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November 16, 2021 – April 30, 2022

This exhibit celebrates the creation of the East Asian Collection at Duke University Libraries. Although informal collecting had always occurred, the Libraries began a distinct focus on East Asian collecting in 1990 with the hiring of the first Japanese Studies Librarian, Kristina Troost, followed by a Chinese Studies Librarian in 1996, and a Korean Studies Librarian in 2007. The collection has grown from 20,000 volumes to over 200,000, and the Libraries now have the largest Japanese collection south of Washington, DC.

The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s collection for East Asia predates the founding of the East Asian Collection. As the program has grown in recent years it has added new areas, such as historical maps, Zen in America, and archival photography.Materials from the seventeenth century to the present illuminate the culture and society of East Asia. Some shed light on Westerners’ understanding of East Asian culture; more recent acquisitions have been produced by East Asians for East Asians.

This exhibition was sponsored in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. 

Gallery temporarily available by appointment only