Call for Proposals

The Southeast Asia Digital Library (SEADL) provides free and open access to a variety of materials created in and about Southeast Asia. SEADL supports researchers, educators, and members of the public by aggregating and contextualizing these unique digitized materials in a single online environment that can be easily browsed and searched. Founded on the value of collaboration, SEADL facilitates partnerships between institutions around the world to preserve and share Southeast Asian cultural heritage for all who seek it.

This call for proposals aims to add to SEADL’s repository of primary source materials including digital versions of books, manuscripts, periodicals, videos, oral histories, and more.

How to Apply

Only dues-paying institutional members are eligible to submit digital collection proposals for consideration. If you belong to a non-dues paying institution, you may submit a proposal through the sponsorship of a dues-paying member institution.

Final proposal selection and approval is conducted by representatives of SEADL’s voting Consortium membership.

If you have an idea for a new SEADL collection, please complete and return the linked form to SEADL Digital Librarian, Emily Zinger ( by December 15, 2023. Together, you and the Digital Librarian will refine your proposal for formal submission to the Consortium. This process will ensure that your proposal is properly budgeted, meets SEADL project size requirements, accounts for all necessary labor in digitization and metadata creation, and addresses copyright concerns. Only proposals which have been pre-reviewed by the Digital Librarian and meet the above requirements will be shared with SEADL’s voting Consortium membership for selection review, which will take place during SEADL’s Annual Meeting at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference in Seattle, WA in March 2024.

Selection Criteria

Members of SEADL’s voting Consortium membership will select proposals to approve according to guidance outlined in SEADL’s Collection Development Policy:

  • Each annual cycle, SEADL can only accommodate the ingest of 2TB of materials, or 2,000 items total. Selected projects may not surpass either limit.

  • SEADL accepts projects in all languages and scripts but prioritizes inclusion of collections that represent Southeast Asian languages before those in Western languages.

  • SEADL only accepts a proposal when there is expertise and capacity available to robustly describe the collection at the item-level. Metadata should be created by the proposing institution.

  • SEADL will prioritize collections that can be made accessible through OCR, transcription, captioning, etc.

  • All materials in SEADL must be made open access. This could include materials in the public domain, materials whose copyright is owned by the proposing institution, and/or materials licensed by the rights holder to be made open access.

  • Materials that make up hidden collections, those materials which are undiscoverable due to lack of description, will be prioritized for inclusion.

  • SEADL prioritizes materials that are at risk of environmental degradation.

  • SEADL is not able to provide funding support for digital projects. Proposers must be prepared to cover all digitization and description costs.


Please send your completed proposal form and any appended documents in a single file to Emily Zinger, with the subject: SEADL PROJECT PROPOSAL