Asian Studies is
one of the largest and most diverse components of
Stanford University's extensive programs in international studies.
The current East Asia Library of Stanford University has been built on
original East Asian Collection of the Hoover Institution on War,
Peace. The East Asian Collection was planned during World War II and
launched by an intensive acquisition program in China and Japan during
early postwar years. In January 1945 Harold H. Fisher, then director of
Hoover Institution, began a program to collect materials on
China and Japan. The guidelines he issued were that the collection
concentrate on “the causes and results of war rather than on military
deal with “all types of revolutionary movements”, and encompass “the
whole field of international relations – political, economic, and
cultural, and the
organization of peace”.
In the post-war years the collection grew to support the varied research programs of the Hoover Institution emphasizing the relations between the United States and Asia in the twentieth century while also concentrating on the internal affairs of Asian nations, particularly China and Japan, and to their relations with each other. Until September 2001, the collecting of Chinese and Japanese vernacular materials at Stanford University was the sole domain of the East Asian Collection of the Hoover Institute Library; and in keeping with the Hoover Institution’s emphasis, its collecting policy emphasized the acquisition of materials to support studies in 20th century history, political and social movements, and economics. Because it was the only Chinese and Japanese language collection at Stanford, the Library did collect somewhat more broadly than the Hoover mandate would generally have dictated. However, it never developed the depth of collecting necessary for a comprehensive East Asian collection.
With the growing demand to support Asian studies across relevant departments and programs at Stanford, negotiations began in 1996 to realign the way in which the Hoover Institution and Stanford University Libraries accomplished their collection development tasks. One of the primary desired outcomes of the realignment was to make the contents of the Hoover Library as accessible to the Stanford community as are the contents of the University Libraries’ general collections.
After the proposed realignment plan was agreed upon, the East Asia Collection of the Hoover Institution was administratively transferred to the Stanford University Libraries in September 2001 as the Stanford East Asia Library.
The primary job of the Stanford East Asia Library is now to support the East Asia studies program of Stanford University. Owing to the larger interests of Stanford faculty and its broad research interests, the collecting scope of the library has expanded into many other areas. Materials for the East Asia Library are collected in Chinese, Japanese, and beginning in September 2005, Korean. Dialectical materials are collected selectively for language studies. Western language materials on East Asia are selected for and housed in Green Library. The library has grown from 5,000 volumes at its founding in 1945 to 687,000 volumes/items today. Currently the East Asia Library receives about more than 20,000 monographic volumes and 2,000 serials titles every year. In addition, the EAL has subscribed and purchased more than 800,000 titles of e-resource in Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages. The Stanford East Asia Library's combined holdings in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean make it one of the top ten such collections in North America.
With its background as the East Asia Collection of the Hoover Institution, the Stanford East Asia Library contains unique concentrations of materials relating to the cultural, social and political movements of China and Japan in the twentieth century. As many scholars who have used these materials attest, considerable segments of these collections are likely to be unique or rarely held in North American libraries.
The Stanford East Asia Library's mission is to be a collection that could be used by North American scholars of Japanese, Chinese and Korean as a means to promote better understanding between East and West, a desire the East Asia Library continues to advance today. It maintains one of the outstanding contemporary book collections in the world; and at the same time the East Asia Library continues to grow to meet scholars' needs as part of the Stanford University Library system.
About the East Asia Library