The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library began collecting limited Asian language books in the 1920s. In the 1960s, UIUC joined many higher education institutions in the nation to take advantage of heightened interest in Asia to establish the Center for Asian Studies in 1964. In 1965, a Far Eastern Library and a South and West Asian Library were created within the Special Languages Department in the Library. In 1979, as part of the Library reorganization, the Far Eastern Library and the South and West Asian Library were merged to form the Asian Library. This newly consolidated Asian Library was allocated the third floor office space and reading room, which is also adjunct to the 7th and 8th stacks East housing the Asian language collections brought together by the merge.
The Asian Collection at the International and Area Studies Library’s mission is to support the instructional and research needs of the faculty and students in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, other departments and programs offering courses on or related to Asia, and the general public on campus and the community.
The International and Area Studies Library acquires and maintains Asian language materials in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indic, Arabic and Persian. The Library's reading room also contains a collection of reference works and a selection of current periodicals on Asia in western languages. Non-Asian language materials on Asia are generally collected and housed in the Central Book stacks and departmental libraries throughout the University Library system.
The Asian collection is interdisciplinary in nature, with a primary focus on information services in the humanities and social sciences, and to a lesser extent in other fields such as agriculture and sciences. The collection is strong in the areas of linguistics, literature, history, philosophy, religion, cultures, and societies of Asia . The collection currently contains more than half million volumes. The major collections including materials in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, Arabic and Persian languages. The Library also hosts other Asian language materials, including Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. In recent years, the Library has expanded its collections to include electronic resources and other non-print materials in all areas.
The Asian Studies reference collection is located in the International and Area Studies Library, which is on the third floor of the Main Library building. The circulating collection is located on the 7th and 8th decks of the Main Stacks.
All are welcome to use the Asian collections. Please consult area pages for specific information by linking to Chinese collection, Japanese collection, Korean collection , Middle East Collection and South Asian collection. Please direct any questions or suggestions to area librarians as follows:
Shu Yong Jiang (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chinese Studies Librarian/Cataloging Coordinator
Mara L. Thacker(email@example.com), South Asian Studies Librarian
Laila Hussein ( firstname.lastname@example.org), Middle Eastern and North African Studies Librarian
Steve Witt (email@example.com), Interm Japanese Studies Librarian