HELP ON PITTCAT / PITTCAT+
- Guide to searching for Chinese materials on PITTCat
- Guide to searching for Japanese materials on PITTCat
- Guide to searching for Korean materials on PITTCat
History of the East Asian Library at the University of Pittsburgh
The University Library System (ULS) at the University of
Pittsburgh (PITT) began its Chinese collection in 1960 after PITT was
selected as one of the 20 National Defense Education Act
centers for Chinese studies. Five years later, the East Asian
Library (EAL) was established to include also the Japanese
collection. The Korean materials were added to the collection
from the year 2000.
Today, the EAL has become one of the most prominent
East Asian collections in North America with over 431,167
volumes of monographs, about 900 titles of periodicals,
around 14,475 reels of microfilms, over 27 current newspapers,
4,400 multi-media resources, and 18 major area
studies online databases. As of June 2009, the library ranks
the 14th in size among all the East Asian collections
in North America and is the largest resource center in the
Tri-state area (Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia). The
library’s primary mission is to support the Asian Studies
Center for instruction and research in Chinese, Japanese
and Korean studies.
The EAL Collections
The EAL consists of four collections—Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English languages. With over 303,200 volumes / items of Chinese books, serials, microforms, multi-media resources, and 10 online databases, the Chinese collection ranks the 13th (as of June 2012) in North American academic libraries. The Chinese collection has notable strengths in traditional Chinese literature, philosophy, and history. Other areas of strength are Chinese classics and religion, Ming and Qing gazetteers, local histories, and imperial court archives. With an increasing emphasis on modern China, the collection contains relatively comprehensive publications of Chinese yearbooks, statistics, and Cultural Revolution publications.
The Japanese collection ranks the 15th (as of June 2012) in North American academic libraries with over 135,500 volumes / items of Japanese books, serials, microforms, multi-media resources, and 5 online databases. The Japanese collection is strong in Japanese economic history, linguistics and pedagogy, medical history, modern literature, history and culture of Japanese movies, pre-modern history of art, and religion of pre-modern period. New subjects are also under development, such as classics, religion of contemporary period, and mass media and identity of contemporary period.
One of the valuable part of the Japanese Collection is the Mitsui Collection donated by the Institute for Financial and Economic Research (金融経済研究所) of the former Mitsui Bank. The Collection contains over 64,000 volumes of books and journals – about 33,500 of Japanese imprints, 10,700 of Western languages imprints, and 20,000 Japanese and Western languages journals. It is one of the best collections on Japanese finance, the former Japanese colonies (Taiwan, Manchuria, Korea) and international finance. It also contains materials on labor problem, social movement, company and local histories, pre- and post-war biographies, and an assortment of statistical annuals and other kinds of yearbooks.
The Korean collection is comparatively new, with vigorous growth in recent years, especially with supplemental acquisition budget support from the Asian Studies Center. The collection ranks 18th (as of June 2012) among Korean collections in North American libraries, with a holding of more than 16,900 volumes / item of Korean books, serials, microforms, multi-media resources, and 9 online databases. The collection is strong in core reference materials of Korean studies, Korean economics and politics, history, literature, language, and philosophy. The collection includes substantial number of North Korean academic books, journals, and movie DVDs.
The EAL Services
One of the EAL’s most successful and well-known programs is the East Asian Gateway Service (EAGS). The EAGS was established in October 1998 by a grant from the U.S. Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Since October 2001, the EAGS has been financially supported by the University of Pittsburgh Library System. The EAGS is a pioneer in developing a transcontinental interlibrary partnership.
The EAGS, administered by the EAL of the ULS, focuses
on free delivery of full-text Chinese and Korean language
academic publications to researchers. The EAGS delivers
Chinese documents to any individual researchers for research and
teaching purpose or non-profit organizations who cannot
find the needed item in any U.S. libraries. However, the service for Korean documents offers
delivery to the University of Pittsburgh faculty and students only. The service is reciprocal, as the ULS provides
document delivery service of English language materials to
its Chinese and Korean partner libraries. In the past nine years, the EAGS has succeeded in
not only providing an effective research support to
thousands of China scholars in the United States and
researchers and scientists in China, but also in creating
an extensive partnership with 16 academic or research
libraries in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. According to the EAGS’ statistics, from 1999 to
2008(FY), it received a total number of 17,734 requests;
since 2003, more than half of the requests are from
the Chinese partner libraries. The geographical
map of the EAGS’s U.S.-based users covers 40 states in America,
more than 130 colleges and universities, and many
The Japan Information Service (JIS), formerly called Japan Information Center (JIC), was established in 1996 as a collaborative effort between the University of Pittsburgh and the Japan Center for Intercultural Communication (JCIC) in Tokyo. Since 1998, the center has been solely administered by the University Library System, with personnel support partially funded through Japan Council at the Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh. The main mission of JIS is to provide Japan related information to faculty and students at the University of Pittsburgh, and to community users in general. JIS covers broad subject areas such as economics, politics and government policies, business and industries, cultures, language, statistic data, and so on.
The EAL has established partnerships
with over 40 libraries in mainland China, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and other countries on gift donations and exchange of printed materials. The most recent
partner library is Yanbian University, China, for exchange of materials published in Western countries and Korean materials published in Yangbian area and North Korea.
To further strengthen connections with its partners from China, the East Asian Library (EAL) in cooperation with the ULS, has been administering and coordinating the librarian training and exchange program since its inception in 1997. As of February 2011, 39 Chinese librarians and library school faculty members from 16 different research institutes have been trained each for a period ranging from three months to 12 months. These Chinese library professionals have gone through hands-on training in the areas of information technology, user services, technical processing, and library management at the ULS in conjunction with research and course work at School of Information Sciences.
As an exchange, the ULS has sent 14 librarians to Chinese partner libraries to give lectures on recent development in American libraries, to observe Chinese library operations, and to work with Chinese colleagues.
In addition, the East Asian Library (EAL) has hosted 4 visiting scholars from Korea and 1 visiting librarian from Japan each for a stay ranging from 3 months to 1 year.
The EAL has actively participated in on-campus and
local community events to showcase library services and
resources. Highlights of outreach activities include coordinating the International Week and Asian Studies Center display booths at various events, supporting Chinese School of Pittsburgh, Organization of Asian Americans, Chinese Association for Science and Technology, Chinese Scholars Organization, the Japan Association of Greater Pittsburgh, hosting several exhibitions about Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures and languages, and participating in annual Dragon Boat Festival organized by the Pittsburgh City since 2002.
The Chinese emblem of EAL was written by Wang Xizhi (王羲之, AD303-361, also Wang Hsi-chih ). He was a very famous calligrapher and lived in Jin Dynasty. His masterpiece has been studied by generations of students and used as examples to learn and practice the art of calligraphy. We collected the characters he wrote and modified a little bit to create our Chinese logo.
Click to view Fullsize of EAL Chinese Logo.