Unique Agreement Between Columbia University's C. V. Starr East Asian Library and The National Library of China for Transliteration and Conversion of Records for Chinese Minority Language Materials.


March 1, 2002 (March 1, 2002) Columbia University's C. V. Starr East Asian Library has contracted the National Library of China to convert the manual cataloging records and Latin transliteration of 104 titles in the Columbia collections that are in Mongol, Manchu, XiXia nu Zhen, and Miao, Chinese minority languages. Because the records are entered into both RLIN and CLIO, the materials are made accessible both to our own users at Columbia University and to scholars worldwide.

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Through the cataloging and conversion process the titles will have full access by title, author, and subject. Prior to this agreement, the titles were accessible only through a supplied Chinese title or in the original language.

The arrangement combines the language and subject expertise available through the NLC with our own ability to adapt the cataloging to US cataloging standards (e.g., by using correct forms of names, adding Library of Congress subject headings in English). The project managers are Mr. Charles Wu, Head of Technical Services, C. V. Starr East Asian Library and Ms. Shen Xiaoting, Associate Librarian, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the National Library of China.

The highly unique books total 814 volumes in 104 titles, purchased by the Columbia Libraries in the early 1940s, date from the late Qing dynasty through early Min Guo (late 19th to early 20th centuries). Mongol was the language of the rulers of the Yuan dynasty (1260-1368), and Manchu the language of the rulers of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912).

As library director Dr. Amy V. Heinrich noted, "This project begins a cooperation that will not only increase access to valuable resources that have been relatively inaccessible, but with it, Columbia University Libraries expands the scope of cooperative cataloging to new methods and new partners internationally."

The C. V. Starr East Asian Library is one of the major collections for the study of East Asia in the United States, with over 700,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Western language materials, with some holdings in Mongol and Manchu, and over 5,000 periodical titles. The collection, established in 1902, is particularly strong in Chinese history, literature, and growing in the social sciences; Japanese literature, history, and religion, particularly Buddhism; and Korean history. The library's web site is located at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/starr/.

For information contact:

Mr. Charles Wu
Head of Technical Services
C. V. Starr East Asian Library
(212) 854-2579

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Last Edited: 3/01/02
Posted: 4/05/02