Newsletter No. 54 (July 2009)

A Message to EALRGA Members from Hana Kim

Hana Kim

Librarian, Korea Studies
The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library
University of Toronto Libraries

Hello EALRGA members:

My name is Hana Kim.  I am the Korea Studies Librarian at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library of the University of Toronto in Canada.  I am currently undertaking a fellowship program (until August 21, 2009) at the Asian Collections section of the National Library of Australia for the Endeavour Executive Awards program supported by the Australian Government.  During this program, I will learn about the following areas at the National Library of Australia: 1) Digitisation project management; 2) Asian Collections and Services of the National Library of Australia, focusing on Korean Studies; and 3) Leadership and management skills.

For those EALRGA members who may be curious about the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library of the University of Toronto, I would like to provide you with a brief overview of the library.

The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library traces its origins to 1933. The Rev. William C. White, former Anglican Bishop of Henan, China, heard of a fine Chinese library for sale.  It consisted of about 40,000 volumes collected by scholar Mr. Mu Hsueh Hsun, former secretary at the German Legation in Beijing. Bishop White immediately put in an offer and purchased the library. The Mu Collection reached Toronto in 1935. This marked the beginning of the university’s Chinese collection.

Today, the University of Toronto Library system consists of 32 libraries including college libraries, special collections, specialized libraries and information centres. The East Asian Library is one such library.  In 1987, Dr. Cheng Yu-tung, Chairman of New World Development Co. Ltd., donated 1.5 million dollars targeted for the expansion and renovation of a new East Asian Library.  The Library was renamed Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library to recognize this significant contribution and dedicated support of Dr. Cheng.

The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library is located on the main campus, which is the St. George Campus, on the 8th floor of the John P. Robarts Library.  With holdings of more than 500,000 volumes, most in the Korean, Chinese and Japanese languages, the Library is one of the major East Asian Studies research collections in North America.  The Library is divided into three main sections: Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

Currently, the East Asian Library holds over 43,000 volumes in Korean, including both books and serials.  The Korean section collects a wide range of primary, secondary and tertiary sources related to Korean Studies. In addition, the Korean team selects, organizes, and makes the collection available to users to promote Korea, and to function as a stepping-stone between Korea and not only Canada, but also the world.

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