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Oral History/Mapping Project

Asian Americans in the Heartland

A Community Oral History and Mapping Project


What are our goals?

The Ohio State University Asian American Studies Program in conjunction with the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives is initiating an oral history and mapping project. Our goals are to:

  • Record and archive the experiences of Asian Americans in central Ohio. During our first phase, we will focus on the life and literacy experiences of community leaders and advocates.
  • Train students, staff, and faculty to conduct and record oral histories.
  • Foster university-community collaboration.
  • Create a web-based map that makes visible the significant community institutions as well as residential and business centers of Asians in Central Ohio.
  • Re-envision the "heartland" of America to include the history, communities, and activism of Asian Americans.


Who Are Asian Americans?

The category Asian American refers to a wide range of people who have ancestral connections to the continent of Asia, including East, South, Southeast, and West Asia. Asian Americans include those born in the U.S., as well as those who immigrated, relocated as refugees, or initially arrived as international travelers and students. According to the census, Asian Americans constitute a small but also the fastest growing group in the United States. Currently approximately 5% of the national population, Asian Americans have increased by 46% between 2000 and 2010. In Ohio, Asian Americans constitute just over 1% of the state but over 4% of Franklin County. In fact, Columbus, Ohio is home to the largest concentration of Asian Americans in the state of Ohio. The biggest ethnic groups who reside in Ohio include South Asian Americans and Chinese Americans, followed by smaller percentages of Filipinos, Korean Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Japanese Americans as well as other Asian ethnicities. 

How can you contribute?

We are looking for:

  • Volunteers who want to conduct interviews or enter map information
  • Nominations for interview subjects
  • Financial or in-kind contributions to the OSU Asian American Studies Program

For more information, please contact Professor Namiko Kunimoto.