The East Asian Library houses about 800 volumes of rare and special books, manuscripts and other types of materials in its special collection rooms.
The majority of special holdings relate to Chinese and Japanese literature, art, history, and religion. At the west end of the stacks on the second level of the Library is a special collection room where about 680 volumes of rare and special materials in Chinese and Japanese are maintained. The Library also has 110 volumes of special materials in Room 210. Special collections materials are available for use in the library, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm.
The Chinese special collection includes about 60 titles (120 volumes) of Chinese printed works produced between 1569 and 1795, and about 220 titles (365 volumes) of Chinese printed works produced between 1796 and 1911. The Japanese special collection includes about 15 titles (20 volumes) of pre-Meiji (pre-1867) watoji bon (books in Japanese binding) and wakoku bon kanseki (classical Chinese titles printed in Japan), as well as about 20 titles (40 volumes) of special books and non-book materials produced after 1868, mostly in the areas of art and graphic design and military publications.
The Robert S. Elegant Collection, primarily the assorted files of clippings of newspapers, magazines, and news releases covering the period of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1970), is also housed in the special collection room.
Library’s other special holdings include:
Nelson I. Wu‘s collection on East Asian art and architecture, and Chinese history, literature, and culture, (in special collection room and in general collection).
Thomas Temple Hoopes‘ collection on Japanese sword and Japanese art history, (in special collection room and in general collection).
Additionally, the Adeline S. Boyd Collection of Asian Art, which consists of English language books on Asian art and was donated by Mrs. Boyd to the Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures, is temporarily shelved in the East Asian Library Reading Room (next to the Circulation counter). This collection is for use in the reading room only.