Hamilton Library at UH, Manoa

China Collection, Asia Department, Hamilton Library University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

The China collection of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) most likely was founded in 1922, when the Chinese Department was established and Professor Shao-chang Lee (李绍昌) hired to teach Chinese language and literature courses. In 1936, Dr. Gregg M. Sinclair founded the Oriental Institute, and  Professor Lee was made responsible for the development of the Chinese language collection in the  Institute’s new Oriental Library. In the same year, Professor Lee took a sabbatical leave to travel in China seeking book donations from prominent Chinese. Upon his return, Professor Lee reported that more than 20,000 Chinese bound volumes had been obtained for the Oriental Library. The majority of these gifts were traditional materials on rice paper, including encyclopedias, collectanea, and publications on history, literature, and philosophy, which formed the core of the Chinese language collection.

Today, the China Collection contains materials about China, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao, in Chinese, Western and other Asian languages. The core collection focuses on humanities and social sciences. The majority of the materials collected are published monographs, serials, and newspapers. Conference proceedings, unpublished conference papers, manuscripts, theses and dissertations are acquired selectively.

As of June 2011, the Chinese language collection had more than 160,000 volumes of monographs, 780 e-books, 1,200 titles of current serials, 11,000 pieces of microforms, and 700 pieces in other formats.

UHM is one of 21 research university libraries in the U.S. to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education for its East Asian programs.

The China collection is supported by these funds, and by additional awards from private and public sources such as the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the Betty Tseng Ecke Endowment. The China collection is one of only 100 libraries worldwide to be included in the “Windows of China” program of the PRC State Council Information Office and the National Library of China (NLC) that donates books to foreign libraries. Hamilton Library’s China collection has received gift books annually from the NLC since 2006.

The China collection has also established a gift and exchange program with the National Library of China in Taiwan since the 1980s, and has been regularly receiving book and serials publications published in Taiwan since then.

Contact Person:

Kuang-tien Yao 姚張光天

China Studies Librarian


Phone: 808-956-2312










Kuang-tien Yao 姚张光天




Series F of China AcademicBack issues (starting from 1915) of journal are now available online at (UH login required)
Global Development Finance OnlineAvailable online at