Newsletter No. 54 (July 2009)

News from the East Asian Collection, the University of Melbourne Library

Bick-har Yeung

East Asian Librarian
The University of Melbourne Library

Retrospective cataloguing projects and rare book collections

The East Asian Collection was successful in obtaining two grants from the University to catalogue the East Asian rare book collections during 2007-2009. A total of 10,000 items were added to the online catalogue including the Sibu congkan (四部丛刊), the Thomas Chong Collection and the R. F. Price Collection and other rare book materials.

The Thomas Chong Collection in the East Asian Rare Book Collection at the University of Melbourne consists of 500 books published in classical Chinese from the 1890s - early 1920s, which comprise the professional library of Thomas Chong, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, who conducted his practice in Bairnsdale from the 1920s - 1940s. In addition to the published material, there are 10 notebooks in manuscript, and a number of small bundles of herbal orders addressed to wholesale distributors in Melbourne. The latter are inscribed in the traditional manner using black ink and brush on rice paper. Almost 300 of the books are on traditional Chinese medical theory and practice and include such categories as herbal medicine and prescriptions, internal medicine, surgery and Chinese medicine cases. Another 150 volumes are on Western medicine in Chinese language, and cover the fields familiar to western practitioners - anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, infectious diseases, dermatology etc., as well as nursing, health care, first aid, and massage. A number contain fine woodcuts illustrating the various plants from which the herbal preparations were made, whilst others on anatomy are illustrated showing the bones with their muscular attachments outlined, familiar to western medical students of today. Al list of the book titles in the Thomas Chong collection is available from the following link: http://cat.lib.unimelb.edu.au/search/t?SEARCH=thomas+chong+collection&sortdropdown=-&searchscope=30

The R.F. Price Collection in the East Asian Rare Book Collection at the University of Melbourne Library is a collection of Chinese books published from the 1960s to 1980s. It is unique in western libraries, with its strong focus on school textbooks, children books and books associated with education in China. It was donated to the University by Dr. R.F. Price in July 2007. Dr. Price is a scholar of comparative education, who has written widely on education in China. Born in the UK, he taught there, in Bulgaria, Ghana, and in the School of Education at La Trobe University. In 1965 he went to teach English at the Second Foreign Languages Institute, Beijing, returning to the UK in the summer of 1967. Some of the collection items were purchased by Dr. Price during his stay in Beijing, others in subsequent visits to China or Hong Kong. In 1966, during the first period in which Dr. Price taught in China, Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution, leading to ten years of chaos in China with widespread suffering and loss of life. During the Revolution China suffered from a severe shortage of books. Publications during this period had a strong emphasis on politics: the propagation of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought. The R.F. Price Collection has a good coverage of this type of political publication. The Collection includes a comprehensive collection of Chinese primary and high school textbooks, books on a variety of education disciplines such as educational theory, administration and systems, educational history, biographies of educators and directories of educational institution in China. There is also a rich collection of children's books, which are rarely found in Australian libraries. An article detailed the the R.F. Price Collection written by Bick-har Yeung, East Asian Librarian will be published at the December 2009 issue of University of Melbourne Collections. A list of book titles in the R.F. Price Collection is available from the following link: http://cat.lib.unimelb.edu.au/search/t?SEARCH=r+f+price+collection&sortdropdown=-&searchscope=30

New database acquisitions
China Yearbook Full-text Database 中国年鉴全文数据库
China Yearbook Full-text Database (CYFD) is a full text database of major Chinese yearbooks published in China. The University of Melbourne has subscribed to 36 yearbooks from the database. A list of yearbooks subscription can be found from the following link: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/asian/CYFDlist.html

Japan Knowledge (ジャパンナレッジ)
Japan Knowledge is a database containing full text records from Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Newspapers, Journals etc.

J-Stage: Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic
J-Stage includes full text electronic journals, proceedings, and reports from Japanese scientific societies.

Kikuzo II Visual for Libraries (聞蔵IIビジュアル)
"Kikuzo II Visual" is one of the largest on-line newspaper database in Japan, containing over 8,000,000 articles.
Content is gathered from the Asahi Newspaper, Aera Magazine, Shukan Asahi Magazine and the Chiezo, etc.
An historical image archive of the Asahi Newspaper is also available from this resource. Coverage: 朝日新聞1985~, 週刊朝日, AERA (アエラ),  知恵蔵, 朝日新聞歴史写真アーカイブ.

New subject guides:
Architectural Conservation in China
Beijing Most 2009 Architecture Studio

Asian Architecture Models database 
The Asian Architecture model refers to the scaled building model of wood or 3D digital including drawings, photographs of the model making by the students in the Asian Architecture B: China, Japan and Korean at the University of Melbourne. The Asian Architecture Database has been updated and consists of 16 model reports.

Staff activities

  1. Michelle Hall attended Japanese Studies Association of Australia conference in Sydney (13-16/7) where she organised a panel on library e-resources and presented a paper. She was re-elected Treasurer of the Association for another 2 years period.
  2. Bick-har Yeung attended the Chinese Studies Association of Australia Conference in Sydney (9-11/7) where she organised a panel on information resources for Chinese Studies and presented a paper on “Electronic resources for researching China”.


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Page last updated: 31 July 2009
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