Columbia Libraries Receives Funding for Collection Endowment in Chinese Economy and Business

NEW YORK, January 20, 2006 - The Columbia Libraries has received $250,000 from an alumni bequest to establish a new collection endowment linked to a newly endowed professorship in Chinese economy and business.

The collection endowment is funded from the bequest of Dr. Robert Yik-Fong Tam, a Hong Kong banking executive and a 1950 graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Business. It will help build Chinese economics and business collections in the Columbia Libraries. The Tam bequest also established the N. T. Wang Professorship in Chinese Economy and Business in Columbia’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

“I applaud this coupling of a collection endowment with a professorship,” said James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia, “especially in a field as dynamic as Chinese business and economics, where the literature is expanding so rapidly.”

The N. T. Wang Professorship is named for the late Dr. N. T. Wang, who was Senior Research Scholar and Director of the China-International Business Project at Columbia’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Dr. Wang maintained a longstanding interest in collaborative projects between the United States and China, and worked to establish a professorial chair in the expanding field of Chinese economy and business.

Columbia is a leader in the field of East Asian studies, with more than 70 faculty members working in this area. More than 20 percent of all undergraduates at Columbia and Barnard enroll in at least one course about East Asia. Students and scholars from all over the New York metropolitan area and the world have come to rely on the C. V. Starr East Asian Library for their research, and in the last decade, circulation of books at the Library has increased by 135 percent.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

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 785,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Western language materials, as well as some holdings in Mongol and Manchu, and over 6,000 periodical titles. The collection, established in 1902, is particularly strong in Chinese history, literature, and social sciences; Japanese literature, history, and religion, particularly Buddhism; and Korean history.

01/20/06 ICL