East Asian Collection

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About the East Asian Collection

The East Asian Collection of the University of Chicago Library contains materials primarily in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as a sizable archival collection of rare books in these languages and in Tibetan, Mongolian, and Manchu. The Collection traces its history to the founding in 1936 of the Far Eastern Library, which was created in support of the newly launched Chinese studies program on campus. From the 1950s to the 1970s the Library’s holdings grew significantly under the direction of Dr. Tsuen-Hsuin Tsien, and the Collection attained a level of distinction that it has not since relinquished. The Japanese and Korean sections were established within the Collection in 1958 and 1988 respectively, and each has grown to become a notable repository in its own right. Today all three collections are regarded as being among the most comprehensive and dynamic in North America.

Current highlights include:

Chinese studies collection: A pre-1949 Chinese newspaper collection of more than 200 titles on microfilm, and important Chinese literary classics and exegeses in Manchu and Chinese.

Japanese studies collection: Extensive runs of rare twentieth-century popular magazines such as Fufu seikatsu, Garo, Goro, Kitan kurabu, and Shonen kurabu.

Korean studies collection: Digitized primary sources including the Postcard Collection of Colonial Korea, North Korean Stamp Collection, contemporary North Korean periodicals, and historical Korean textbooks.

The offices of the CJK subject specialists are located on the 5th floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library. While the 5th-floor stacks are mostly dedicated to East-Asian-Collection materials, many more East-Asian-Collection materials are housed elsewhere in the Library. See "Locations of East Asian Materials."