The East Asian collection documents the political, military, economic, and social changes in that part of the world. Currently the Hoover Archives contains more than one thousand East Asian-related archival collections, including private papers, organizational records, political ephemera, sound recordings, photographs, and moving images. The collections span broad subject areas: the two Sino-Japanese Wars (1894–95 and 1937–45), the World War II Pacific theater, the Korean War, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party, the Japanese war crime trials, student movements, and diasporic Asian-American communities in the United States.
A specific strength of the East Asian collection is its rich resources on pre-1949 China. Hoover's Modern China Archives and Special Collections contain three main types of historical materials: first, gifts of private papers in perpetuity through a deed of gift, such as the papers of T. V. Soong and other high-profile figures; second, private papers on loan to the archives, such as the papers of H. H. Kung and the diaries of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo (diaries of the latter are closed); and third, agreements to collaborate on preserving records outside the United States, such as the KMT-Hoover agreement to microfilm/digitize that party's archival materials in Taipei, Taiwan. These historical materials bring the reader into the inner world of modern Chinese and Taiwanese leadership thinking, revealing what China's and Taiwan's leaders and elites thought about the great problems of their times, how they endeavored to solve them, why they failed to cooperate with each other, and why building a government and appropriate institutions to unify and modernize China were and are difficult to achieve.