The mission of the Hmong Archives is to:
Research, collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate materials in all formats about or by Hmong.
For those unfamiliar with the Hmong Community, they have migrated to various parts of the world to escape persecution, primarily fleeing parts of Laos, China, Vietnam, and Thailand in search of safety and a better life.
The Hmong Archives were created in 1999 to preserve their history, which is being lost by newer generations at an alarming rate.
Currently the facility is managed by Martin Heise. At the moment Martin is traveling throughout Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand collecting materials for the archives. He typically travels to Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, and French Guiana every year, visiting areas with high Hmong populations to collect materials related to Hmong culture. The rest of the staff is comprised of volunteers and students participating in internship programs.
While the Archives receives visitors from all walks of life, most of their patrons are researchers from universities.
Most materials in the Archives come from donations made by individuals, organizations, and businesses. The never turn away a donation if it is related to Hmong culture, even movies that are dubbed into Hmong are added to the collection. While patrons cannot check out movies, they are free to come to the facility and watch movies.
As of 2011 their growing collection was comprised of:
- 2,172 Audio items, including cassettes, CD’s and 3 phonographs records
- 5,093 books
- 84,796 items and 116 Archival boxes
- 746 maps
- Hmong cultural artifacts, such as, baskets, musical instruments, cross-bows, batik tools, costumes, and others
- 10,813 photographs
- 4,973 posters
- 2,360 videos
- 2,995 newspapers
- 3,788 periodicals
- 188 works of art
All media may be duplicated for a nominal fee for research only and may not be shown publicly, quoted, or broadcasted without written permission from the Hmong Archives.
Below is a video from a news clip highlighting the facility