Perkins Library holdings in Southeast Asian area studies are generally supportive of undergraduate level teaching and research. Subject areas covered are primarily history, culture, sociology, economics and literature. Vietnam War materials have been a recent, moderate strength; efforts have also been made of late to add to holdings concerning public policy, development and social issues. Additional collecting in art, religion and music is handled by the Lilly, Divinity and Music libraries.
Language emphasis is on English-language materials with some coverage of French (for countries of the former French Indochina) and Spanish (especially the Philippines) and, to an even lesser degree, Dutch (for Indonesia). There are very few holdings in indigenous languages.