The collection supports the undergraduate instructional program and basic faculty research needs. Emphasis is on the literature, history, religions, environmental and development concerns, and social-political aspects of Asian cultures. Although Chinese literature and culture are the strongest holdings, the collections encompass depths in eastern religions, nineteenth and early twentieth century description and travel, Asian art and government.
The Asian Studies Program offers a major designed around a particular discipline of area interest. Each prospective major must complete at least one advanced seminar or research course. Most courses are offered by the respective subject departments, and library materials are acquired to support the traditional subjects as well as the subsets which fall within the Asian Studies Program. Also, beginning with the Class of 1985, all students must elect a course in non-Western cultures. A number of courses in the Asian Studies Program are eligible for satisfaction of the non-Western requirement.
Most of the materials acquired are housed in Baker Library. The major exception is art and architecture, which are located in the Sherman Art Library. In addition, relevant materials in medicine, business and engineering, agricultural technology, physical sciences are housed in the appropriate branch libraries.
The Library's collecting policy emphasizes the collection of works in English. Since it is a research collection, however, scholarly works in French and German are also acquired, and, in the case of Chinese language, literature and culture there is an extensive collection in the Chinese language. Where it is felt to be necessary culture related works in Japanese are also acquired.
There is a working collection for most of the countries of Asia and the near East. Overall, emphasis is on China, Japan, Near East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
While no material is excluded by format or type, collecting is normally limited to monographs, serials, microforms, exhibition catalogs, and sound recordings.
A number of RLG libraries hold outstanding Asian collections. Information on specific strengths is listed in the RLG conspectus.
John R. James
Nien Lin Xie
Last Updated: 8/5/16