welcome to the east asian library blog

East Asian LibraryThe East Asian library is one of the oldest libraries of Asian studies in Europe with a large collection on China, Japan and Korea.

Update [Oct 28, 2016]: all of our East Asian collections, including the rare books inside the Van Gulik room and other Special Collections, have moved from the Arsenaal building to the stacks and vault of the new Asian Library at Witte Singel. Although all books and journals have moved from the stacks, the East Asian Library reading room inside the Arsenaal building will stay open until March or April 2017, when the construction of the Asian Library is expected to be completed. Up to then, the reference collection and teacher shelves can be found inside the reading room at the Arsenaal.

Part of our western language collection will be shelved on open stacks at the SUB (-1 floor) in the main University Library (UB), these books will be available for browsing from December 2016. Our pre-1930 collections, including all collections inside the Van Gulik Room, are incorporated into Leiden’s Special Collections. Please contact the Special Collections for more information.

All books can be requested through the library catalogue and delivered to the East Asian Library; however, it is good to know that the quickest way to get your books is to select ‘Main University Library’ as pickup location. Since all books are now at the Witte Singel, they are usually available within the hour from the library lockers on the ground floor.

Our collection of online sources – both free and licensed- is still growing, these can be found through the links below (databases China, Japan, Korea). The large collection of Asian films is unavailable during the summer, but viewing access shall be restored from September.

Please contact us for information, we are here to help you!

quick links

databases and eresources:

browse by subject:

search library catalogue

follow East Asian Library on Twitter… we will follow you back!
more links:

movie collection:

:::suggest new titles for the library

Collegeroosters Chinees
Collegeroosters Japans
Collegeroosters Koreaans
inloggen op Blackboard

February 28, 2011 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

Food Studies Online: trial

Until December 8, 2016, Leiden University Libraries will have trial access to “Food Studies Online“, a large database with a wealth of materials and sources related to food studies.

Food Studies Online contains rare and hard-to-find archival content: cookbooks, menus, recipe books, marketing pamphlets, posters and secondary sources. Videos include documentaries (for example [see filmstill], the documentary “A Taste of China” from the early 1980s), interview series and vintage commercials.
The food ephemera collection has over 5,000 pages of ephemeral materials from the turn of the century through the 1960s, made up of educational pamphlets from food production companies as well as food labels, food advertisements, and recipe books.

The larger part of the materials contained in this database is kept at the Schlesinger Library, at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute.
Alexander Street’s Food Studies Online provides researchers rich archival content, visual ephemera, monographs, and videos that explore how food shapes the world around us. Food studies is a relatively new field of study, but its importance is felt in many major disciplines. It has social, historical, economic, cultural, religious, and political implications that reach far beyond what is consumed at the dinner table.

Picture credit above: hand-pulling noodles in a 1981 Shandong province restaurant kitchen. Filmstill from ‘A TASTE OF CHINA, Part 1: Masters of the Wok‘, 4:28

November 10, 2016 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

Foundation of Chinese Dietary Culture portal

FCDCThanks to the generous support of the Faculty of Humanities, Asian Food collection, we now have access to the Foundation of Chinese Dietary Culture portal 餐飲文化暨管理資料庫 (FDCD’s Database of Dietary Culture and Management, Yinshi wenhua ji guanli ziliao ku).

This portal of the important (Taiwan based) Foundation of Chinese Dietary Culture, 餐飲文化暨管理資料庫, includes the fulltext of 50 ancient works on gastronmy; 1,000 scanned menus; index to 700,000 newspaper clippings; index to journal documents and academic papers since 1970s; the index to the foundation’s papers since 1988; the fulltext of the collected papers of all FCDC annual meetings since 1988 and the fulltext of all issues of the FCDC journal since 2005.

餐飲文化暨管理資料庫匯整收錄的內容為「中華飲食文化基金會」自始至今發行的重要出版品,包括中華飲食文化學術研討會論文集、餐飲管理學術研討會論文集、中華飲食文化基金會會訊、菜單、餐飲相關剪報索引、學報及珍貴的古籍資料,資料內容大都為人文社會學術刊物,其發行主旨除推動中華飲食文化之相關研究外,亦含豐富的餐飲連鎖管理、休憩管理….等資訊,充實一般生活知識,並提升其生活品質。資料庫的發行是將各期、各篇目次依序掃描建檔,提供影像文字對照,再加上全文檢索系統,讓使用者可以更迅速找到所要的資料。

May 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

Digital Dictionary of Buddhism 電子佛教辭典

Buddhist temple, Chengde, ChinaThe Digital Dictionary of Buddhism 電子佛教辭典 or DDB is a large portal with a compilation of Buddhist terms, texts, temples, schools, persons and more, found in Buddhist canonical sources.
Started out as a basic glossary of Buddhist terms for translation purposes, it has grown into a very useful source for both beginners as well as for professional scholars.

