Contact Information
  • Librarian: Wen-ling Liu
  • Location: Herman B Wells Library E860
  • Phone: (812) 855-9695
Libraries & Subjects
last updated: 11/29/2011

About the East Asian Collection

The East Asian Collection can trace its beginning back to 1950. In that year Prof. Ssu-Yu Teng was appointed to teach Chinese, Japanese, and Far Eastern history at Indiana University. He received support from the University for the acquisition of titles listed in a 36-page, single-spaced, catalogue. The small collection of books Professor Teng acquired for his courses became the basis of the collection. Through the past decades, it has become one of the major national resource centers for East Asian studies in the country.


Materials in all formats are collected: from original manuscripts to books and serials as well as full-text databases, films, microforms, and maps. The growing electronic resources, such as Bibliography of Asian Studies, Asahi Shinbun Kikuzo II, China Academic Journals, China Data Online, Chinese Ancient Texts Database, JapanKnowledge+, Siku Quanshu (四庫全書), along with various CD-ROM and DVD-ROM products, provide additional support to East Asian Studies and students of East Asia at IU. Presently, the collection has a total of about 280,000 volumes in East Asian languages (180,000 volumes in Chinese, 80,000 volumes in Japanese, and 20,000 volumes in Korean). It subscribes to about 750 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean serials and newspapers. In addition, the general library collection includes a large body of materials related to East Asian studies published in Western languages.

Our Collection has broad coverage in the humanities and social sciences, and a strong focus on selected subjects related to the humanities. The Chinese Collection is strong in language and literature, history (especially Ming and Qing dynastic histories), classics and collectanea, religion, philosophy, archaeology, fine arts, communism as well as politics and government. The Japanese Collection is strong in history and literature (particularly those of the Edo and Meiji periods), fine arts, education, sociology, political science, and economic conditions. The Korean Collection focuses on language and literature, history, social movements, and reference works.

Special collections within the East Asian Collection include: 1) Si ku quan shu zhen ben (四庫全書珍本)--selected titles in over 5,000 volumes from the Chinese imperial encyclopedia compiled during the Qing Dynasty; 2) Over 300 Chinese collectanea (monographic series) which contain more than 30,000 individual works on a wide range of subjects; 3) Ming and Qing dynastic histories (over 10,000 volumes); 4) Premodern Japanese history totalling over 6,000 volumes; and 5) The four large microfilm collections of Edo literature and manuscripts: The Ebara Bunko Collection (潁原文庫, 3,736 volumes on 207 reels), the Ozaki Kyuya Collection (尾崎久弥コレクション) of Edo Light Literature, Ballads and Songs (1,723 items in 3,400 volumes on 120 reels), the Katei Bunko collection of Edo literature and dramatic works (2,032 volumes on 72 reels); 6) The Edo Bungaku Sokan (江戸文学総瞰)--the Daitokyu Collection of Edo Literature: Essential Illustrated Novelistic and Dramatic Works (878 items on 90 reels); and 7) Large sets of primary sources on Japanese political economy and education.

East Asian materials are also collected by the Fine Arts Library, which has 32,000 slides and 1,500 photographs on East Asian subjects; the Archives of Traditional Music, which contains 1,407 audio recordings of East Asian music; the Kinsey Institute Library known for its over 100 East Asian vernacular volumes on erotic literature; and the Charles Boxer Collection, held in the Lilly Library, which contains over 100 rare items on Japan during the country's early contact with the West (1542-1800), and some Chinese wood-block books printed by the Jesuits in China during the 17th and 18th centuries.


Faculty and students can search the holdings in the East Asian Collection through the IU local online catalog (IUCAT), which contains East Asian bibliographic records in romanizations, and through the IU WorldCat, which contains bibliographic records in Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) languages. Indiana University makes great efforts to make its library materials accessible to users. Students, faculty and staff of Indiana University Bloomington may request that the libraries borrow materials for them through OCLC's WorldCat. The Interlibrary Loan Services provide free services (for books, copies of articles and tables of contents, etc.) to library users within the state and those from the twelve Midwestern universities (Chicago, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pennsylvania State, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Indiana) that are members of Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Indiana University continues to participate in the Global ILL Framework (GIF) Project, a document delivery project between North American and Japanese academic libraries and research institutes.

last updated: 11/29/2011