The University of Chicago Library
East Asian Collection | About the East Asian Collection
East Asian Collection

About the East Asian Collection

Founded in 1936, the East Asian Collection is now holding about 850,000 volumes of publications excluding electronic resources; primarily in Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages.  It also includes some materials in Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchu languages.  The Collection is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and distinctive East Asian collections in North America.  The materials collected are in all kinds of formats, from manuscripts, lithographs, books, periodicals, and newspapers to microfilms, microfiches and CD-ROMs.  The Collection’s coverage on social sciences and humanities are comprehensive.  It also collected limited numbers of reference titles and journals in science and technology.  In addition to the publications in East Asian languages, the University Library also holds over 60,000 volumes of materials in English and other Western languages on or related to East Asia.  The Western-language materials are shelved within the general collection. 

The Chinese collection is especially strong in classics, philosophy, archaeology, history, philology, art history and literature (both classical and contemporary). The strengths are also found in the holdings of pre-modern local gazetteers (地方志), collectanea (叢書), drama, art and art history. The Japanese collection is strong in literature, intellectual history, religion, art history, education, Japanese Sinology as well as significant holdings of academic journals and reproduced newspapers.  The Korean collection covers a wide range of subjects in social sciences and humanities with developing strengths in history, literature, international relations, education, Korean industry, environment studies and a sizable holding of academic journals.