Rosabel Falcone

Written by Rosabel Falcone

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Asian Division of the Library of Congress is a fascinating hub of knowledge that houses a treasure trove of information on the diverse cultures, languages, and history of Asia. As the largest and most comprehensive collection of Asian materials outside of the continent itself, it serves as a vital resource for researchers, scholars, and curious individuals alike.

In this article, we will delve into some captivating facts about the Asian Division of the Library of Congress. From its inception to its vast array of resources, we will explore the significance of this division and how it has become a hub for the study and preservation of Asian culture. So, prepare to embark on a virtual tour of this remarkable institution, as we uncover the unique and awe-inspiring aspects that make the Asian Division of the Library of Congress truly remarkable.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Asian Division of the Library of Congress holds the largest collection of Asian materials outside of Asia, with over 4 million items covering a wide range of topics and languages.
  • The division offers access to rare and unique materials, specialized reading rooms, online resources, and engages with the Asian community, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in Asian culture and history.
Table of Contents

The Asian Division of the Library of Congress houses the largest collection of Asian materials outside of Asia.

With over 4 million items, including books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps, and more, the Asian Division serves as a vital resource for scholars, researchers, and the general public interested in Asian culture, history, and languages.

It was established in 1928 and has grown exponentially since then.

Originally created to house materials on China and Japan, the Asian Division has expanded its scope over the years to include resources from all parts of Asia, including South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

The Asian Division’s collection is multilingual and covers a wide range of topics.

From literature and religion to politics and economics, the collection encompasses a vast array of subjects, reflecting the diverse cultures and histories of Asia.

The Asian Division provides access to rare and unique materials.

Among its treasures are rare manuscripts, ancient scrolls, rare books, and historical documents that offer valuable insights into the rich heritage of Asia.

There are specialized reading rooms within the Asian Division.

These reading rooms cater to specific regions or countries, such as the China Section, Japan Section, Korea and Mongolia Section, and the South Asia Section, providing a focused and immersive research environment for scholars.

The Asian Division offers numerous online resources.

Through its website, researchers can access digitized versions of rare materials, online exhibitions, electronic journals, and databases, making it a valuable resource for those unable to visit in person.

It is not limited to printed materials alone.

The Asian Division also houses a vast collection of audiovisual materials, including photographs, posters, films, and recordings, providing a multimedia experience for researchers and enthusiasts.

The Asian Division actively engages with the Asian community.

Through cultural events, lectures, and exhibitions, the division fosters an appreciation and understanding of Asian culture, further enriching the educational experience of visitors.

The staff at the Asian Division are experts in their fields.

The division is staffed by knowledgeable specialists who possess expertise in Asian languages, history, and culture, providing valuable assistance to researchers and visitors.

The Asian Division collaborates with institutions in Asia.

Through partnerships and exchanges, the division actively works with libraries and cultural institutions in Asia to enhance its collection and promote cultural exchange.


In conclusion, the Asian Division of the Library of Congress is a fascinating and important resource for anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Asia. With its vast collection of books, manuscripts, maps, and other materials, it provides a wealth of information and insights into the diverse cultures, histories, and languages of the region.Not only does the Asian Division serve as a valuable research resource, but it also plays a crucial role in promoting cross-cultural understanding and dialogue. Through its extensive outreach programs, exhibitions, and events, it continues to connect people from different backgrounds, fostering a greater appreciation and knowledge of Asia.Whether you are a scholar, a student, or simply curious about Asia, a visit to the Asian Division of the Library of Congress is sure to captivate and enlighten you. With its dedication to preserving and sharing the treasures of Asia, it stands as a testament to the power of knowledge and the importance of cultural preservation.


1. What is the Asian Division of the Library of Congress?

The Asian Division of the Library of Congress is a specialized division that houses a vast collection of materials related to the countries and cultures of Asia.

2. What kind of materials can be found in the Asian Division?

The Asian Division consists of books, manuscripts, maps, periodicals, films, photographs, and digital resources that cover a wide range of subjects including history, literature, language, arts, and more.

3. How can I access the resources of the Asian Division?

The resources of the Asian Division can be accessed by visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Alternatively, many materials are also available online through the Library’s digitized collections.

4. Can I borrow materials from the Asian Division?

No, the materials in the Asian Division are non-circulating, meaning they cannot be borrowed. However, you can make use of them within the reading rooms of the Library of Congress.

5. Are there any educational programs or events organized by the Asian Division?

Yes, the Asian Division regularly organizes exhibitions, lectures, and educational programs that highlight various aspects of Asian culture, history, and literature.

6. Can I donate materials to the Asian Division?

Yes, the Asian Division accepts donations that align with its collecting policies. If you have materials that you would like to donate, it is best to contact the division directly to inquire about the process.

7. Does the Asian Division have resources in languages other than English?

Yes, the Asian Division collects materials in numerous Asian languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, and many more.

8. Are there any online resources or databases provided by the Asian Division?

Yes, the Asian Division offers a variety of online resources and databases, including digitized collections, finding aids, and research guides that can be accessed through the Library’s website.

Immerse yourself in a world of knowledge beyond Asian cultures. Uncover like the Constitution, preserving America's foundation. Explore library collections at <Hill Museum & Manuscript Library>, housing rare treasures. Dive into Asian languages, like , rich in history and beauty. Keep learning, keep discovering!

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.