Literature and Language
In response to the academic programs, Chinese language and literature span the period from the Tang dynasty, beginning in the 7th century, to the present. Holdings being the strongest in the collection, literary resources except for classical poetry focus on periods after the Song dynasty beginning in the 14th century. Holdings encompass all literary genres: poetry, drama, novels, other types of prose, and many forms of creative writing, as well as resources on the language itself and linguistics. The holdings of pre-modern materials are supported by core works like the Siku Quanshu 四庫全書(Complete Library of the Four Treasuries) collections in various editions and compilations, private library collections covering essential historical publications from the 11th century to late 18th century such as Yu hai 玉海, Shiyuan Congshu 適園叢書 and basic reference sources, such as Hanyu da cidian 漢語大詞典, which UNC makes available in an electronic version.
UNC's serious collecting of contemporary literature dates from 1985 when Jing Wang 王瑾arrived at Duke and began to teach in this area. With the subsequent appointments of Gang Yue and Robin Visser at UNC in the 1990s, the library expanded the core literary journals from China and Taiwan, such as the Renmin wenxue人民文學(People's Literature ), Lianhe wenxue聯合文學(United Literature ) and 1920's Hong zazhi紅雜志(Rose), to include newer magazines such as Shuo huo收獲 [Harvest]. More recently, the collections have encompassed ethnic literature, especially works about and by Tibetan writers and other ethnic minority authors. Literature holdings now regularly cover women writers, while thematically they have expanded beyond the traditional scope to include popular culture and magazines.
Cinema and Media
With the increase in undergraduates studying East Asia and their interest in media, since the 1990s UNC has actively acquired films and other audio-visual resources from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. These acquisitions cover unique genres, such as anime (animation) and martial arts, as well as newer subjects in gay and women’s studies. UNC also endeavors to select a wide an array of independent films, documentaries—including censored titles—together with early Chinese movies prior to 1949.
The cinema holdings received a major boost in 2005 with a gift of 130 Taiwanese films in 16 mm (fig. 5) from the Taipei Economic and Culture Office (TECO) in Atlanta. This collection contains films produced during the 1980s and 1990s period of the “New Taiwanese Cinema”, and it includes such influential directors such as Hou Hsiao-hsien 侯孝賢, Edward Yang 楊德昌 and Wang Tong 王童. This collection is unique because it includes English subtitles and some films have never been reformatted into VHS or DVD, for instance Wang Tong's early productions.(18) As part of the arrangement, UNC obtained rights to reformat these films into DVDs for education use and agreed to preserve the original films.
UNC offers solid resources in Chinese history, especially from the late imperial period since the 14th century and continuing to the present day. The collection is strong in foreign relations between the U.S. and China, Christian missionary activity, economic and political developments, social conditions, military affairs, and government publications. There are also good concentrations of primary materials such as pre-1949 journals, local historical gazettes, and Ming Qing (17th-19th centuries) official archives.
With the growing interest in modern China, the UNC library has worked with with Duke's historian, Sucheta Mazumdar, to develop its holdings on the Republican Era (1911-1949) women's journals (fig. 7). It now contains important periodicals such as Fun¨u zazhi 婦女雜志 (Ladies Journal) from 1915-1931, which according Eugene Lean, who taught at UNC, is invaluable because it "actively linked women's issues with concerns of national salvation as well as more concrete social and political topics of the day."(20) UNC's coverage on the Republican Era women's journals is relatively strong when compared to Chu Guoqing' study of pre-1949 women's journal titles that listed in the National Union Catalog of Chinese periodicals (全國中文期刊聯合目錄)(21). UNC's holdings include a number of earlier journals not listed in the national union catalog, such as Nüxue jiangyi 女學講義 (Women's Studies Lecture) by Sichuan nüxue jiangyi bianjisuo 四川女學講義編輯所, published from 1904 to May of 1905, and Nüzi Shijie 女子世界 (Women's World) by Jiangsu Chengdu nüzi yukanshe 江蘇成都女子月刊社, from January of 1904 to July of 1907.
Art, archeology and cultural heritage resources
Pre-modern resources are the main focus for art history and archeology. Buddhist art and East Asian architecture, especially Chinese and Japanese palaces, gardens, shrines and temples, represent collection strengths. UNC built its holdings with strong and active input from faculty including Duke's art historian Stanley Abe.
The library owns many books with reproductions of art works from major museums and art institutions in China and Taiwan that include traditional painting, calligraphy, sculpture, and other art objects. UNC hired the first tenure track faculty in East Asian art, Wei-cheng Lin 林偉正, in 2008. Lin's academic interests will undoubtedly lead to further efforts to deepen collections for Buddhist art resources and expand holdings to cover the contemporary art works from East Asia. The print collections have been enhanced greatly with the library's subscription to ARTstor.
