Rare Books, Special Collections, & Archives

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions, our rare book, special collections, and archival reading room is closed until further notice. Current students, faculty, and staff can still make use of these materials, but by appointment only. If you wish to make use of these materials, please contact us at least one week in advance to make arrangements. Detailed instructions will be provided at that time.

The C.V. Starr East Asian Library owns many rare and unique materials in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Western languages. Our Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room provides access to the rare book collections, particularly strong in Chinese local histories and genealogies, Japanese Edo-period woodblock-printed books, and the Korean Yi Song-yi Collection, such non-print collections as ancient Chinese oracle bones, Chinese posters, Edo-period ukiyo-e, as well as a growing collection of major archives.  These non-circulating materials are available for use by patrons during the following scheduled open hours.


Semester hours

Monday and Friday    2:00-4:00 PM

Tuesday - Thursday  10:00 AM-12:00 noon  AND  2:00-4:00 PM

Summer/Intersession hours

Monday, Wednesday, Friday    2:00-4:00 PM

Tuesday and Thursday           10:00 AM-12:00 noon

(Librarians are on-call; ask at the front desk)


Patrons are urged to use materials during these scheduled hours.  No appointments are necessary, however, since a substantial portion of our rare books and archives are stored offsite, we strongly recommend that you prepare your visit well ahead of time.


For more detailed procedural information, see the Guidelines for Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room Use.


For more detailed information about the various collections, see the following pages: