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Rare and Special Collections, EAL: Korean Special Collections

The Asami Library

The Asami Library of Korean manuscripts and imprints comprises over 900 titles in about 4,000 volumes. These include some 60 examples of movable-type printing, the earliest dating to 1461; the earliest woodblock edition dates to 1213. The collection was assembled by Asami Rintarō, a scholar and legal professional working and living in Seoul between 1906 and 1918. While Asami’s interest in law and institutions is reflected by the large number of volumes in those areas, literature, Buddhism, and Confucianism are also well represented.

Researchers wanting an overview of the collection are referred to Chaoying Fang’s Asami Library: A Descriptive Catalogue, in the East Asian Library’s reference collection. Digital images of most of the collection can be accessed through Internet Archive. The collection can be searched by title, author or keyword through OskiCat.