Qi Wang, PhD, Associate Professor, Area Coordinator, Interpersonal Communication

Jie Xu, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Communication

Naomi Yamakawa, Japanese Instructor, Department of Global Interdisciplinary Studies

For more books and other resources by and about people of Asian-Pacific ancestry check out this blog by Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, and Deborah Bishov published on May 10, 2021.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 





Congress, T. L. of, Administration, N. A. and R., Humanities, N. E. for the, Art, N. G. of, Service, N. P., Institution, U. S., & Museum, U. H. M.  Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2022 (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2022, from

FAPAC – FAPAC Announces Theme for the 2022 Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. (n.d.). Retrieved May 9, 2022, from

The Rise In Anti-Asian Attacks During The COVID-19 Pandemic. NPR. Retrieved May 9, 2022, from

The story behind Asian Pacific American Heritage, and why it’s celebrated in May. (n.d.). NPR.Org. Retrieved May 9, 2022, from



Falvey Memorial Library Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


By Erica Hayes and Deborah Bishov

Falvey Memorial Library is pleased to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to celebrate the rich history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). May is an important month for Asian and Pacific Islander American history. The first Japanese immigrant arrived in the U.S. on May 7, 1843. The great transcontinental railroad connecting California with the Eastern U.S. was also completed on May 10, 1869. More than 20,000 Chinese workers contributed to its construction.

The U.S. Census defines Asians as people whose backgrounds are from East, Southeast, and South Asia. This includes countries such as China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam, among many others. The largest groups of Pacific Islanders are communities native to Hawaii, Guam, and Samoa.  Despite their contributions, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have experienced struggles finding their place in the United States. The federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited Chinese immigration to the U.S. until 1943. Approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans (most of whom were U.S. Citizens) suspected of “dual loyalties” to Japan were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. Today, this racism continues to impact Asian and Pacific Islander Americans through the alarming rise of Anti-Asian hate crimes and, most recently, the shootings of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta and a mass shooting in Indianapolis in which the majority of victims were members of the Sikh community.

To honor AAPI Heritage Month, Falvey Memorial Library has compiled a list of books and other resources by and about people of Asian-Pacific ancestry. No list of this nature could ever be comprehensive, but we hope that this list will serve as a starting point. The list below includes links to books available in print or as e-books from Falvey’s collections, where available. For books and other items not in our collections, we’ve linked wherever possible to WorldCat, which will show you which local libraries hold the book if you are off-campus. If you’re on campus, you can request these (and many other books) through EZBorrow.

Memoirs & Autobiographies:

Other Nonfiction:








Other Resources related to Anti-Asian Violence:

Other lists of recommendations:

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Last Modified: May 10, 2021