The East Asian library is one of the oldest libraries of Asian studies in Europe with a large collection on China, Japan and Korea. Although the core of our collection consists of (often unique) materials in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, we also have many books and journals in Western languages. Our collection of online sources – both free and licensed- is growing, and we have a large collection of Asian films which can be viewed (with or without headsets) in our special multimedia zone.
This website wants to be a guide to all things related to the East Asian Library. We will blog on eresources, handy tips and tools for reference. Please contact us for information, we are here to help you!
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From now, the Leiden University Libraries have access to a new database with the complete fulltext of six major North Korean newspapers (i.e. the Pyongyang Times) and fifteen journals from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea : the KMP Database on North Korea.
All articles and news reports are updated on a daily basis, providing the most up-to-date available info on North Korea, including news reports from both city-based and local journalists, news on political developments, interviews, economical news and industrial developments. The interface of the KPM database is available in Korean and Japanese. The content of the database is fulltext searchable, and includes many rare photos and video materials. The current content is from 2005 up to the day you read this line.
The KPM North Korea database is providing indispensable real-time insight into the current political, socio-economic and military situation in North Korea and a rare and valuable source for students, staff and researchers of Korean studies.
At Leiden University we have been buying more and more ebooks through the large ebook platform EBL or ‘Ebook Library’. For Chinastudies there are now over > 150 available ebooks. All students and staff of Leiden University can access our list of ebooks through EBL using your username and password – and the good news is you don’t have to come to the library to read them – it works just as well from home.
All books can be found through the library catalogue.
Through ‘View Details‘ one can have a look at the book’s chapters and general setup, each book can be browsed for about 5 to 10 minutes, after which time you will have to decide to ‘borrow’ or Read Online. This is like putting a personal loan on the book, but fortunately this doesn’t mean someone else can’t read this book at the same time as you!
Read the book from the screen through ‘Read Online (Available)‘. One could also Download the book as PDF or ePub and read it with Adobe Digital Editions after applying for an Adobe ID. This takes a one-time effort, after which you can download your preferred format to your phone or tablet and read it with the BlueFire app.
You can either borrow the book for 1, 2 or 3 days and how many days you want is completely up to you.
However, we’d rather have you borrow lots of times for shorter periods than borrowing for longer times and not really getting to read your book. It’s not that we expect you to be a super fast and efficient reader, but the EBL platform has a set amount of ‘borrowing credits’ for each book each year – we hope it is not used up unnecessarily. Happy reading!
We have a short (single user) trial (until June or so) to the newest addition to the large pkulaw-database (also known as the Chinalawinfo or InfolawChina databases) with the name of 法宝视频 Fabao Shipin, ‘PKULAW Videos‘.
This is a collection of 2000 recorded lectures in Chinese, mostly from the university classroom, on all kinds of (mostly legal) topics. Choose a topic from the list on the left hand side, for example ‘legal history’, ‘economic law’, ‘human rights’, etc. Most videos seem to be recorded at Beijing University, and not all of them are good quality recordings. Your level of Chinese needs to be pretty good to understand everything.
Lectures are divided into shorter clips, very often accompanied by screenshots of powerpoint presentations, which go along the topics of the lecture. They resemble MOOCS, but they are not for free. Browsing around, I found a couple of interesting lectures:
- Wu Qing, daughter of novelist Bing Xin, talks on human rights, and also on the history of her parents, in a surprisingly candid series of talks: 天赋人权.
- On intellectual law 知识产权的法律制度和国际动态
- On environmental law 中国环保法律实施的影响性因素分析
- 古典诗歌赏析与人文素质提高 on ancient Chinese poetry (6 classes)
- On Buddhism in Chinese history
There must be much more, enjoy these videos while you can and let us know if you would like the library to purchase permanent access.
Once you get to a logon screen, press the button saying ‘IP 登录’ to access the site. If there are more people trying out this database at the same time as you, you are requested to try again later that day.
