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The East Asian Library at the UCLA

Located in Los Angeles, well known for the largest population of Korean heritage outside of Korea, and as a part of the University of California system, UCLA has the largest enrollment of students of Korean heritage of any university in North America. In 1999 there were more than 3,300 out of a total UCLA enrollment of 35,000. This fact indirectly explains why there is such high demand for and keen interest in Korean Studies programs and Korean collections at UCLA.

Korean Studies Programs at UCLA
UCLA first began to offer courses on Korea in 1985. The Korean Studies program evolved over the next eight years, becoming the Center for Korean Studies in 1993. In less than two decades the Korean Studies programs at UCLA have grown rapidly. Currently, UCLA has 10 tenure-track faculty positions, one adjunct faculty position, and three lecturers. The school offers the following disciplines in Korean Studies: literature, Buddhism, history, language and linguistics, and folklore.

According to Professor John Duncan, director of the Center for Korean Studies, UCLA? Korean Studies programs have grown to be the largest in the world outside of Korea.

UCLA's Korean Studies faculty regularly teach more than 40 courses related to Korea on topics ranging from traditional and modern history, literature, art history, folklore and religion to contemporary sociology, anthropology, linguistics and social welfare. More than 2,000 students take classes on Korea at UCLA every year.

East Asian Library
The Korean collection at UCLA is part of the East Asian Library collections. Richard C. Rudolph, then chairman of the Department of Oriental Languages (now the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures) at UCLA, traveled to China during the communist takeover in 1948 and tried to acquire reference materials for the department to support its programs. During his trip, he collected reference works and large collected works of original woodblock printed books. On his way home he bought some more books in Japan. A collection of more than 10,000 volumes was purchased on this trip and it became the foundation for what is now the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library. The Library selects, organizes and makes available Chinese-, Japanese- and Korean-language materials. Its staff provides reference, circulation and instruction services to optimize access and use of the collections. Western-language materials on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Studies are separately developed and maintained in the Charles E. Young Research Library.

High Demands
Korean-language materials have been developed since 1985. At the same time the Korean Studies programs were established at UCLA. Since then, the primary mission of the Korean collection development has been to support active and rapidly growing Korean Studies teaching and research programs at UCLA and their current information needs. Demands for the Korean collection has always been high. Accordingly, the following subject areas have been the special focus in collecting Korean materials, even though the library collects all areas of Korean Studies in general: Korean history and civilization, Korean literature, language and linguistics, Korean religions, Korean folklore, and Korean art history.

Thus, the collection has strength in the areas of Korean history, literature, folklore and religion (especially Buddhism). Special efforts have been made in recent years to strengthen Korean art history, fine arts, archaeology and modern history collections. In general, the Korean collection development prioritizes historical materials over contemporary materials, primary sources over secondary sources, reference works over regular works, and collected works over individual titles. Owing to this collection development policy, UCLA? Korean collections have grown quickly in less than two decades and now total 40,000 holdings and numerous electronic resources.

Use of the collection is reflected in the circulation data gathered in 2003. The Korean collection occupied only 8.2 percent of the entire East Asian Library collections, but its circulation rate as of 2003 was almost 17 percent among Chinese-, Japanese-, and Korean-language materials.

Additionally, since UCLA's library became a member of the Korean Collections Consortium of North America in 1996, it has been responsible for collecting Korean-language materials on Korean Buddhism, Christianity, folklore, archaeology and library science. Materials on these five subject areas, acquired through a Consortium grant given by the Korea Foundation, are freely available for interlibrary loans.

Using the Collection
The UCLA Korean collections are bibliographically accessible through the UCLA Library Catalog (http://catalog.library.ucla.edu). The UCLA Library Catalog allows users to view Korean characters in bibliographic records and search using Korean characters including Hangeul and Hanja to retrieve Korean records along with Romanized publication information. Real-time library book status updates, from ordering to availability, mean users get necessary information on newly ordered books or newly received books. The system allows user to request books in advance.

Another way to access the UCLA Korean collection is by using MELVYL (http://melvyl.cdlib.org/), the union catalog of the University of California Libraries. MELVYL also supports Korean characters. Using MELVYL is especially beneficial for interlibrary loan requests among UC users because of the ease in requesting and the speed in receiving. In addition, holdings at UCLA libraries are accessible through international bibliographic utilities such as OCLC WorldCat or RLIN Eureka, and any e-mail reference questions may be submitted through the East Asian Library Internet home page (http://www.library.
ucla.edu/libraries/eastasian/).

The Library also provides online access to comprehensive Korean Studies full-text online databases through the UCLA proxy server, so that anyone affiliated with UCLA can access Korean online databases from anywhere in the world as long as they connect to the UCLA proxy server. A complete list of these electronic resources is found at the East Asian library Internet home page.

There are two unique archival collections, highly regarded as valuable primary resources for research on Korean Studies.
   
The Hei Sop Chin Collection
Among the archival collections related to Korean Studies at UCLA, the Hei Sop Chin Collection is the most useful collection specifically related to Korean immigrant history and independence movement activities among Koreans and Korean Americans during the colonial period. The collection consists of materials related to the Korean independence movement in Hawaii and the mainland United States prior to 1945, including correspondence, documents, and various printed materials. The collection includes letters exchanged between Yong-gi Kim and Korean Commission members including Syngman Rhee, Philip Jaisohn, and Henry Chung, correspondence and cablegrams exchanged between the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai and the Korean National Association offices in Hawaii and San Francisco, organizational papers pertaining to the Dongjihoe, documents pertaining to the United Korean Committee, Korean Interim Government and Assembly, and the Korean Community Center in Los Angeles, and Korean-immigrant newspapers, including the Korean National Herald (Kungminbo) and the Tansan Times (Tansan Sibo).
   
The Collection on Democracy and Unification in Korea
The Collection on Democracy and Unification in Korea is another well-known archival collection, originally collected by the Korea Church Coalition for Peace, Justice, and Reunification in Washington D.C. from 1975 until the early 1990s. Its contents are mostly about Korean human rights and democratic development activities during the 1970s and 1980s in the United States. It also contains information on how American religious and citizens’ groups, including Korean American groups, participated in activities in Washington, D.C. and abroad to promote Korean democracy and human rights. The collection is unique in terms of its contents and time coverage. This may be the only collection available outside of Korea on contemporary political and social issues.    

The collection has strength in the areas of Korean history, literature, folklore and religion (especially Buddhism). Special efforts have been made in recent years to strengthen Korean art history, fine arts, archaeology and modern history collections. Owing to this collection development policy, UCLA? Korean collections have grown quickly in less than two decades and now total 40,000 holdings and numerous electronic resources.