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The Case of Frederick Starr’s “Missing” Ainu Book Collection

(The following is a post by Eiichi Ito, Japanese Reference Specialist, Asian Division.) Against a backdrop of increasing international awareness and recognition of indigenous groups through such milestones as the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” in 2007, scholars in Japan and around the world have shown a growing interest in the study […]

Hindostan: A Propaganda Newspaper for South Asian POWs in Germany during World War I

(The following is a post by Jonathan Loar, South Asian Reference Librarian, Asian Division) On June 28, 1914, the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie soon led to an unprecedented global conflict involving numerous nations and empires. Most people are probably familiar with World War I […]

South Manchurian Railway Company Publications in the Japanese Collection

(The following is a post by Cameron Penwell, Japanese reference librarian, Asian Division.) In 1906, in the aftermath of its victory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), the imperial Japanese government set up the South Manchurian Railway Company (SMRC) to promote and manage Japanese interests on the Asian continent. It was incorporated with the legal designation […]

Highlights of Tibetan Rare Book Collection

(The following is a post by Susan Meinheit, Mongolian and Tibetan reference specialist, Asian Division.) On July 25, 2018, the Asian Division welcomed 11 students from the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School summer class, “The History and Culture of the Tibetan Book,” for a special one-day field trip to learn about the Tibetan collection. Students […]

The Strange Tales from Liaozhai

(The following is a post by Jeffrey Wang, reference specialist for the Chinese Collection, Asian Division.) The “Strange Tales from Liaozhai” (Liao zhai zhi yi 聊齋誌異), written in classical Chinese, is a collection of short stories from the early Qing dynasty (1644-1912). It consists of 491 tales in 16 volumes, mostly stories about fox-fairies, flower-spirits, […]

“Oryun haengsilto”: A Guide to Confucian Values from Korea’s Choson Dynasty (1392-1910)

(The following is a post by Sonya Lee, Korea reference specialist, Asian Division.) An 1859 edition of the well-known Confucian work, “Oryun haengsilto” 五倫行實圖  (“Illustrated guide to the five relationships”), is one of some 3,500 volumes held in the Korean rare books collection in the Asian Division of the Library of Congress. This work exemplifies […]

Mapping Imperial Japanese History through the B-Collection

(The following is a post by Chelsea Hudson, Junior Fellow, Asian Division, Summer 2018.) The process of inventorying and cataloging the hundreds of thousands of items scattered across Library archives is in itself an exercise in reconstructing history. Each book or journal records the anonymous hands that have censored its text, drawn in its margins, […]

Catholicism in the Philippines during the Spanish Colonial Period 1521-1898

(The following is a post by Hong Ta-Moore, Southeast Asia reference librarian, Asian Division.) Southeast Asia is home to eleven countries, nearly 700 million people, and a rich variety of religious traditions. The Philippines, for example, is one of two Southeast Asian countries with a majority Christian population (the other being East Timor). According to […]