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Chinese Studies : Collection Policy

Introduction of Chinese Studies Collection

The Chinese Studies collection has historically been strong in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, especially in pre-modern and modern history, literature, and Buddhism. The recent focus is the acquisition of economics, political science, public policy, sociology, business, women studies, government, ethnic and cultural studies, film studies, and other fields to study new issues related to Chinese studies. We actively add to our growing electronic collection through full-text databases, electronic journals, online reference tools, and increasingly e-books. We also focused on acquiring visual resources in order to serve the current academic trend of studying such materials. These include photographs, documentary and feature films, and reproductions of old periodicals. The collection includes both academic and popular materials in all formats.

History and Propose

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been engaged in teaching East Asian Studies and collecting relevant materials for almost a century. As part of the University of Wisconsin Madison libraries, the Memorial Library started to collect Chinese materials dated back to 1917, when a Chinese student donated some books and journal titles to the Library. The teaching of the Chinese language at Wisconsin began in World War II. The University officially offered Chinese classes in 1950. A Department of Chinese was created in the fall of 1962, with a B.A. program; its M.A. and Ph.D. programs were established in 1963 and 1964. In 1965, Memorial Library hired a Chinese Studies librarian. In 1967, the name of the Department of Chinese was officially changed to East Asian Languages and Literature.

In the last several decades, the collection has made remarkable, rapid expansion. The primary goal of the collection in recent years is to support research and teaching in Chinese Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Selection Criteria

  • Subjects

    The majority of the Chinese Studies Collection concentrates on history, social science, ancient literature, international relations, religion, art, media studies, linguistics, and second language acquisition. The collection emphasizes history on science, book, and printing, medicine, law, art, women, etc., as well as fulfillment of the research and teaching development. The donation is welcome from extensive categories of materials when waiving the duplicates. The collection is also acquired upon request.

  • Geographical Coverage

    The collection comprises the publication and other resources worldwide. The principal focus is the resources in Greater China, U.S., and other East Asian areas.

  • Collection Languages

    The significant language at the Collection is Chinese. The Japanese, Korean, and English materials associated with Chinese Studies are also primary. The other language materials are supplementary. 

  • Type of Materials

    The collection covers multiple types of materials in physical and electronic formats. The physical and electronic items include books, periodicals/serials, references, catalogs, pamphlets, microforms, maps, woodblock prints, audios (tapes, VHS, CD-ROM, etc.), videos (VCD, DVD, blue ray, etc.), etc. The electronic formats also consist of databases, open access, streaming media, etc. 

  • Chronological Limits

    The chronological range is from medieval eras to the present.

Collection Strategies

  • Location

    Most Chinese Studies physical resources are located at the East Asian Collection, which is on the 4th floor in the Memorial Library. Some items associated with art, law, music, and historical documents may be added in Kohler Art Library, Law Library, Mills Music Library, and Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.

    Parts of the print items in Western languages on Chinese Studies are interfiled with the Library’s general collections.

  • Classification and Romanization 

    The Chinese Studies Collection adopted the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) scheme. The LC call numbers begin with an alphabetical prefix. A fraction of the collection might stock in the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC).

    The collection provides both Chinese and Romanization catalog descriptions. Please see the documentation of the Chinese Romanization Table from the Library of Congress as a reference.

  • Consortia and Collaborative Collection

    With the development of the BIG collection among the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) collaboration, the Chinese Studies Collection in the UW-Madison Libraries aims to launch increased communication and cooperation with other Big Ten Chinese Studies Collections. The UW-Madison Chinese Studies Collection is also seeking collaboration with international academic libraries and associations. 

    As a participant of the Council of East Asian Libraries (CEAL), the Chinese Studies Collection has constructed long-term cooperation with other Chinese Studies libraries and collections in the North America.

  • Digitization and Preservation

    The Chinese Studies Collection retains the cooperation and collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection Center (UWDCC) to promote potential digitalization projects. These projects will develop for the preservation of rare books and the requests for research and teaching.

    Except for the digitalization project, when the unique and old materials are identified in the Chinese Studies Collection, these materials will locate in the UW-Madison Special Collections for preservation.  

  • Promotion of the Collection

    The Chinese Studies Collection is in growth through collaborations with other libraries in North America and Greater China. With the supports from International Area Studies (IAS) group and other colleagues in UW-Madison Libraries, the collection is prompted to achieve resources with multiple languages and broad perspectives. 

    The Chinese Studies Collection will also progress various service helps for the community except for fulfilling the faculty members and students on campus.



Last updated: May 2021