Until May 22, 2013, we will have a free trial for the online version of two famous dictionaries. One is the 汉语大词典 Hanyu da cidian, the second the 康熙字典 Kangxi zidian. The Hanyu da cidian is a very large, 12 volume Chinese-Chinese dictionary with over 20.000 entries, compiled by a dedicated group of editors in 1986. It is one of the largest dictionaries from the 20th century.
The second dictionary is the Kangxi dictionary, which is a dictionary made by commission of the Kangxi emperor of the Qing dynasty in 1710 and completed in 1716. This 24-volume dictionary of more than 47.000 entries is a must for anyone reading classical Chinese.
CNKI, who also hosts our popular China Academic Journals database, and the China Masters dissertations database, has put these two dictionaries together in one large search screen. Search by character – type in directly, or use pinyin to pick your character from an alphabetical list. It will take you to the first three lines of the dictionary entry, and then one can click through after typing in the password leiden/leiden.
Feel free to use this trial to your advantage and if you like it, let us know!
Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the original 1000 page reference work on China (available in the East Asian Library reading room at SINOL. L 10 E 18) and has its main focus on China from the mid-19th century to the 21st century.
The encyclopedia consists of approximately 450 articles on a variety of topics, written by top scholars around the world. Articles, or entries, are grouped alphabetically, and can be linked to directly.
Brill’s website states there will be additions of statistical data and other new content added each year. Articles are thorough and use pinyin for Chinese terms – there are no Chinese characters anywhere in the text (that said, there haven’t been any Chinese characters in the printed version of the encyclopedia either…) Illustrations are scarce, and if you can find any (try ‘painting‘) they happen to be in black and white (!), differing from the illustrations in the printed encyclopedia.
That all put aside, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is a good source for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China. At the end of each article there is a bibliographical list for further reading.
From today, Leiden University has full access to Brill’s Asian Studies ebook collection 2007-2012, part of Brill’s platform for ebooks and journals called Brill Online books and journals.
Leiden University has always had a strong focus on Asian studies, and Brill’s Asian ebooks cover this subject perfectly. Many of Brill’s recent academic works on China, Japan and Korea are part of this collection, and some well known earlier publications are incorporated too.
All fulltext and searchable publications are available for download (PDF): either from inside our university, or after logging in from home with ULCN name and password.
Searching is easy by using the search screen and then restricting by subject or time of publication; it is also possible to search for chapters in books.
Here is the full list of the Asian Studies E-Books Online through Brill :
- Asian Studies ebooks online, collection 2012 (71 titles)
- Asian Studies ebooks online, collection 2011 (56 titles)
- Asian Studies ebooks online, collection 2010 (68 titles)
- Asian Studies ebooks online, collection 2009 (26 titles)
- Asian Studies ebooks online, collection 2008 (50 titles)
- Asian Studies ebooks online, collection 2007 (63 titles)
Books to be found in this large collection include, for example, Erik Zürcher’s The Buddhist Conquest of China; Van Crevel’s Chinese Poetry in Times of Mind, Mayhem and Money; Kevin M. Doak’s A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan; and Remco Breuker’s Establishing a Pluralist Society in Medieval Korea, 918-1170.
Our library has access to the large new database of Digital National Security Archives of the United States, which might be very useful to anyone interested in Chinese, Japanese or Korean politics.
The DNSA contains the most comprehensive set of declassified government documents available. The resource now includes 38 collections consisting of over 94,000 meticulously indexed documents with a total of 650,000 pages. Each of these collections covers the most critical world events, countries, and U.S. policy decisions from post World War II through the 21st century.
Compiled by top scholars and experts, this archive includes glossaries, chronologies, bibliographies, overviews, and photographs.
Search the archive by going to the search page of the Digital National Security Archive and filling in ‘China’ for example. One can refine by document type (i.e. Classified, Top Secret etc.) and add extra keywords.
Here is a list of all available collections, but especially interesting to us are the following:
- China and the U.S. 1960-1998
- Japan and the U.S., 1960-1976
- >Japan and the U.S., 1977-1992
- Japan and the U.S., 1961-2000
- The United States and the Two Koreas: 1969-2000