Collection Highlights

Most of the rare books and special materials at East Asian collection are housed by the Special Collection at the Memorial Library. Chinese special collections materials at the library include drama, local histories, and individual collected (literary) works. A couple of Ming dynasty titles are unique items held nowhere but at UW. To use these materials, you must visit the reading room during the hours it is open.

Our Tibetan language collection is particularly strong. Some are housed by Special Collections, in their Tibetan and Mongolian blockprints collection. Less fragile items reside in the fourth floor East Asian Reading Room. These contain many reproductions of Tibetan manuscripts. We actively add contemporary Tibetan studies materials published by the People’s Republic of China.

Japanese collection is strong in Humanities and Social Science and recently emphasizing visual materials which are housed in the Kohler Art Library and MERIT Library (Media, Educational Resources and Information Technology). Other Japan related materials can be found in other campus libraries depending on the subjects, such as College Library, Mills Music Library, Steenboch Library (Agriculture and Life Sciences), as well as the Digital Collections, and the Special Collection.

The Non-CJK designation denotes western language volumes which includes titles in Mongolian and titles in Uighur. Other significant collections of East Asian materials can be fund at the College Library, Law Library, Mills Music Library, Steenbock Library, as well as the Wisconsin Historical Society Library.

The Kohler Art Library contains some unique titles in East Asian language as well as thousands of titles in English and other Western languages about East Asian art; The Chazen Museum of Art houses the privately endowed Van Vleck collection of over 4,000 Japanese color woodblock prints, including many collected in the early 20th century by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Chazen Museum of Art’s permanent collection of Chinese art has been greatly expanded thanks to the generosity of Simon K. Chen and Rosemary Ho Chen. The gift of more than 100 works includes Chinese calligraphy, painting, woodblock prints, and rubbings, dating from 1692 to 1996. The Chen family also donated hundreds of art books to the UW-Madison Art Library.