East Asian Studies

The Columbia University Libraries have collected resources on East Asia for a long time. In the early decades of the twentieth century, as an "East Asiatic" collection came into being, the majority of such resources came to be assigned to this collection. Given the limited number of publications on East Asia in those days, anything remotely related to the East Asian area—and frequently resources related to other parts of Asia or "The Orient" in general—was added as well. However, as the field of East Asian Studies grew ever faster, particularly from the later decades of the twentieth century onward, the publication output grew in conjunction and with it the need to become more selective in collecting such publications. This explains why, among older parts of the collection, one may find resources on subjects that would today be considered out of scope.

Starr Library's western-language collection serves to complement the library's collections in the East Asian original languages, and provides access to western-language scholarship on East Asia. Curricular support and support for research by the Columbia community comprise the main focus of the collection. The emphasis of the collection is particularly on scholarship in the Humanities, and increasingly also selective Social Sciences, with lesser holdings on a number of other subjects. As research and teaching foci shift, the collection scope broadens correspondingly.

In addition to what the Starr Library collects, a substantial number of western-language materials on East Asia can also to be found in other divisions of the Columbia University Libraries; e.g., East Asian business and economics resources are in the Business Library, resources on East Asian international relations are generally in Lehman Library, and East Asian arts are, for the most part in Avery/Fine Arts Library.The online catalog indicates locations for all resources in the bibliographic records.

Current western-language periodical issues are shelved, in call number order, on the west wall of the second alcove on the southside of the reading room. Completed volumes are transferred to ReCAP, the offsite facility. These volumes can be requested by patrons, using the request function in the bibliographic record in CLIO. Alternatively, electronic document delivery of specific articles can be requested using the same request form.

Any comments, questions, and suggestions regarding Starr Library's western-language collection can be directed to the East Asian Studies Librarian.

Please refer to the basic Library Research Guide to learn how to use the Columbia University Libraries' resources on East Asian subjects in western languages.



Head of Public Services / East Asian Studies Librarian
Ms. Ria Koopmans-de Bruijn
310 Kent Hall
(212) 854-1505