March 12, 2012 Library of Congress Announces New Asian Division Chief

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

Dongfang Shao, director of the East Asia Library at Stanford University since 2003, has been appointed chief of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress.

“With his broad knowledge of scholarly research on East Asia and his familiarity with both analog and digital academic resources housed in East Asian libraries throughout North America, Dr. Shao will continue to build and refine the collections and services of the Asian Division to serve the information needs of Congress, scholars and researchers,” said Associate Librarian for Library Services Roberta Shaffer.

Born in China, Dongfang Shao received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Beijing Normal University and a doctorate in history from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. He taught in the Chinese Studies Department of the National University of Singapore for five years before joining the faculty of Stanford University as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Asian Languages in 1999.

Four years later, Shao was appointed head of Stanford’s East Asia Library, the university’s primary East Asian-language collection in the social sciences and humanities for all historical periods. During his tenure, he increased the library’s international stature, reorganized and doubled its staff and garnered a substantial increase in its base budget. In 2007 he earned a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University with a focus on electronic scholarly resources.

A well-known and highly respected scholar of Chinese history, literature and culture—on both sides of the Pacific—Shao is a member of the editorial board of Documents, the journal of the National Library of China. He has published seven monographs and edited 11 books, and as well as numerous articles in academic journals and books, and encyclopedia entries and book reviews. He is the co-author (with David Nivison, professor emeritus at Stanford University) of “A New Study and Translation of the Bamboo Annals” to be published by the University of Washington Press. Shao currently serves as executive director of the Society for Chinese Studies Librarians and is an academic consultant to universities in China. A skilled translator of scholarly publications from English to Chinese, and vice versa, Shao has published in the area of Korean studies and reads Japanese at the advanced level.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

The Library of Congress is a central repository for all types of Asian publications that are not broadly available at other locations in the United States. Initiated in 1869 with a gift of 10 works in 934 volumes offered to the United States by the Emperor of China, the Library's Asian collection of more than 3 million items is the largest and most comprehensive outside of Asia. For more information about the division, go to


PR 12-051
ISSN 0731-3527