Greetings from the PBI Archive!

Hello! It is a pleasure to welcome you to the PBI archive blog. 

The PBI archive preserves historical materials related to the art, culture, economics, history, and religion of the Asia/Pacific region, with a focus on the twentieth century. From textual records to analog video, the archive offers a rich and varied window into a changing Pacific World. As we seek to make the archive more relevant to Pomona students and faculty, this blog will spotlight our noteworthy holdings, special projects, and opportunities for student research and work study. 

The PBI archive emerged from The Pacific Century, a multi-part television documentary produced by PBI founder Frank Gibney in 1992. In the wake of Gibney’s elaborate production, Pomona College agreed to serve as the repository for the series’ extensive library of original and archival footage. With The Pacific Century as a foundation, the archive later added textual records, mixed media, and student films to its collections, along with the Claremont Colleges’ most robust Asian cinema library. 

As PBI’s first archivist since 2012, I am tasked not only with the safekeeping of our collections, but also with promoting the archive as an asset to teaching and scholarship at Pomona. And we truly are an asset! Students and faculty from Asian Studies, History, Media Studies, and Anthropology, in particular, will find in our holdings ample opportunities for inquiry. Furthermore, as a small repository we are particularly responsive to faculty and student input. In the coming months, we look forward to many conversations about what an archive of the “Pacific Basin” can and should be. We know, for instance, that we would like more coverage of Latin America and more oral histories in our collections, but these are just two out of many possible directions for the PBI archive moving forward.

So, again: Welcome. Please do not hesitate to stop by Hahn 112 to say hello and ask about our collections. Please also keep an eye on PBI’s Online Archive of California page; we will be uploading finding aids here as soon as they are available. 


Clark Noone, PBI Archivist