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Cambridge University Library

Institution Details

Cambridge University Library

Location in the UK

East Midlands

Description of Collections

Scope

The Library houses extensive oriental collections which relate to and derive from all areas of the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and East Asia. Not all areas are covered in equal depth and some particular areas and subjects are covered more thoroughly than others. The scope of the holdings embraces all periods from pre-history to the present day. The collection aims at extensive coverage of works which are important contributions to scholarship in the areas of the humanities and social sciences. It also collects representative collections of literature written in Asian languages. The collection is primarily a book collection but serials also form an important part of the provision. There are also significant holdings of manuscripts, archives and rare books, many of immense value and significance.

The oriental collections are administered in four separate language groups i.e. Chinese, Japanese (and Korean), Near and Middle Eastern, Indian and Southeast Asian. The Library also houses the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Collection, a priceless accumulation of centuries-old Hebrew manuscript material and Judaica, recovered from the Cairo Genizah in 1896-97. There are also many other special named collections within all the area groups which are listed and described in more detail under separate headings. The present stock of the oriental collections is estimated to number over 350,000 volumes. In addition, there are considerable holdings relating to all areas of Asia in the Library's western language book collections, in the Library's manuscript and rare books collections and in the Official Publications Department.

History & development

The University Library was originally founded in the 14th century but there were no oriental books in the Library's earliest collections apart from Bibles. From the 1630's and for the next two centuries many books from individual oriental scholars (from both Britain and Europe) were added to the Library's collections. Other early bequests to the Library from Britain and Europe also contained some oriental items. The Library also acquired the libraries of many Cambridge oriental scholars, some of whom collected extensively abroad. The end of the 19th the oriental collections began to be developed more extensively and during the 20th century purchasing from abroad increased with the aim of forming a more consistent coverage of the areas and subjects involved.

User focus

The collection aims to satisfy the present and future research and teaching needs of the staff and students of the University but its resources are also available to visitors from outside the University who would benefit from their use.

Collections held in Cambridge University Library

Subjects and Material Types

Regions

Central Asia and the Caucasus, East Asia, Near & Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia.

Countries

Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam, Yemen.

Languages of material

Achinese, Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Assamese, Avestan, Awadhi, Balinese, Baluchi, Batak (Indonesia), Bengali, Bhojpuri, Bihari, Bikol, Braj, Buginese, Burmese, Cebuano, Chamic languages, Chamorro, Chinese, Coptic, Creoles and pidgins, Dayak, Divehi, Dogri, Dravidian (Other), Dzongkha, Egyptian (Ancient), Gayo, Geez, Georgian, Gondi, Gorontalo, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hittite, Hmong, Iban, Iloko, Indic (Other), Indo-European (Other), Indonesian, Iranian (Other), Japanese, Javanese, Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian, Kachin, Kannada, Karen, Kashmiri, Kawi, Khasi, Khmer, Khotanese, Konkani, Korean, Kurdish, Kurukh, Ladino, Lahnda, Lao, Lushai, Madurese, Magahi, Maithili, Makasar, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Mandar, Manipuri, Marathi, Marwari, Minangkabau, Miscellaneous languages, Mon-Khmer (Other), Mongolian, Munda languages, Nepali, Newari, Nias, Oriya, Pahlavi, Pali, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Panjabi, Persian, Persian, Old (ca.600-400 B.C.), Philippine (Other), Prakrit languages, Pushto, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Santali, Sasak, Shan, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Sino-Tibetan (Other), Sogdian, Sumerian, Sundanese, Syriac, Tagalog, Tai (Other), Tamil, Telugu, Tetum, Thai, Tibetan, Tok Pisin, Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928), Ugaritic, Urdu, Vietnamese, Waray, Yao, Yiddish.

Subjects

Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Education, Environmental sciences, Geography, History, Human rights, Industries, International relations, Language, Law, Literature, Medicine, Music, Philosophy, Politics and government, Recreation, Religion, Science and technology, Sociology, Travel, Women.

Languages as linguistic focus

Achinese, Aramaic, Assamese, Avestan, Awadhi, Balinese, Baluchi, Batak (Indonesia), Bengali, Bhojpuri, Bihari, Bikol, Braj, Buginese, Burmese, Cebuano, Chamic languages, Chamorro, Creoles and pidgins, Dayak, Divehi, Dogri, Dravidian (Other), Dzongkha, Gayo, Gondi, Gorontalo, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hmong, Iban, Iloko, Indic (Other), Indo-European (Other), Indonesian, Javanese, Kachin, Kannada, Karen, Kashmiri, Kawi, Khasi, Khmer, Khotanese, Konkani, Kurukh, Lahnda, Lao, Lushai, Madurese, Magahi, Maithili, Makasar, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Mandar, Manipuri, Marathi, Marwari, Minangkabau, Miscellaneous languages, Mon-Khmer (Other), Munda languages, Nepali, Newari, Nias, Oriya, Pali, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Panjabi, Philippine (Other), Prakrit languages, Pushto, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Santali, Sasak, Shan, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Sino-Tibetan (Other), Sogdian, Sundanese, Tagalog, Tai (Other), Tamil, Telugu, Tetum, Thai, Tibetan, Tok Pisin, Urdu, Vietnamese, Waray, Yao, Yiddish.

Material types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Audio materials (includes cassettes & CDs), Books, Computer files (includes CD-ROMs & other electronic material), Manuscripts, Maps (includes all types of cartographic material), Music (only includes printed & manuscript music), Newspapers (includes microfilm editions), Official publications, Public records, Serials, Theses, Visual materials (includes photographs, prints, drawings, videos & films).

Management Information

The collection is being actively developed.

Content date range

1650 to present

Interlibrary loan code

CA/U-1

Interlibrary loan procedure

Collection policy

Collection development policy available on-line

Retention policy

Catalogue Information

Catalogue

Access to the main catalogue is via a web or telnet link which provides a number of search menus and access points. There are separate catalogues of the Chinese collections and of the Japanese Union Catalogue which can be accessed from the main catalogue menu. For other material, and most books printed before 1979, readers must refer to the guardbook catalogue in the library. Descriptions of the oriental collections are also provided in printed form in the 'Cambridge University Library Readers' Handbook' Part, D6

Catalogue transliteration

Chinese - Wade-Giles Japanese - modified Hepburn Korean - McCune-Reischauer Arabic, Persian and Hebrew - LC - South and Southeast Asian languages and Tibetan - LC

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