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Southeast Asia Collection

Southeast Asia Collection Office Hours for Summer 2023 (June 5 - August 18)

Monday, Wednesday: 9:00AM - 4:00PM, room 497
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: by appointment only

Please contact the curator Hao Phan,, 815-753-1809, for research inquiries and appointment requests.


The Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection is an open-stack collection, located on the fourth floor of the university’s main library, the Founders Memorial Library. Materials from the Southeast Asia collection can be checked out -- except reference materials, periodicals (journals, newspapers, magazines), and special materials – or used anywhere in the library.

There is also a Southeast Asia Reading Room located within the collection, Room 495.  While the reading room is open to all NIU faculty, students, and visiting scholars, it is designed to promote and support research in Southeast Asian Studies. The reading room is open during the office hours of the collection and available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to reserve the reading room in advance, please contact Hao Phan,



Southeast Asia Digital Library

The Southeast Asia Digital Library (SEADL) contains hundreds of thousands of digital copies of research materials from Southeast Asia, freely accessible on the internet. Materials include manuscripts, photos, videos, and books. Supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the Henry Luce Foundation, this is a collaborative project between the Southeast Asia collections in the United States and libraries and institutions in Southeast Asia. Established in 2005, SEADL is based at Northern Illinois University.


The Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection is located on the 4th floor of the Founders Memorial Library (the main library). The collection is an open-stack collection that can be visited at any time during the open hours of the main library. Reference service provided by staff of the Southeast Asia Collection is available in Room 497 and Room 496.

SEA Contact Info

Hao Phan

Southeast Asia Curator


Phone: 815-753-1809


Joanna Kulma

Southeast Asia Library Specialist


Phone: 815-753-1819

The Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection at Northern Illinois University

Materials held in the Donn V. Hart Collection can be located by searching on the online catalog of the NIU University Libraries. Miscellaneous publications not suitable for shelving - such as single issues of periodicals, newspaper clippings, copies of articles - are filed and stored in the office of the Southeast Asia Collection, Room 496. A list of these "vertical files" is available online. Except reference and rare materials, all materials in the Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection are available for check out. Users at other institutions may also borrow materials from the collection through interlibrary loan.  

The Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection is considered one of the major Southeast Asia library collections in the United State and the only one of its kind in Illinois. The collection is used not only by faculty and students at Northern Illinois University (NIU) but also by scholars elsewhere in the country and the world. In 1963, an interdisciplinary Southeast Asia Program was established at NIU. In the following year, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies was founded to coordinate teaching, research and related activities for Southeast Asian Studies. The Southeast Asia library collection was organized at the same time to meet the increasing study and instructional needs of students and faculty. First housed in Swen Parson Hall, in 1977 the collection was moved to the Founders Memorial Library. In 1985, the collection was named the Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection in honor of Professor Hart, an anthropologist specializing in Philippine Studies who was director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at NIU from 1971 to 1981. The Donn V. Hart Southeast Asia Collection today holds an extensive collection of approximately 150,000 volumes of library materials pertaining to all eleven Southeast Asian countries: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Materials of various formats – books, periodicals, microform, audiovisual records, maps, archival collections, and online sources - are in English and Southeast Asian languages. The collection is particularly strong on Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Myanmar. Highlighted materials within the collection include a sizable collection of ancient Burmese manuscripts (palm-leaf, paper, kamavaca), Thai manuscripts (palm-leaf), and about 50 Asia maps produced between 1500s and 1700s.

Additional resources include:

Northern Illinois University

Profile Photo
Hao Phan
Hao Phan

Southeast Asia Curator

University Libraries

Nothern Illinois University

DeKalb, IL 60115


Phone: 815-753-1809

Fax: 815-753-9803