The Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library was established in 1948 to support UCLA's teaching and research programs in East Asian studies. The library selects, organizes, and makes available Chinese-, Japanese-, and Korean-language materials, and its staff provides reference and instruction services to optimize access to and use of the collections.
The library's primary mission is to serve UCLA and University of California (UC) students, faculty, and staff. Its resources are available to others by special agreement and when it does not conflict with its primary mission. Library materials are also available to scholars at other institutions through interlibrary loans.
Brief History of the Library
In 1948 Richard C. Rudolph, chair of the UCLA Department of Oriental Languages—now the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures—traveled to China on a Fulbright grant to study archaeology and on a personal mission to purchase books to support the university's Chinese program. In the wake of the Communist takeover, Rudolph hurriedly combed through bookstores in Beijing and Chengdu for reference works, encyclopedias, and large collected works known as collectanea, all of them original wood-block-printed books. On his way home he bought more books in Japan. Rudolph purchased more than ten thousand volumes on this trip.
In 1948, the Oriental Library was installed in the basement of the Powell Library building. It provided both a basic reference collection and a cultural retreat for faculty and students on campus. In 1971, after the second phase of the University Research Library building was constructed, the Library moved to its current location--the second floor of the Charles E. Young Research Library. On April 10, 1981, Richard C. Rudolph Oriental Library was formally named in honor of Rudolph's most substantial and distinguished efforts in the building of the collection. In 1990, the name of the Library was changed again to the East Asian Library to accurately reflect its collection of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials and the name of the program the Library supports, East Asian Studies.
The UCLA East Asian Library is one of the most major, comprehensive, and frequently used East Asian collections in North America, as well as the largest East Asian collection in Southern California. The Growth of the collection highly depends on the support of faculty, students and their families, staff, alumni, and friends of the Library.