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East Asia Library: About East Asia Library

History of the East Asia Library

The East Asia Library is one of the major collections of East Asian materials in the United States. Yale University was the first university in the U.S. to collect books in East Asian languages. The first documented acquisition was a shipment of over 90 volumes of Chinese works to the Yale College Library purchased from China in 1849. Yale has been engaged in teaching East Asian Studies and collecting relevant materials for well over a century, as evidenced in Samuel Wells Williams's appointment as Professor of Chinese Language and Literature in 1877. In the following year, the collection of notable gifts of Chinese books was presented to Yale by the Honorable Yung Wing, Yale B.A. 1854, the first Chinese subject to graduate from an American college. Earlier in 1873, the first collection of outstanding Japanese books were donated by O.C. Marsh, Yale Professor of Paleontology and a connoisseur of Asian artifacts. Other gifts followed, and more systematic acquisitions began with the efforts of Kan'ichi Asakawa, who was commissioned to acquire Japanese materials for Yale and the Library of Congress during his eighteen-month stay in Japan in 1906-1907. Asakawa, whose teaching career at Yale spanned 36 years (from 1906 as Instructor in History of Japanese Civilization to retirement in 1942 as Professor of History), served as curator of the Chinese and Japanese Collection from 1906 to 1948 and oversaw acquisition of Western language materials relevant to East Asian Studies at Yale.

In the last several decades the Library has made remarkable, rapid expansion. The Council on East Asian Studies was established at Yale in May 1961 to oversee studies relating to China, Japan and Korea. External funding channeled through the Council has greatly increased the Library's book budgets. The primary goal of the Library in recent years is to support research and teaching in East Asian studies at Yale. In reflection of the programs, its emphasis has been on China and Japan. The Korean Studies collection is currently being developed.

East Asian Reading Room

East Asian Reading Room

East Asian Reading Room (EARR) is located on the second floor of Sterling Memorial Library (SML 219-222). It contains the following materials:

  • East Asia Reference Collection (SML219), including
    • Reference books in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, integrated into one single collection.
    • Selected English-language reference books on East Asia.
    • Bound volumes of four major East Asian studies journals: China Quarterly, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Journal of Asian Studies and Journal of Japanese Studies.
  • Current issues of selected journals in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean (SML 222).

EARR has the following equipment and services for public use:

  • Wireless and wired connections to the Yale network (see here for general instructions). For wireless connection, it may take a while for your laptop to find "yale wireless" due to the intererances of "law" network. To use the wired connection, you need to bring your own ethernet cable and connect to one of the ports on the wall in Room 219.
  • Three public workstations connected to a network printer. These public workstations can also be used to access several Chinese and Japanese databases on CD-ROM.
  • A self-service Book Scanner which allows you to scan a book chapter or journal article quickly and email it to yourself or save it to a USB drive.
  • A self-service compact scanner connected to one public workstation with image editing programs.
  • Study tables. Please note that we do not assign specific tables to individuals.

Classrooms

Use of East Asia Library Classroom (SML 207) and Seminar Room (SML 218)

The meeting facilities of the East Asia Library provide space within the library for teaching and collaboration. The primary purpose of these spaces is to support scheduled classes, programs, and events related to East Asian Studies and these activities take precedence over other requests. Additionally, these spaces support the work of the Yale University Library, serving as meeting space for committees and working groups. These spaces are also available on a select basis to support teaching and collaboration of other Yale programs. When not in use for these activities, the rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to students. Students will need to vacate the rooms during planned events. A schedule will be posted in each room indicating when the space is reserved.

How to schedule

All requests to schedule events must be reviewed and approved by library staff before they are final. Requests will be approved during regular business hours Monday-Friday, so please plan in advance. Please send your request via https://web.library.yale.edu/form/east-asia-rooms-reservations or request a booking via Outlook by inviting SML RM 207 or SML RM 218 to your meeting.

Users are responsible for computer or laptop set up and making any arrangements for additional audio/visual equipment in the classroom. Users are expected to treat the classroom facilities with respect, return them to their typical set up after use, and report any problems immediately. If participants from non-Yale institutions will be in attendance, plan accordingly to make your own arrangements for their access into the Yale-community section of SML.

SML 207, East Asia Library Classroom SML 207 is equipped with a permanent computer workstation, projector, VCR and DVD player. The capacity is 20 people.
SML 218, East Asia Library Seminar Room SML 218 is larger and equipped with an overhead projector and two speakers. The capacity is 30 people.

 

User Responsibilities

  • Users are responsible for computer or laptop set up and making any arrangements for additional audio/visual equipment in the classroom.
  • If participants from non-Yale institutions will be in attendance, plan accordingly to make your own arrangements for their access into the Yale-community section of SML. 
  • Users are expected to treat the classroom facilities with respect, return them to their typical set up after use, and report any problems immediately. 
  • If there is technical issue, please call the Library IT help desk (203-432-1849) or send a service request via https://web.library.yale.edu/lit We appreciate your assistance maintaining clean and operational rooms to support teaching and collaboration.