Resources for Buddhist Studies

The University of Chicago’s library has strong collections pertaining to Buddhist studies.

Integral to the study of South Asian languages at Chicago has been the work of South Asian bibliographer James Nye, who directs the University library’s enormous collection pertaining to South Asia, and whose singular influence among bibliographers in the field was honored at a recent panel at the University of Wisconsin’s annual South Asian Studies Conference. The University library is among the nation’s few participants in the federal “PL 480” program, which involves the collection of all publications produced in India. The collections developed under this program include a variety of important collections of Tibetan language materials. It is not only, however, under the aegis of this program that the library has acquired an outstanding collection relating to South Asia; the library holds a full range of critical editions in South Asian languages dating to the nineteenth century, and complete runs of many important series in the field.

The Library’s East Asian Collection – founded in 1936, and recognized as one of the most comprehensive and distinctive such collections in North America – includes some 700,000 volumes, primarily in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, but also including materials in Tibetan, Mongolian, and Manchu. The collection also includes over 60,000 volumes of materials in English and other Western languages on or related to East Asia, shelved within the general collection. The Chinese collection is especially strong in classics, philosophy, archaeology, history, philology, art history and literature (both classical and contemporary), and the Japanese collection has particular strengths in literature, intellectual history, religion, art history, education, and Japanese Sinology.