UCI Libraries Supports New Orange County Courthouse Exhibit


VIETNAMESE FOCUS: GENERATIONS OF STORIES is a new exhibition at the Old Orange County Courthouse co-curated by UCI Professor Linda Trinh Vo and Associate Director for VAOHP Tram Le. UCI Libraries provided research and technical support to the exhibition through the participation of Archivist Dr. Thuy Vo Dang and the collections in the Southeast Asian Archive. The exhibit also features original artwork by Trinh Mai with design oversight by James Dinh. Running through February 2016, the exhibit will move to the UCI Student Center in spring 2016.

As UCI celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Vietnamese American community is also marking the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and the emergence of a large Vietnamese population in the United States. Orange County, California is home to the largest Vietnamese diasporic community and in the last forty years, regional history has been dynamically transformed by the participation of Vietnamese Americans in local politics, business development, and many other realms of social life.

As stated in the official description on the Vietnamese American Oral History Project website: “The exhibition includes interactive features, photographs, documents, artifacts, ephemera, artwork, and oral histories from VAOHP and the UCI Libraries’ Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive Center (OC&SEAA), as well as materials from private collections. The showing is informed by a new book, Vietnamese in Orange County (Arcadia Publishing, 2015) by Thuy Vo Dang, Linda Trinh Vo, and Tram Le, which includes 235 images and documents.”

The UCI Libraries continue to support efforts to document, preserve, and provide access to the history of Orange County and the Southeast Asian American communities through active partnerships such as this important exhibition. On September 30, 2015 Thuy Vo Dang led a group from UCI Extension’s Osher Lifelong Institute on a tour of the exhibit as part of her two-part seminar on “Forty Years of Vietnamese American History.” One of the seminar organizers, Toni Dwyer commented, “The presentation of the exhibition ‘Vietnamese Focus’ at the Old Orange County Courthouse made the experience of the refugees and their settling in Orange County a story both poignantly personal and yet universal to all of us whose ancestors came to this country because they had to or because they had to leave where they were.”

For more information, directions to the Old Orange Courthouse, media coverage, and more, please visit:https://sites.uci.edu/vaohp/programs/events-vietnamesefocus/

For more information on the Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive Center (OC&SEAA), contact Thuy Vo Dang, thuy.vodang@uci.edu.