Newsletter No. 55 (January 2010)

East Asian art and film collections at the University of Sydney Library

Nancy Li

East Asian Librarian
The University of Sydney Library


The University of Sydney library holds a significant amount of East Asian art and archaeology related printed materials. The collection is considered one of the best and most comprehensive in Australia and is made possible by a number of large donations and a bequest fund.

Chinese, Japanese and Korean art materials
The library’s East Asian art books collection has significantly increased since 1984 when the  Library received a portion of the bequest of the late Dr. M. J. Morrissey to purchase books on Far Eastern (particularly Japanese) art. A memorial fund was set up in honour of the late Arthur Lindsay Sadler, Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Sydney, 1922-1947. The bequest enables the Library to systematically purchase new publications and expensive rare materials each year. The East Asian Collection in Fisher library holds many unique and rare Chinese, Japanese and Korean art and archaeology books, especially in Japanese language.  In recent years, books on contemporary and modern art and artists have comprised a large portion of the annual purchases. In 2009, the library also purchased the Chinese red revolutionary art image and cultural relic image database thanks largely to the S. T. Lee Asian art and archaeology library donation fund. 

East Asian Collection Art Rare Books (Photo: Lily Hayashi)

East Asian art books collection (Photo: Lily Hayashi)

Japanese art catalogues
The University of Sydney Library is also one of the three depository libraries in the world to receive Japanese art catalogues.  This program was organized by the Japan Association for Cultural Exchange from 1994 to 2004, and subsequently administered by the Japan National Art Center, Tokyo from 2005.  The library received Japanese art catalogues since 1999.  All books have been catalogued and can be found in the library’s online catalogue (http://opac.library.usyd.edu.au/). An author search using "JAC project" in the catalogue will get a list of all the Japanese art catalogue titles from the project.  The library holds more than 2000 volumes so far and the collections emphasis is on Japanese artists. All the Japanese art catalogues can be borrowed and we supply interlibrary loans as well.


Japanese Art Catalogue Collection (Photo 1) (Photo: Lily Hayashi)


Japanese Art Catalogue Collection (Photo 2) (Photo: Lily Hayashi)

The Library has a significant collection of Chinese, Japanese and Korean films. Since 2006, the library also started to acquire Chinese TV drama series to support the teaching and research programs of the University. In 2007, the library was successful in its application to the Korean Film Council for its Hub-library Support Program and received Korean films, film related books and journals from the organization. There are more than 400 DVDs have been received and most of them can be found from the catalogue.     



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