The National Library’s Asian language collections focus on contemporary Asia from the 19th century onwards. Systematic collecting began in the 1950s and covers a range of subjects, such as history, politics, current affairs, society and culture. Books, journals, government publications, magazines and newspapers are supplemented by full-text article databases, e-books, maps, archived websites and ephemeral materials.
The collections are strongest for the countries of East and Southeast Asia, and there are rich holdings of English language materials on Asia.
Explore our Asian collections by viewing the highlights below:
- Da ban ruo bo luo mi duo jing大般若波羅蜜多經–see the Library’s earliest printed book, a 12th century printing of the Buddhist scriptures in Chinese
- London Missionary Society collection – gain an insight into the activities of missionaries in 19th century China
- Japanese woodblock print collection – view some of the colourful images from the Library’s collection of 19th century Japanese prints