The library has adequate coverage for culture heritage resources, with a long run of core journals such as Wenwu 文物 (Cultural relics), Kaogu 考古 (Archeology). It also holds key journals with a regional focus such as Dongnan wenhua 東南文化 (Southeastern culture) and Qinghai wenwu 青海文物 (Qinghai cultural relics).
UNC actively acquires a wide range of works on the major religions of East and South Asia with emphasis on Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism. Collections also cover Zen, the Pure Land schools, unorthodox, popular religious movements and other esoteric traditions. Buddhism holdings include major Buddhist sacred works such as Qianlong da zang jing 乾隆大藏經(Qianlong Tripitaka) as well as titles that document its development in China in the first half of the 20th century like Haichaoyin 海潮音 (Sound of the tide).
The library acquires a wide range of social science resources in both academic and professional fields: business, economic development, politics, sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, and education. Among the newer collecting areas are human rights and democratization, ethnic relations, health reforms, women studies and mass media. The library also acquires historical and contemporary datasets at both the national and sub-national level, such as demographic surveys and data on ethnic and minority groups.
Besides films, in 2002 TECO gave UNC a collection of primary materials from Taiwanese government agencies, universities, museums, and libraries. This gift covered a wide range of subjects, including history, biography, Taiwan's political development, elections, women's studies, economics, and education. It also included maps, manuscripts, research reports, yearbooks, and a set of writings by former Taiwan president Chiang Ching-kuo 蔣經國. These donations significantly augmented the holdings of Taiwanese resources, while a new library subscription to the Scripta Sinica database (Hanji quanwen ziliaoku 漢籍全文資料庫) from Academia Sinica provides faculty and students with substantial historical resources about and from Taiwan.
UNC also has strong holdings on Chinese medicine that were developed when Gail Henderson in Social Medicine started teaching at UNC in 1983. With an appointment of Judith Farquhar in 1986, collecting efforts increased with particular attention to medical anthropology. The collection now covers medical materials such as annotated reprints of classic works, historical studies, works of theoretical importance, biographical materials, and reference works. Library holdings also include "crack-pot" speculations of the kind that attracted a wide audience for a short time, such as the literature on bizarre powers (teyi gongneng特異功能), which scholars find has great research value from sociological, historical and anthropological perspectives.
UNC's Japanese holdings are limited because of the long-standing cooperative reliance on Duke. Acquisitions focus on titles needed for undergraduate instruction. Besides language materials, the collection has selective works in Japanese literature (including English translations of Japanese literary works) and Japanese history as well as Japanese publications related to Sinology for important subjects such as geography, art and architecture, performing arts, and Zen Buddhism.
Although UNC hired its first tenure track faculty in Japanese language and literature in mid-1990s (Jan Bardsley in Japanese literature, Ryuko Kubota in education and Japanese studies), Japanese collection still closely followed the cooperative arrangement to rely on Duke's Japanese resources. In 2005, UNC's graduate program in global history was established. To support active research project on the history of Japanese economic policy, the collection brought in the first research title, Shōda Kazue monjo 勝田主計文書 in 80 microfilm reels, with partial support from the NCC MVS project grant (the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources Multi-volume Set). Shōda Kazue monjo is a collection of materials of a prominent and influential Japanese economic official active during the early 20th century. It contains primary sources and major archival materials to support business and economic history of 20th century Japan.
Subsequently, the collection added pre-modern era resources from the Meiji and Tokugawa periods to support Dr. Daniel Botsman's instructional needs. These acquisitions include a major English newspaper - Japan Weekly Mail, 1870-1915, and six Tokugawa period illustrative books include titles such as Ehon Nankki 繪本楠公記, a pictorial publication of a fictionalized chronicle of the life of a 14th century warrior, Kusunoki Masashige 楠木正成, published in the 1800s, and forty Kibyushi 黄表紙 chap books, which are the equivalent of Tokugawa period pulp fiction books, commonly considered the forerunners of manga (Japanese comics). UNC also jointly subscribes with Duke to Japan Knowledge database which contains core reference materials in both Japanese and English languages.
Prior to 2006, UNC had no formal Korean program. The Korean collection holds less than 600 titles primarily on Korean language and literature which were gifts to UNC. The recent small expansion of Korean titles was made to support language courses taught by the first Korean specialist, Ji-Yeon Jo. Though underdeveloped, the collection holds one significant research title, a complete set of Yonhaengnok choujip 燕行錄全集. Yonhaengnok choujip is in traditional Chinese language. This Korean title has special meaning to Chinese scholars because it contains extensive travel records documented by Korean envoys traveling back and forth between Korea and China in the 18th century. It contains many interesting materials that cannot be found in Chinese historiography of the same period.