The Library And Collections

Introducing The Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library

The Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library was established in 1948 to support the University's teaching and research programs in East Asian Studies. The Library selects, organizes, and makes available Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language materials. Its staff provides reference and instruction services to optimize access and use of the collections.

Brief History of the Library

In 1948, Richard C. Rudolph, Chairman of the Department of Oriental Languages (now the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures) at UCLA, traveled to China on a Fulbright grant to study archeology and, on a personal mission, to purchase books to support the Chinese program at the University. In the wake of the Communist takeover, Dr. Rudolph hurriedly combed through bookstores in Beijing and Chengdu for reference works, encyclopedias, and large collected works known as collectanea, all of them original wood-block printed books. On his way home he bought some more books in Japan. A collection of over 10,000 volumes was purchased on this trip.

In 1948, the Oriental Library was installed in the basement of the Powell Library building. It provided both a basic reference collection and a cultural retreat for faculty and students on campus. In 1971, after the second phase of the University Research Library building was constructed, the Library moved to its current location--the second floor of the Charles E. Young Research Library. On April 10, 1981, Richard C. Rudolph Oriental Library was formally named in honor of Rudolph's most substantial and distinguished efforts in the building of the collection. In 1990, the name of the Library was changed again to the East Asian Library to accurately reflect its collection of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials and the name of the program the Library supports, East Asian Studies.


As of July 1, 2011, the total holdings of the East Asian Library consisted of 673,215 volumes/items, including monographs, microforms and audio-visual materials, of which 343,450 are in Chinese, 271,550 in Japanese, and 58,215 in Korean. The library currently receives 3,104 serial titles annally, with 2,044 in Chinese, 839 in Japanese, and 221 in Korean. In addition, the Library acquires/subscribes to 43 online databases in Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages, as well as 20,248 electronic books and 1,000 individual eletronic periodical subscriptions. 

The East Asian collection is traditionally strong in archeology; religion (especially Buddhism); folklore; pre-modern history and classical literature of both China and Japan; as well as Chinese and Japanese fine arts. Special efforts have been made in recent years to strengthen Chinese and Japanese local historical materials, Chinese and Korean films, Chinese statistical yearbooks, genealogies and theater/dramas. The Library's Korean collection, developed since 1985, has strengths in the areas of history, literature, and religions.