EAST ASIAN LIBRARY RESOURCES GROUP OF AUSTRALIA

Newsletter No. 54 (July 2009)


The Asian Languages Collection at Curtin University Library

David Wells

Manager, Resources
Curtin University Library


The Asian Languages Collection at Curtin University Library is designed to serve two main functions: it supports the teaching and learning of Asian languages at Curtin, and it supports the University’s research activity in Asian history, politics, culture and related disciplines.  To a lesser extent it also provides recreational reading for speakers of the languages in question from among Curtin’s student population regardless of their subjects of study.  The Asian Languages Collection is housed separately from the Library’s language textbooks and comprises only books printed entirely in Asian languages.  Bilingual books in English and other languages are located in the Library’s main collection sequence.

At present the collection is relatively small.  As at July 2009 we have books in five languages: approximately 1300 in Indonesian, 900 in Chinese, 1400 in Japanese, 70 in Korean and 40 in Malay.  These are shelved in Dewey number order with a separate sequence for each language.  The different languages are distinguished by an alphabetic prefix (AB = Indonesian, AC = Chinese, AJ = Japanese, AK = Korean, AM = Malay).

The range of subject areas covered varies considerably depending on the language, with most recent attention having been paid to building the collections in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.  The Chinese collection began with a donation of duplicate materials from the National Library in Canberra intended to provide a wide range of styles of language, from government and industrial yearbooks to works of history, politics, sociology, travel and literature.   These items have been supplemented by purchases recommended by academic staff and by a substantial donation from the Chinese government.  The existing Japanese collection, which focuses mostly on history, foreign relations and literature, and which has been supported in the past by the Japan Foundation, has also been augmented by recent purchases to support ongoing research projects and by a series of small private donations.  The small Korean collection has been built partly by purchase and partly by donations from the Korea Research Foundation.  A collection development project in 2008 led to an increase in Chinese and Japanese titles added through purchase, including most recently a small number of Japanese ebooks.  Unfortunately, because of budgetary constraints in 2009 the active expansion of the Asian Languages Collection has been temporarily suspended.  However, the research done to identify appropriate vendors and purchasing models should stand us in good stead for future acquisitions.

For Chinese, Japanese and Korean materials access to the collection through the Aleph Library Catalogue is provided in romanised form.  Standard systems of transcription are used: “polysyllabic” pinyin for Chinese, Hepburn for Japanese and McCune-Reischauer for Korean.  When available in copy cataloguing the Aleph record also displays catalogue data in the original vernacular script.

Dewey Range

Indonesian

Malay

Chinese

Japanese

Korean

Titles

Items

Titles

Items

Titles

Items

Titles

Items

Titles

Items

000

12

14

0

0

66

88

10

17

0

0

100

6

6

0

0

17

26

37

37

4

10

200

56

59

0

0

15

16

5

5

0

0

300

340

378

2

2

78

92

113

315

16

24

400

54

70

5

16

89

107

92

229

10

10

500

1

1

0

0

13

17

5

13

0

0

600

17

18

0

0

13

15

10

10

0

0

700

55

62

1

1

38

79

27

44

6

6

800

334

463

17

19

192

286

546

620

5

1

900

233

274

01

1

103

180

43

149

11

16

Total

1108

1289

26

39

624

906

888

1439

52

67

Breakdown of Curtin’s Asian Languages Collection by Dewey Range

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Page last updated: 31 July 2009
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