C.V. Starr East Asian Library

C.V. Starr East Asian Library Exterior During Daytime

Korean Studies at the East Asian Library

Korean Collection Librarian
Jae-yong Chang (장재용)

The Library's Korean holdings now exceed 102,000 volumes. Outstanding among these are the 4,000+ volumes of the Asami library, assembled by Asami Rintarō in the early decades of the twentieth century and purchased by Berkeley thirty years later. The collection includes a number of manuscript diaries and memoirs, hand-copied works, and about sixty examples of moveable-type printing dating to as early as the seventeenth century.

The general Korean collection extends to all fields of the humanities and social sciences but is particularly strong in history, political science, and sociology. Some of its resources are seldom encountered in North American libraries, including Korean-language materials published by ethnic Korean communities in Japan, Chinese Manchuria and Jilin, and the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Special Korean Collections

Korean Diaspora Collection

This collection is written by ethnic Koreans over the world, from those who are living in Yanbian in China, Vladivostok in Russia, to those who are living in Central Asia. These Korean Diaspora societies have been rapidly fragmenting and decreasing in population, as being incorporated by nearby countries. In this respect, this collection has exceptional meaning as it captures and preserves the field of culture, language, and history of Korean Diaspora. Also, in medium and long-term vision, this has special value to have information about diminishing Korean Diaspora.

Collection of Student Movement in 80-90s, (Collection of Banded books

1980s is the decade where Korea experienced many changes, internally and externally and also the period Korea flourished with student movements. During the 1980s, Marxism-Leninism heavily influenced to build a revolutionary students force, and those books which contain the ideology of progressive ideas are strictly banned from reading and even from pressing. So, those books are called 'Banned books'. The 1980's student movements were as popular as ever with hundreds of thousands revolutionary supporters and remained vigorous activities until the collapse of Eastern Europe socialism countries. Despite of rareness of books due to strict prohibition of distribution, they are significant materials to understand Korean unification movement, labor movement, the feminist movement, as well as Korean student movements in 1980's.

Collection of Church History

There is a collection for history of Korean church and Korean Catholic church since 2008. It includes not only history of protestant church materials which can be fundamental sources to case research about successful Korean church but also history of Korean the Presbyterian Church data. As Korean church grew up, users have requested Korean Christianity research data. Most of church history materials are not for sale, so the C. V. Starr East Asian Library has asked book collectors to hold the materials.

Asami Collection

Asami Collection is collected by Asami Rintaro (淺見倫太郞) who was a judge in Kyung-sung. Asami bought books which were mostly from Chosun Dynasty noble or aristocrat family. Then, Asami sent these rare books to Mitsui Library(三井文庫) through Mitsui products in Seoul. In 1950, Mitsui Library sold the rare books to UC Berkeley. Asami Collection has been evaluated as the best level of collection in terms of possessing great quality and quantity of materials. The profound research about Asami Collection was conducted by Professor Fang, Chao-ying. He published English version books including brief bibliographic information. There are many rare materials and sole data in Asami Collection.

Richmond Collection

Richmond Collection consists of Korean Classical Books which came from Insa-dong, Seoul in 1960's and 1970's. The collection was created by UC Berkeley's own funding. Among the Richmond Collection, some materials that have historical and meaningful importance were stored as digital pictures. Richmond Collection has raw recording materials in Japanese colonial era, helpful in understanding past Korean culture and society.

For more information, including available databases, newspapers, films, articles, and dissertations, visit Korean Studies on the library website