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East Asian Collections at Duke University Libraries: Introduction

The Collections

The East Asian Collection began in the late 1920s when James A. Thomas (1862-1940), who spent more than 30 years in China managing operations for the British-American Tobacco Company, gave Duke University 1,500 volumes from his personal library. The collection grew beginning with Japanese materials in the late 1960s and Chinese and Korean materials in the 1990s. Today the East Asian Collection is a regional resource center for students and researchers.

In addition to the East Asian Collection at Duke University Libraries, students and researchers have access to Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Rubenstein Library offers materials such as:

Librarians

Using the materials at Duke

Perkins Library: http://library.duke.edu/services/visitors

Faculty, staff and students from BorrowDirect member institutions can present their school ID card to obtain borrowing privileges at the Perkins, Lilly, Music, Law and Divinity Libraries as well as the Library Service Center. Privileges are issued at the Perkins Library service desk weekdays 8 AM to 7 PM. Visitors will be required to confirm their current affiliation with their institution by successfully logging into their BorrowDirect account.

Rubenstein Library: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/about/visit
Before you arrive:

  • Register as a researcher: This one-time researcher registration process is easy and also includes the creation of an online account. With this account, you'll be able to request material for use in our reading room and track the status of your requests. 
  • Request the material you want to use: Most of our collections are stored at the Library Service Center, our off-site repository, and it will take us 2 full business days to bring them to our reading room. Submit your requests in advance of your visit.