Asia's Built Archive


In this section researchers describe their encounters with markers in the urban and rural landscapes which attest to the movement of ideas and people across Asia. Brief contributions reflect upon the uses of buildings, monuments, cemeteries, street signs and other signposts of the past as sources for historical research. Some ponder the current state of built archives and what it has to say about the attitudes and ideas of its keepers over time, while others broach broader issues of heritage preservation as they affect historical research.


Uppalam Cemetery, Pondicherry.Cemeteries and Circuits from Pondicherry to Saigon
Natasha Pairaudeau (Cambridge University)
During 2004 and 2005, I spent several months in Pondicherry and southern Vietnam researching the lives of Indians who found their way to colonial Indochina........»»

Cast iron posts at the entrance to Yangon's Nattukottai Chettiar temple.Cosmopolitan Rangoon and the connective markers of its built heritage
Fran├žois Tainturier (Inya Institute, Yangon)
Yangon (or Rangoon as it was formerly called), was noted as early as the eighteenth century for its cosmopolitan crowd.......»»

Angel Island Detention Centre, Male BarracksAngel Island Detention Centre
Andrew P Diver
Historically, migrating from China overseas has seldom been trouble-free, but for those who decided to cross the Pacific in the hundred years from the mid-nineteenth century, the obstacles were many and far-reaching.......»»