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East Asian Library

Interior of the East Asian Library

The East Asian Library serves the Washington University community as part of the Washington University Libraries. It supports the teaching, study, and research needs of Washington University’s East Asian Studies Program provided by the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures, and other academic departments, schools, and programs.

Library staff and collections also support the Joint Center for East Asian Studies of Washington University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ academic programs. The Library has three levels of book stacks, a basement, and a reading room with over 100 seats that is considered one of the best places to study on campus.

The Washington University Libraries began regularly purchasing major Chinese and Japanese materials in 1963. With the support of Professor Emeritus Stanley Spector, founder and chairman of the Department of Chinese and Japanese from 1963 to 1973, and an abundance of special grants from the Carnegie Foundation and government subsidies, the vernacular language collection for the program increased rapidly. Initially housed in Olin Library, these materials moved to a separate East Asian Library established on the second floor of January Hall in 1972.

Special collections materials are available for use in the library. Please contact East Asian Library staff by phone at (314) 935-5525 or via email ( for arrangements.

Library Collections

Learn more about the extensive East Asian collections housed at the library in January Hall.

Interior of the East Asian Library.

East Asian Special Collections

The East Asian Library houses about 800 volumes of rare and special books, manuscripts, and other types of materials in its special collection rooms.

East Asian Research Guide

View a curated list of resources specific to the East Asian department, including links to guides on Chinese Studies, Japanese Studies, and Korean Studies.

Circulation Policies

Washington University students, faculty, staff, and courtesy borrowers may borrow books. A current Washington University I.D. or courtesy card is required for all borrowing transactions.

Study Rooms

Each library on campus has some quiet study areas, but not all have group study areas or study rooms. Use this page to see about study spaces and reservations.

Technology in the Library

East Asian Library Reading Room has three public computers with installed CJK software, which provide access to the Library catalog, as well as access to the Internet and other resources. Headphones for general use within the library are available at the circulation desk. The library has one multi-function printer, which is networked and provides printing, copying, and scanning services to members of the Washington University community (students, faculty, and staff). Learn more about printing and copying services (along with their associated costs).

Wireless network access is available in the East Asian Library. There is information about how to use the wireless network on the Wireless Network Access page.

The Art & Architecture Library and Arts & Sciences Creative Lab (Eads 007) have workstations for viewing VHS or DVD materials–including materials in foreign formats such as PAL or SECAM.

Faculty Course Reserves Request

Want to place a book on reserve for your class? Need assistance setting up an electronic reserve in Ares? Learn more about placing items on reserve.

Recommend a Purchase

If there is a book or item you think should be added to our collections, fill out our Recommend a Purchase form. Your request will be routed to the appropriate subject librarian for review.

Browse East Asian Library Exhibitions

See all Exhibitions

Our Staff

  • Staff photo of David Romney.


    East Asian Library
    David Romney
    Job Title
    Subject Librarian for East Asian Languages and Cultures
    Phone Number
    (314) 935-5155
    Make Appointment
    Make an Appointment
  • Staff photo of Joan Wang.


    East Asian Library
    Joan Wang
    Job Title
    East Asian and Chinese Studies Librarian
    Phone Number
    (314) 935-4816
    Make Appointment
    Make an Appointment

Directions to the East Asian Library

The East Asian Library is located on the second floor of January Hall just southwest of the Quadrangle, north of the McDonnell Science Building (see campus map). The Library can be reached by stairs beginning on the ground level near the School of Continuing & Professional Studies offices or the elevator inside January Hall. More about January Hall.

Wheelchair access is provided by elevator from the ground and all succeeding levels to the 3rd floor of Ridgley Hall, then over the bridge to the reading room of the Library, which is adjacent to the stacks.

January Hall
Second Floor
Phone: (314) 935-5525
East Asian Library Intranet