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University of California Berkeley: C. V. Starr East Asian Library

General Information

University of California at Berkeley C. V. Starr East Asian Library
C. V. Starr East Asian Library
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone: (510) 642-2556 or (510) 642-2557
FAX: (510) 642-3817
Hours: Hours of operation

About the library:

The East Asian originated with the deposit in 1896 of John Fryer's Chinese library. By the middle of the twentieth century, donations of 100,000 items from the Mitsui Library and the 8,850 volumes of the Murakami Library allowed the library to be ranked first in Japanese academic libraries in the country.

Constructed in 2007, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, where the collections are now housed, is the first freestanding structure built to house an academic East Asian collection on an American university campus. It opened to the public in 2008.

For more information about the Japanese Collection, please contact Toshie Marra at (510) 643-0656 or by email.


Funding by the East Asian Library, David Rumsey and Cartography Associates, this database includes over 1,900 images of some of the 2,300 early maps of Japan and the world held at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library.

The East Asian Library's collection of 150 sugoroku sheets is accessible online through this database, as well as through David Rumsey's website.

Summary of Collections

Collection size:

Until 2010 UC Berkeley was one of two depository sites for the National Diet Library of Japan. Since 2010 the Library of Congress has been the only depository in the US for NDL publications. As of July 2014 the UC Berkeley Japanese collection totaled 408,000 volumes and is the largest in the US after that at Library of Congress.

Notable Collections:

  • Asami Library: contains over 4,000 volumes of classical Korean imprints and manuscripts, including Haedong kayo, an eighteenth-century anthology of Korean poetry compiled by Kim Su-jang..
  • Chōhyōkaku Collection: one of the largest and richest collections of Chinese rubbings outside East Asia.
  • Gakken Collection: noted for its kanshibun (漢詩文).
  • Motoori and Sōshin Collections: comprised of woodblock editions from the Tokugawa and early Meiji periods.
  • Ho-Chiang Collection: Buddhist sutras in manuscript and print, this collection documents the development of Buddhism in China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Tibetan Collection: includes pre-1949 xylographs of Tantric texts of the Nying-ma-pa sect, as well as an eighteenth-century Narthang edition of the Kanjur section of Buddhist canon.
  • Murakami Library: 8,850 volumes, dedicated to belletristic writing of the Meiji and early Shōwa periods, with political economy, social criticsm, history, philosophy, and religion also being represented. This collection was originally collected by Murakami Hamakichi, author of Meiji bungaku shomoku (明治文学書目), and was intended to serve as a primary source for the study of the Meiji Era.
  • Sugoroku collection: 150 sugoroku sheets, some with the original wrappers in which they were marked. Primarily from the Meiji Era, the majority are secular in content.

Please note: many of the old and rare books in the library's collections can be accessed through the 日本古典籍総合目録データベース (Nihon Kotenseki Sōgō Mokuroku Dētabēsu).


Online catalog:

Online Resources

A list of research guides available for topics within Japanese studies and other East Asian academic areas.

This is a guide specifically to the Japanese collection at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, including its specialized holdings.

How to Use the Facility

Borrowing Privileges

The library is open to public access, and most collections may be used on site. All faculty, staff, and students of the University of California Berkeley have borrowing privileges. Those connected with another University of California campus can obtain a Berkeley library card at the Privileges Desk, located on the first floor of the Doe Library. Proxy borrowers for UC Berkeley faculty, staff, or students, as well as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory staff, Stanford University faculty, staff, and graduate students, visiting and postdoctoral scholars, California state university and community college students, California public school teachers, UC Extension faculty and students, and others may be able to borrow books from the library. For more information, please see the Borrowing page.

Scanning & Printing Services

All printing from a BookScan or public workstation in the UC Berkeley libraries must be paid for using the Cal 1 Card. Visitors may request a Cal 1 Card from the Moffitt Copy Center or from a public service desk in a library. For the varying costs of different sized black-and-white and color prints, please see the Printing and Scanning in the Libraries page.

The BookScan locations can store scanned pages on a flash drive as an alternative to printing.

Give Us Your Feedback

For all comments and questions about the Guide, please e-mail us:

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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