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Category: Asian Division

From The Library of Suzanne Karpelès: Jewels of Early Cambodian Buddhist Printing and Modernist Khmer and Pali Manuscripts

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

Suzanne Karpelès lived a fascinating life of a scholar of Pali, Khmer, Thai, Tibetan, and Sanskrit, at a time when being an Indologist was a male dominated field, making a major impact on academic knowledge of Cambodian Buddhism, among other subjects. Her personal library is full of wonderful treasures from the early days of Western printing of Cambodian Buddhist works and rare Khmer manuscripts like the Reamker, the Cambodian version of the epic Hindu tale, the Ramayana. One can still access her unique library at the Library of Congress where it has found a home with the Southeast Asian Rare Book Collection in the Asian Reading Room.

Two pages of Braj book with illustrations on both pages showing Hindu god Krishna and other figures captioned with text in Devanagari script.

Now Online: South Asian Digital Collection

Posted by: Joshua Kueh

With 900 freely accessible online items at launch, the South Asian Digital Collection features primary sources on a variety of subjects. This blog looks at the new collection’s items related to colonialism in South Asia, vernacular literature, religion and philosophy, grammar and linguistics, the Rebellion of 1857, and travel accounts by European and American authors.

A wooden ship with sails and a steam-powered paddle wheel.

Now Online: Pacific Encounters in Nineteenth-Century Japan

Posted by: Cameron Penwell

(The following post is by Cameron Penwell, Japanese Reference Specialist, Asian Division.) On March 31, 1854, the signing of the US-Japan Treaty of Peace and Amity marked the beginning of official relations between the United States and Japan. In connection with the 170th anniversary of this historical event, the Library of Congress has launched a …

Celebrating Lunar New Year with the Library of Congress’s Collections

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

(This post is a cross-post written by Dianne Choie, Educational Programs Specialist at the Library of Congress. It originally appeared on the blog Minerva’s Kaleidoscope.) You may have counted down to midnight on December 31st to ring in 2024, but did you know that in some parts of the world, February 10th marks the beginning …

What Were Pakistani Women Reading in the Sixties? A Glance at “Ak̲h̲bār-i k̲h̲avātīn”

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

In this blog post, 2023 Junior Fellow Amina Malik discusses her project to inventory the Asian Division’s serials in South Asian languages. The post also offers insight into this collection by looking at the Urdu publication “Ak̲h̲bār-i k̲h̲avātīn,” a serial for Pakistani women on education, society, international news, and many other topics.

Screenshot of Library of Congress webpage with recording of a virtual panel event.

US and Philippine Panelists Discuss Mangyan Scripts, Literary Heritage, and Collections: a Recording and Resources

Posted by: Joshua Kueh

This blog post highlights a video recording and resources related to a virtual panel event hosted by the Library of Congress Asian Division entitled "Mangyan Scripts, Literary Heritage, and Collections," which took place on September 20, 2023. The event featured presentations on Mangyan writing and literary culture, as well as Mangyan collections at the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), the Mangyan Heritage Center (Mindoro, Philippines), Newberry Library (Chicago), and Yale Peabody Museum (New Haven). Audience members interacted with speakers in a Question and Answer session following the presentations.

The Intersection between Texts and Textiles across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia: a Display and Talk at the Library of Congress

Posted by: Ryan Wolfson-Ford

On Friday September 29, the Asian Division of the Library of Congress will be hosting a partial day display and talk in the Thomas Jefferson Building (rooms LJ110/119) celebrating the diversity of the Library’s collections through textiles, in collaboration with the African and Middle Eastern, Prints & Photographs, Geography & Maps, and Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Rooms.