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Asian Collections: Library of Congress, An Illustrated Guide

HOME  Preface  Introduction  The World of Asian Books  Chinese Beginnings  Tales from the Yunnan Woods  The Diplomat and the Dalai Lama  From the Steppes of Central Asia  The Japanese World  Korean Classics  Homer on the Ganges  White Whales and Bugis Book  Barangays, Friars, and "The Mild Sway of Justice"  The Theravada Tradition  The Southern Mandarins  Modern Asia  East Asia  Inner Asia  South Asia  Southeast Asia and the Pacific  Epilog  Publications on the Asian Collections

Modern Asia

With the end of World War II in 1945, the Library's focus on Asia shifted, reflecting America's emergence as a world power. The Asian Division sharply reduced its emphasis on collecting the classics, often in rare, old editions, and turned its attention to becoming a leading resource on contemporary developments in Asia. Luther B. Evans, Librarian of Congress from 1945 to 1953, defined this new acquisition policy in 1945:

Our Chinese library, large as it is, distinguished as it is, has been too largely formed on classic rather than on contemporary principles with the result that conflict in modern Asia has sometimes found us inept or actually impotent. Hereafter we must discriminate between an impulse to rescue the literature of the past and the imperative to control the literature of the present.


HOME  Preface  Introduction  The World of Asian Books  Chinese Beginnings  Tales from the Yunnan Woods  The Diplomat and the Dalai Lama  From the Steppes of Central Asia  The Japanese World  Korean Classics  Homer on the Ganges  White Whales and Bugis Book  Barangays, Friars, and "The Mild Sway of Justice"  The Theravada Tradition  The Southern Mandarins  Modern Asia  East Asia  Inner Asia  South Asia  Southeast Asia and the Pacific  Epilog  Publications on the Asian Collections


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( November 15, 2010 )
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