CORMOSEA was established in 1969 to enhance and coordinate national efforts to collect and disseminate research materials on Southeast Asia. Since then, CORMOSEA member institutions and librarians, buttressed by the Library of Congress Cooperative Acquisitions Program for Southeast Asia (CAPSEA), have led the way in building world-class print collections on Southeast Asia. Over the course of the past five decades, or more, our libraries have collectively acquired several million titles in over one hundred languages, and in multiple formats. These collections directly support the curriculum and research of faculty and students throughout North America and beyond.

Although it is hard to imagine a future without print books, there is no denying the profound impact digital technology has had on the mission of academic libraries. The shift from an analog to an increasingly digital culture has fundamentally transformed the information landscape. While CORMOSEA member institutions will continue to aggressively collect print materials well into the foreseeable future, digital resources enjoy an equal claim on our attention. CORMOSEA’s first foray into the world of digital librarianship came in the early 2000s. With funding from the United States Department of Education’s Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information Access (TICFIA) program, the Southeast Asia Digital Library (SEADL) was established at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 2005. More recently, in June 2019 CORMOSEA was awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to spur infrastructure development and capacity building. This generous award will materially enhance our ability to build and curate digital collections to meet the current, and emerging research and pedagogical needs of faculty and students in Southeast Asian Studies well into the future.



Dr. Ryan Wolfson-Ford, Southeast Asia Reference Librarian, Library of Congress (2022-)

Collection Development

Gregory Green, Curator of the Echols Collection on Southeast Asia, Cornell University (2022-)

Digital Initiatives

Karen Stoll Farrell, Librarian for South Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Indiana, Bloomington, (2020-)

Technical Processes

Virginia Jing-Yi Shih, Curator for the Southeast Asia Collection, University of California at Berkeley, (2022-)


Zoë McLaughlin, South & Southeast Asian Studies Librarian, Michigan State University, (2020-)

Roster of former chairs


  • Professor Fred W. Riggs (Founder of CORMOSEA), 1969-1972
  • Professor Donn V. Hart, 1972-1975
  • Charles R. Bryant, 1975-1978
  • Professor Josef Silverstein, 1978-1981
  • Charles R. Bryant, 1981-1983
  • Professor David K. Wyatt, 1983-1986
  • Professor Constance M. Wilson, 1986-1989
  • John H. Badgley, 1989-1992
  • Fe Susan Go, 1992-1996
  • Allen J. Riedy, 1996-1999
  • Raymond D. Lum, 1999-2009
  • Fe Susan Go (Interim Chair), 2009-2010
  • Jeffrey Shane, Southeast Asia Reference Librarian, 2010-2022

Collection Development Subcommittee Chairs

  • Fe Susan Go, 1989-1991
  • Carol Mitchell, 1991-1998
  • Robin A Paynter, 1999-2001
  • Lian The-Mulliner, 2001-2004
  • Rohayati Paseng, 2004-2011
  • Fe Susan Go, 2011-2017
  • Virginia Shih, 2017-2022

Technical Processes Subcommittee Chairs

  • Lian Tie Tho, 1970-1994
  • Chalermsee Olson, 1994-1995
  • Virginia Shih, 1996-2000
  • Kim Uyen Tran, 2000-2001
  • Rohyati Paseng, 2001-2004
  • Cheng Yen Khoo, 2004-2006
  • Virginia Shih, 2006-2011
  • Apikanya McCarty, 2011-2015
  • Richard Richie, 2016-2017
  • Richard Richie & Laura Tuck, 2018-2019
  • Apikanya McCarty, 2018-2020
  • Hong Ta-Moore, 2020-2022


Read and download the CORMOSEA Bylaws

History of CORMOSEA

Founded in 1969 by Professor Fred W. Riggs of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA) is a committee of the Southeast Asia Council (SEAC), formerly known as the Interuniversity Southeast Asia Committee (ISAC), and then the Southeast Asia Regional Council (SEARC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). It was established to enhance the collection of Southeast Asia research materials and to assist in making them available to Southeast Asia scholars, faculty, and students nationwide. For additional background on the formation and objectives of CORMOSEA, refer to the following essay written entitled “The Birth of CORMOSEA” by Virginia Shih, Curator for the Southeast Asia Collection at the University of California, Berkeley.