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 the WU 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. The reading room is one of the best places to study on campus. The Washington University Libraries began the regular purchases of major Chinese and Japanese materials in 1963. These materials were originally housed in the Olin Library. East Asian Library was established in 1972, when the East Asian Collection was relocated to the second floor of January Hall.
The East Asian Library houses about 800 volumes of rare and special books, manuscripts and other materials in its Special Collections rooms.
Washington University Libraries also has extensive holdings about East Asia in English and other Western languages, which are mainly shelved in the Olin Library.
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.
Records for Chinese/Japanese/Korean (CJK) materials display in both vernacular and transliterated forms. Here are romanization guides:
The Library uses the Library of Congress classification system, except for some materials acquired prior to 1969, which use the Harvard-Yenching classification system.