Founded in 1936, the East Asia Collection now holds approximately 850,000 volumes of publications excluding electronic resources; primarily in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages.  It also includes materials in Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchu languages.  The Collection is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and distinctive East Asian collections in North America.  The materials collected are various formas, from manuscripts, lithographs, books, periodicals, and newspapers to microfilms, microfiches and CD-ROMs.  The Collection's coverage on social sciences and humanities are comprehensive.  There is also a collection of a limited number of reference titles and journals in science and technology.  In addition to the publications in East Asian languages, the University Library also holds over 60,000 volumes of materials in English and other Western languages on or related to East Asia.  The Western-language materials are shelved within the general collection.

The Chinese collection is especially strong in classics, philosophy, archaeology, history, philology, art history and literature (both classical and contemporary). The strengths are also found in the holdings of pre-modern local gazetteers (地方志), collectanea (叢書), drama, art and art history. The Japanese collection is strong in literature, intellectual history, religion, art history, education, Japanese Sinology as well as significant holdings of academic journals and reproduced newspapers.  The Korean collection covers a wide range of subjects in social sciences and humanities with developing strengths in history, literature, international relations, education, Korean industry, environment studies and a sizable holding of academic journals.

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Contributed by The University of Chicago Library - East Asian Collection