East Asia Collections

The China Collection focuses on humanities and social sciences, and is strong in collectanea sets (congshu), which cover 17-19th c. literary works. It holds more than 1,000 reels of microfilm from the Union Research Institute (Hong Kong) collection of PRC newspapers for the period 1946-66, one of only 5 such collections in the U.S. The China Collection is also notable for its holdings on SE China, Republican-period government gazetteers, materials on Taiwan’s history in the Qing era, and presidential papers of the Republic of China. The collection of Taiwan government publications during the early period of the Chiang regime is considered one of the best outside Taiwan.

The Japan Collection focuses on the humanities and social sciences, distinguished by several special collections. The Nan’yō (South Seas) and Kajiyama Collections complement the Library’s Hawaiian & Pacific Collection. The Takazawa Collection (50,000 items and growing) on post-war social movements in Japan is a unique set of primary resources. Since 2002, not-for-sale publications on Japanese companies, organizations, and education histories, collectively known as “shashi,” have been actively developed and UH holdings have gained national recognition. The Library has been closely collaborating with COS and institutions in Okinawa to further develop materials on contemporary Okinawa, including archives of two Okinawa-based newspapers and their online/DVD databases. These join the Okinawa/Ryukyu holdings, anchored by the Sakamaki-Hawley Collection. UH Library’s materials on Okinawa are the most comprehensive outside of Japan.  The Library is in the process of recruiting an Okinawan Studies Librarian—a full-time position mandated and funded by the State of Hawai‘i Legislature in recognition of the unique importance of this collection to the Asia-Pacific region.

The Korea Collection is one of the top 5 academic collections in the US. It is strong in the humanities, especially history, and has been gaining in the arts, business, and social sciences, particularly relating to 20th c. Korea. A collection of North Korean materials was acquired with previous NRCEA funding. UH has received grants since 1994 from the Korea Foundation to develop collections in such areas as modern social conditions, traditional music, urban planning and Cheju Island. The Collection now provides greater access to fee-based online full-text databases from Korea by participating in consortia with other Korea collections in North America. Special holdings include America’s largest microfilm of the Kyujanggak Collection (Choson Dynasty royal collections), microfilms of the Imanishi Collection of the Korean historical sources owned by Tenri Central Library. CKS annually supports an average of 5 visiting researchers to use these holdings.

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