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East Asian Studies

This guide provides access to key resources for East Asian Studies at NYU and elsewhere.


East Asian Collection and Reading Room Re-opened

The East Asian Collection in the 10th Floor North Reading Room of Bobst Library is fully open to researchers. Come see where the reference materials are located, find your CJK books and serials, browse our Japanese manga collection, and enjoy the views of Washington Square Park.

East Asian Studies: Collection Guidelines

For information about our collection development guidelines regarding the East Asian Studies Collection, click here:


Collection Purpose


Bobst Library's East Asian Collection supports teaching and research in multiple departments across the university, including The College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Gallatin School, the School of Law, the Steinhardt School of Education, the Stern School of Business, the Tisch School of the Arts, and the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

The collection's primary focus centers on the work of the Department of East Asian Studies. However, because of the department's commitment to an interdisciplinary examination of East Asia and because of widespread academic interest in the region throughout the university community, the collection also supports research and curricula ranging across numerous departments, including but not limited to Anthropology, Cinema Studies, Comparative Literature, Fine Arts, History, Religious Studies, and Sociology.

On the undergraduate level the Department of East Asian Studies offers a humanities major and a humanities minor. On the graduate level, the department offers both doctoral and master's degrees in East Asian Culture. Many other departments grant master's and doctoral degrees in East Asian subjects.

The collection includes materials in English as well as the East Asia languages Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and collects in the geographical areas of China, Japan, and Korea in print and e-resource formats. Resources are held in multiple areas of the library, including the 10th Floor East Asian Studies Reading Room, Bobst Ref 1, Bobst Main, Avery Fischer Center, and Special Collections.

The Collection is available for use by NYU students, faculty, and alums both on campus and in the greater NY area, our Shanghai and Abu Dhabi campuses, as well as to members of the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI) community. Materials are shared through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and EZBorrow. Materials are acquired through approval plans and firm order, or orders determined by specific titles, with recommendations by members of the user community and management by the East Asian Studies Librarian.

Collection Scope and Types of Materials

Collection Scope

  1. Languages
    Materials are primarily collected in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and selectively in French, German, Russian, Spanish, and other languages.

  2. Geographical Areas

    Areas collected intensively include all of China, Japan, and Korea. Materials concerning Vietnam are collected selectively.

  3. Chronological Periods

    Major emphasis is on the modern period in the areas of literature, history (including political and social history), cinema studies, women's studies, gender studies, language and linguistics, religion, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and urban studies. For the premodern period, basic materials in the areas of literature, language, history, religion, and philosophy are also collected.

Types of Materials

  1. Included

    For both print and e-resource formats, we acquire East Asian related monographs,monographic series, serials, newspapers, proceedings, facsimiles, reprints, microforms, audio-visual and electronic media (including electronic texts). We collect major databases of articles and/or article indexes in bibliographic or full-text databases, and electronic journals. We recently turned our attention to e-books in all three East Asian languages, both on our own and through participation in the various consortia formed by other North American East Asian libraries. Electronic or E-resources refer to those materials that require a computer for access.

    Chinese, Japanese, and Korean films are collected by the Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media with occasional recommendation by the East Asian Librarian. Dissertations, exhibition catalogs, government documents, pamphlets, and textbooks are acquired more selectively, if at all. Some of these are offered through our subscription databases.

  2. Excluded

    Ephemera, maps, manuscripts.

Collection History

Collection Background

The East Asian Studies Collection at Bobst reflects the history of East Asian Studies at NYU. A very limited East Asian Studies program came into existence in the 1980s. The East Asian Studies Department has existed since the late 1990s, and the first graduate degree candidates were admitted in fall 2004. With assistance from faculty in the East Asian Studies Department, the East Asian Studies Librarian began building the collection in the 1990s.

For the material on East Asian Studies in Western languages, we use an approval plan with final selection by the East Asian Studies librarian. For materials in Chinese, we also use an approval plan that covers materials about Chinese philosophy and religion, history, feminism, language and linguistics, literature, and cinema. For materials in Japanese and Korean language, orders are based on faculty recommendations, vendor and publishers' catalogs, bibliographies, and review media. Print journals are acquired selectively, principally through faculty request.