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Cambodian Community History: Archive Project
Blue Ribbon Award Semi-Finalist

Anthropology faculty from the California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and Long Beach (CSULB) campuses collaborated with the Historical Society of Long Beach to create a research center, the Cambodian Community History and Archive Project (CamCHAP), the purpose of which is to build and sustain long-term relationships between the institutional partners and the Long Beach Cambodian community. CamCHAP’s other community partners include its major funder, the Long Beach Community Foundation, and Cambodian Town, Inc.

Because of its location at the historical society, CamCHAP is accessible to students, researchers, and community members. Long-range goals for the research center include a multi-lingual website; a satellite classroom for training in community-based research; collaborative community programs; and paid student internships in ethnographic and historical research.

Several collaborative projects have already been undertaken through CamCHAP. In addition to working with faculty researchers and community members to create the archive and website, CSU students have conducted interviews and collected materials for the publication, Cambodians in Long Beach, a journal of refugee and immigrant studies and services; carried out original ethnographic research while working with the community to produce major events such as a New Year parade; and interviewed local Cambodian artisans and assisted them in exhibiting their work.

CamCHAP offers research skills and expertise as well as providing research and training space for long-term community engagement. The center expands the historical society’s coverage of Long Beach history and brings the community foundation into the Cambodian community. All partners agree that this is a highly effective way of accomplishing their missions and goals.

Susan Needham, Anthropology
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Elsie Heredia, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Karen Quintiliani, California State University, Long Beach


Key words: internship, Southern California, Long Beach, Asian/Asian American/Asian Pacific Islanders, history, publications, arts

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Last Updated: May 06, 2016