Tour of the Berkeley C. V. Starr East Asian Library

In March 2011, ALASC held a tour of the Berkeley C. V. Starr East Asian Library. The tour was led by library Executive Manager of Administrative and Editorial Services, Deborah Rudolph.

This library is a language specialty, not subject specialty, library. Therefore, materials are primarily in the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. Classical Korean manuscripts, Chinese rubbings, and the largest collection of Edo period materials outside of Japan are just a few of the treasures in the collection. The Library’s holdings are currently at almost 1 million. The C. V. Starr is considered to be one of the top East Asian libraries in the country.

The library was built with materials from China and the Bay Area, among other areas. Additionally, it was built to LEEDS standards. Still a new building (open to the public as recently as 2008), it offers ample space for students to study and collaborate.

Lighting was an important focus in the library’s design. It has an abundance of ambient, indirect lighting to prevent any damage to library materials, while still illuminating the space. Interesting architectural motifs include traditional Chinese patterns on the windows.

As the tour drew to a close, Deborah Rudolph showed SLIS students some highlights from the collection, including a wood block used for print making, beautifully illustrated Japanese fiction (belletristic writing from the Meiji era), and Japanese historical maps.

Enjoy this photoset from the tour, and please contact us to learn more about how we can help you organize a library tour.