Special collections: Van Gulik collection

May 30, 2014 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

Van Gulik Collection

the Lore of the Chinese luteThe Van Gulik Collection consists mostly of books from the personal library of Robert Hans van Gulik 高羅佩 (1910-1967), Dutch sinologist, diplomat and writer of detective stories.

Van Gulik’s collection is best known for its ancient Chinese novels, literature, and books on art and music (qin), and for its special publications like Japanese blockprints of Chinese works, studies on China and Japan, and a collection of congshu, Chinese ‘collected works’ or collectanea.

The collection contains mostly books of Chinese fiction (117), books on Chinese music (35) and Chinese art and literature (500). It also contains roughly 90 rare books and manuscripts, of which ten are unica. Most of the books were collected by Van Gulik in Japan and China in the 1935-1967 period; he himself used many of this collection’s works for his sinological studies.

The complete collection, about 3400 titles in almost 10.000 volumes, can be searched through the library catalogue through the following link: Shelfmark SINOL. Gulik*

Further reading and links:


The East Asian Library has several special collections. For access to these special collections, please go the the main University Library, Special Collections department, 2nd floor.
Here’s our complete list of special collections on China:

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Special collections: old Manchu and Mongolian books Chinese Studies – Oxford Bibliographies Online

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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

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