The main focus of the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism is an extensive dictionary, which can be searched in Chinese or by English, Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan terms; or by texts, persons, temples, schools, places and names of dieties. (more…)

November 24, 2015 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Global Commodities

The Global Commodities database provides a vast range of visual, manuscript and printed materials, sourced from over twenty key libraries and more than a dozen companies and trade organisations worldwide. These original sources will help scholars to explore the history of fifteen major commodities from about 1500 and to examine the ways that these have changed the world.

The commodities explored in this resource are: coffee, tea, chocolate, cotton, fur, opium, oil, porcelain, silver and gold, spices, sugar, timber, tobacco, wheat, wine and spirits. The content of Global Commodities comprises mainly primary sources providing high quality visual materials, descriptions, diaries, shipping manifests, travel logs, and much more. (more…)

August 23, 2015 at 9:56 am Leave a comment

Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies

Since 2014, Leiden University Libraries have set up a ‘Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies‘. This resource center, established by an official agreement between the National Central Library in Taiwan (NCL) and the Leiden University Libraries (UBL) signed last October, will be the platform for Taiwan to promote and share both Taiwan and China studies with the faculty, scholars and students of the university. The agreement, aimed to strenghten academic ties, resulted in a generous donation of books on all kinds of subjects relating to Chinese studies, and provides access to a wealth of digital Chinese resources.

The TRCCS book collection (here’s the list) which is continuously updated, can be found on dedicated bookshelves inside the East Asian Library Reading Room. All books are available for browsing and borrowing. Apart from printed works, staff and students of Leiden University have access to many electronic databases, hosted by the National Central Library.

Here are two important ones:

  • Linking Publishing ebooks collection 聯經電子書 Lianjing dianzi shu:
    A collection of 270 ebooks on various topics including history, literature, economy, and arts and lifestyle. Although downloading these PDFs is not possible, all ebooks can be read from the screen. Access from within the University campus.

For a full list of available databases go to the TRCCS website and browse the ‘Resources’ section. There are a lot of interesting databases, of which below a small selection :

  • Rare Books and Special Collections 古籍與特藏文獻資源. Integrated search box for all following collections:
    • Union Catalog of Rare Books Database 中文古籍聯合目錄 | National Central Library’s rare books catalogue.
    • Digital Images 古籍影像檢索. Tick the box saying 是否有影像 on the search screen, then click”瀏覽影像” top left to view scanned books from the NCL, the Library of Congress, the C.V. Starr East Asian Library, and others.
    • Genealogy Catalogue 臺灣家譜聯合目錄 | Search through the genealogy catalogues of 11 Taiwanese libraries and institutions.
    • Collection of Rubbings from Metal and Stone 金石拓片資料 | Scanned collection of almost 4000 Chinese rubbings and epitaphs. Click on the image to view full screen or to print.

The most important of these databases will in due time be added to the Database list for Chinastudies in the library catalogue.

July 7, 2015 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Trial to Westlaw Japan

The Library currently offers trial access& to Westlaw Japan, the no.1 legal database for Japan.

Westlaw Japan is a comprehensive Japanese online legal information service which covers wide variety of legal information and reference materials including legislation with versions, cases, decisions, books and journals, bibliographies, news articles along with search and display functionalities.

Westlaw Japan offers over 250,000 cases from pre-world war II to date (as of Jun 2015) including full-text cases and other value added editorial enhancements such as accurate and concise abstracts, byline and flash commentaries, as well as applicable legislations. Also included are cover articles from journals including “Hanrei Times”, “Jurist digital edition”, “100 selected cases”, “legal class room”, law reviews by University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, “Rule of Law” by Japan Bar Association, and “Toki no Horei” by Choyokai from the initial issue.

Trial access is from within the Leiden University campus (not from home) and will run until July 31.

June 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Database of Chinese classic ancient books 中國基本古籍庫

The Database of Chinese classic ancient books 中國基本古籍庫 is the largest database of pre-20th century texts covering all fields of knowledge. It has in recent years become a standard reference for anyone working on pre-twentieth-century China, due to its vast scope and the good quality of the editions it includes.

This 中國基本古籍庫 Zhongguo jiben guji ku database currently includes 10,000 titles in 12,500 editions from the pre-Qin period through to the Republican period. All texts are provided in full text and image format, allowing for a direct comparison both between digitized text and original text image, and in some cases between different editions of the text. (more…)

March 2, 2015 at 11:26 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Quick links


catalogue (PRIMO)
EAL new arrivals
new title suggestions
* leiden university libraries: EAL
* UB cursussen | * UB toolbox
opening hours:
Mon 9 AM - 5 PM, Tue, Wed, Thu 9 AM- 7 PM, Fri -9 AM - 5 PM

Latest from EAL:

this blog is set up by Alice de Jong, former subject librarian of sinology at the East Asian Library, part of the Asian Library
Encyclopedia Brittannica: China