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University of British Columbia: Asian Library

University of British Columbia

General Information

Facility: University of British Columbia Asian Library
Address: 1871 West Mall, Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2
Phone: (604) 822-2427 or (604) 822-2023
FAX: (604) 822-0650
Reference hours:  10:00am-4:00pm (may be limited on weekdays)

About the Library:

Established in 1948 with the first Asian Studies course offered at the University of British Columbia, the Asian Library has expanded considerably through the years, including the Japanese rare books collection, and the Chinese rare books collection.

The original library was moved into the Asian Centre in 1981, at which time it was officially sanctioned as a UBC Library. As of 2012, the library housed approximately 630,000 volumes.

In 2010, the Asian Library acquired a memory databank to document the history of the library and preserve historical documents related to the library and its activities. The databank is split into four main categories: articles/publications, news room, audio-visual records, and historical materials and miscellaneous. More information can be found here.

For more information about the Japanese collection, please contact Tomoko Kitayama Yen at (604) 822-0960 or by email.

Online Resources

Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of January 2014 the Japanese collection contained more than 57,000 volumes, 1,800 series, and 3,900 items in other formats including maps.  The Asian Library's Japanese collection is primarily focused on history, language, literature, religious studies, and women's studies.

Notable Collections:

  • Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era: a collection of maps and guidebooks of the Tokugawa Period (circa 1600-1867), comprised of single-sheet maps, large-scale maps up to thirty square feet, ceramic plates, woodblock prints, and scroll maps.

  • Japanese government publications: a collection of Japanese government publications received since 1959 from the official publication blanket exchange between Canada and the National Diet Library. The University of British Columbia Library receives these publications instead of Library and Archives Canada.


How to Use the Facility

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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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