Mitsutaka Nakamura, Japanese and Korean Studies Librarian at Washington University Libraries, has been awarded a grant from the Korea Foundation to support the university’s Korean studies e-resources subscription expenses.
The $4,000 award from the Foundation will help advance the field of Korean Studies at Washington University by providing faculty scholars and students access to Korean databases of classical and general humanities texts, academic periodicals, and research articles, including the Korean Studies Information Service System’s database of publications by over 1,200 research institutions in Korea.
The Foundation has supported Korean studies library resources at WashU for more than a decade, but due to the pandemic and critical budget cuts funding was discontinued in 2021. However, Nakamura was able to successfully apply for funding and regain the grant for fiscal year 2022 after receiving guidance and advice from a Korean studies librarian at the University of Michigan through the mentorship program of the Council on East Asian Libraries.
The funding comes at a critically important time as the Korean studies program is entering a phase of growth and expansion at WashU.
“The usage of some of these databases in Korean studies has reached historically maximum ranges at the university. The addition of a new faculty member in the Korean Studies program in 2021 and the potential of starting graduate-level classes in this field in the near future mean that we cannot afford any loss of our budget in Korean Studies programs and library resources,” said Nakamura.
Part of the Washington University Libraries, the East Asian Library supports the teaching, study, and research needs of the Program in East Asian Languages and Cultures and other academic departments, schools, and programs at Washington University.
The library has over 168,271 books and bound serials, including 104,952 volumes in Chinese, 58,611 volumes in Japanese, and 4,708 volumes in Korean, plus extensive collections of microfiche, microfilm, and electronic resources. The library also houses about 800 volumes of rare and special books, manuscripts, and other materials.