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August 10, 1998

Japan Foundation grant boosts East Asian studies collection

By Barbara McKenna

The University Library has received an award of 800,000 yen (approximately $8,000) from the Japan Foundation's Library Support Program. The grant will be received in the form of an in-kind gift of more than 100 English-language titles in Japanese studies.

The prestigious grant is given to some two dozen institutions each year to support the expansion of Japanese studies collections. Grant recipients are provided with a list of titles from which they may select books that the foundation then purchases. The book list is a definitive bibliographic resource, created by outstanding scholars in the field. At UCSC, selections have been made and library staff expect to receive books this fall.

While the University Library houses a substantial holding in East Asian studies, the grant will expand the collection significantly, especially in the areas of Japanese art, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. The grant application focused primarily on enhancing library holdings on the Japanese cultural tradition, since cultural theory, documentation, and analysis are particularly distinguished elements of UCSC's overall arts and humanities programs.

"This will give us a very solid collection," says Alan Christy, an assistant professor of Japanese history who was involved in the grant application process. "The library staff deserves kudos for the job they have done so far in building this collection. But there are some areas that need expansion, and this grant will make an enormous difference to us, enabling us to expand our English-language collection. That collection is especially important to our students, most of whom need to conduct the majority of their research in English."

The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 by the Japanese government to promote cultural exchange and understanding. The foundation provides support for activities in academia, the arts, publication, sports, and audiovisual media.

This new award in Japanese studies will complement two previous gifts to the UCSC Library--a $50,000 endowed fund in Pacific Rim studies, donated by the J. M. Long Foundation, and an endowed fund in Asian American studies, established by a consortium of local Asian American community leaders. The award will also complement the library's 3,000-volume collection of materials in the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean languages.

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