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Asian Collections at the Library of Congress: An Overview

The Asian collections (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Tibetan) comprise more than 4 million items in many Asian languages and dialects, all of which are accessible in the Library's Asian Reading Room.


Shi shi yuan liu ying hua shi ji : si juan. 釋氏源流應化事蹟 : 四卷. 1808. Library of Congress Asian Division.

The Asian Division of the Library of Congress has custody of more than 4 million items in many Asian languages and dialects. These materials in print, manuscript, microform, and digital formats are organized into the following collections: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Tibetan. Visitors and researchers can access these collections and speak with reference librarians for the Asian collections in the Asian Reading Room.

This guide presents short overviews of the Asian-language materials in the Asian collections. Please be advised that there are important materials related to Asian countries and languages throughout the Library of Congress, such as the Law Library; the Prints and Photographs Division; the Geography and Map Division; the Serials and Government Publications Division; and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, among others. Books, journals, and other materials from and about Asian countries in English, as well as many European languages, are accessible in the Library’s Main Reading Room. For help locating materials at the Library of Congress, please use Ask a Librarian.

About the Asian Division

The Asian Reading Room provides public access to more than 4 million items in approximately 200 languages and dialects from across Asia, including Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, Vietnamese, and many others. In the reading room, researchers can use the Asian Division’s collections of printed materials, microform, and databases and confer with reference librarians to answer research questions about the countries of East, South, and Southeast Asia.