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.



Jeffrey Shane, Southeast Asia Reference Librarian, Ohio University, (2010-)

Collection Development

Virginia Jing-Yi Shih, Curator for the Southeast Asia Collection, University of California at Berkeley, (2017-)

Digital Initiatives

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

Technical Processes

Hong Ta-Moore, Head, Middle East & South Asia Section (LM-535), Asian & Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress, (2020-)


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

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

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


Article I Organization. The name of the organization shall be Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia, hereinafter referred to as CORMOSEA. CORMOSEA shall be organized as a committee of the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies as a non-profit association of persons interested in issues related to Southeast Asia libraries and their collections. The purpose of CORMOSEA shall be to facilitate the acquisition, processing, access to, and conservation of research materials on and about the countries and region of Southeast Asia, and to facilitate open communication among librarians in Southeast Asian studies.

Article II Membership. Membership is open to librarians at colleges, universities, and other research institutions. Membership is open to research institutions having significant holdings of materials relating to Southeast Asia, or an emerging interest in Southeast Asian librarianship, including but not limited to The Library of Congress and the Center for Research Libraries; members shall be appointed by majority vote of the existing membership.

Article III Meetings. CORMOSEA shall hold an annual meeting in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the Chair in consultation with the CORMOSEA Executive Committee. Meetings shall be open to all interested persons.

Article IV Officers. Officers of CORMOSEA shall be the Chair and the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, the Chair-elect in those years when elections for Chair are held, the Chairs of all permanent CORMOSEA sub-committees (including but not limited to Collection Development and Technical Processes), the Chair of the Southeast Asia Microforms Project, and the Editor of the CORMOSEA Bulletin. Term of office for the Chair shall be three years; upon election, the Chair will serve one year as Chair-elect and shall become Chair at the annual meeting the following year. If warranted, the CORMOSEA Chair may serve more than one consecutive term of office, but only with the approval of two-thirds of the voting members.

In consultation with the Executive Committee, the Chair shall prepare an annual report for the Association for Asian Studies, shall convene and chair CORMOSEA meetings (or appoint a surrogate to do so), prepare the meeting agendas, and represent CORMOSEA to the Southeast Asia Council.

Article V Nominations. The Chair shall appoint a three-member nominating committee as needed to nominate candidates for Chair.

Article VI Elections. Election of the Chair and Faculty Representatives shall be conducted by paper ballot at regular CORMOSEA meetings. Each member institution represented at the time a vote is taken shall be entitled to one vote. Members not in attendance shall not be entitled to a vote. Special elections to fill unexpected vacancies shall be conducted by email ballot as needed.

Article VII Sub-committees. The Collection Development and Technical Processes sub-committees shall be permanent bodies of CORMOSEA; chairs of those sub-committees shall be appointed by the Chair of CORMOSEA in consultation with the Executive Committee and the membership and shall serve for three years. Additional sub-committees and task groups and their chairs shall be appointed for limited terms at the discretion of the Chair of CORMOSEA. Sub-committees and task groups shall be disbanded upon completion of their charges, except for permanent sub-committees, at the discretion of the Chair of CORMOSEA in consultation with the Executive Committee.

Article VIII Publications. CORMOSEA Bulletin shall serve as the official publication of the organization. Other publications may be issued as needed. The Editor of CORMOSEA Bulletin shall be appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Executive Committee and the membership at large and shall thereafter serve as a member of the Executive Committee.

Article IX Communications. The CORMOSEA listserv and the CORMOSEA web page shall be the official means of communication among members.

Article X Archives. The CORMOSEA archives shall be deposited in the Michigan Historical Collection as part of the archives of the Association for Asian Studies.

Article XI Amendments. Amendments to these bylaws may be proposed by any member and shall require approval of two-thirds of the voting members. Amendments shall take effect immediately upon approval.

Article XII Funds. Funds for projects and activities conducted by CORMOSEA or any of its subcommittees shall be administered by the Association for Asian Studies, as “501 (c) (3)” parent organization. The Association for Asian Studies shall receive such funds as are granted to or earned by CORMOSEA, and will allocate them according to standard accounting practices. CORMOSEA officers are responsible for fiscal management and decisions dealing with monies allocated to, or raised by CORMOSEA.

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.