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Guide to the Shirley Geok-lin Lim Papers CEMA 151
CEMA 151  
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Collection Details
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  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Title: Shirley Geok-lin Lim papers
    Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 151
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 16.26 linear feet (39 document boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1985-1998
    Date (inclusive): 1955-2013
    Abstract: This collection consists of the personal papers of Shirley Geok-lin Lim, a Malaysian American literary scholar. It is comprised of seven series, the bulk of which is of correspondence and drafts of her writings.
    Physical Location: Del Norte
    Language of Materials: The collection is in English.
    creator: Lim, Shirley

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Use Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Shirley Geok-lin Lim papers, CEMA 151. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Shirley Geok-lin Lim.


    Shirley Geok-lin Lim is an Asian American writer and literary scholar born in Malaysia. She is acclaimed for her novels, collections of poetry, books of short stories, and critical studies. Lim received the Commonwealth Poetry prize in 1980, the first time for an Asian or woman, for her collection of poems, Crossing the Peninsula. From 1993 to 2012 she was a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also worked in UCSB's Women's Studies department from 1993-2002 and served as its chair. Lim's prior teaching positions were at the University of Hong Kong, Westchester College, Hostos Community College, and Queens College in addition to numerous visiting professorships over her career.

    Scope and Content

    Series I Personal contains biographical information about Shirley Lim. It includes childhood grade reports, personal journals, a photograph and US Government issued documents. The series is in one archival document box.
    Series II Correspondence consists of correspondence sent to Lim over the course of her professional academic career. The bulk of the series is organized chronologically from 1972 to 2013. The next type is correspondence with publishers and is organized alphabetically by publishing house. The third and fourth types are personal correspondence and poems to Shirley respectively. The series is contained in seven document boxes.
    Series III Professional Activities contains records and ephemera related to Lim's career. It contains book jacket covers, scrapbook materials, newspaper clippings, awards, and records of talks she spoke at and attended in addition to one subseries with materials from conferences she participated in. This series is kept in five document boxes and is dated from 1975 to 2012.
    Series IV Writings is divided into four subseries: Drafts Poetry, Fiction, Memoirs which is arranged alphabetically, Drafts Nonfiction which is also arranged in alphabetical order, Published With Drafts, Writing Notes, and Digital Files are ordered by provenance. The series consists of notes, manuscript drafts, and published works from 1962 to 2013 and is contained in 19 document boxes.
    Series V Subject Files contains three subseries: Asian American Poetry, Asian American Women Writers, and Asian American Writers. The latter subseries contains materials given to Lim by another faculty member at UCSB, Sucheng Chan. They contain biographical information about and works by other Asian American writers and occupies three document boxes.
    Series VI University contains records and ephemera from Lim's academic career from 1969 to 2013. Included are materials from courses she taught, correspondence with university departments, and a subseries of awards. The series is contained in one document box.
    Series VII University Confidential is one half sized document box of confidential files from Lim's time working at UCSB. The box will remain closed following the donor's death, but not to exceed the year 2020..

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Asian American authors
    Asian American women--Poetry