News & Events

April 2008 Wason Update

Vol. 2 No. 4, April 28, 2008

Farewell from Beth Katzoff

Beth Katzoff will be leaving her position as the Head of Public Services for Asia Collections this June.  In addition to public services, Beth has worked on both the Japanese and Korean Collections.  Her last day will be Friday, June 13th.  This Fall, Beth will start work for Columbia University's C.V. Starr East Asian Library as an Archivist/Public Services librarian for the newly acquired Makino East Asian Film Archive, an archive of materials chronicling the history of Japanese and East Asian film collected by the renowned documentary film maker and film historian Makino Mamoru.  Beth has enjoyed working in Kroch Asia and hopes to hear from those of you visiting NYC!

Gift from Faculty

Professor Thomas Lyons has again donated 142 volumes of books to the Wason Collection, which included yearbooks, gazetteers, academic monographs, dictionaries, government prints, and printed theses.

Chinese database “Guo Xue Bao Dian”  (国学宝典)

The Wason Collection has acquired a new online full-text Chinese database, Guo Xue Bao Dian(国学宝典).  The “Guo Xue Bao Dian” (国学宝典) contains 3,903 titles, arranged by the four traditional divisions of the Chinese learning, i.e., “jing 经” (classics, 57 titles), “shi 史” (history, 174 titles), “zi 子” (philosophy, 2,330 titles) and “ji 集” (belles-lettres, 739 titles). It covers a wide range of subjects, from philosophy, history, politics, religion, literature, drama, art, science, technology, agriculture, medicine, military to children education.  It also has a special section of literary works of ancient Chinese writers from the Han dynasty down to the Song dynasty. In terms of “leishu 类书” (encyclopédie), it includes Yiwen Leiju (艺文类聚, 100 volumes) and Chuxue Ji (初学记, 36 volumes) of the Tang dynasty,  Taiping Yulan (太平御览, 1,000 volumes) and Cefu Yuangui  (册府元龟, 1,001 volumes) of the Song dynasty, Yongle Dadian (永乐大典, 189 volumes) of the Ming dynasty, and Qingbai Leichao (清稗类钞, 93 volumes) of the Qing Dynasty. The full-text of every book is available in both simplified and traditional Chinese, and can be printed or copied without limits.

Users can search “Guo Xue Bao Dian” from any computer with a Cornell IP address.  To access “Guo Xue Bao Dian” directly and for more information, go to:

From off campus computers, users can access the database from the Cornell University Library Gateway by entering their Cornell NetID.

Documentary film on the China Science Society has been shown in China

In the July 2007 issue of the Wason Update, we reported that a group of researchers and a TV crew from Shanghai Publication Museum and TV Station visited the Cornell University Library and the City of Ithaca.  They searched our archives for information on Chinese students who attended Cornell in the 1910s and were the founding fathers of the China Science Society, which later becomes the China National Scientists Association.  As an outcome of their visit, a documentary film of 8 episodes (火种-中国科学社) was produced and shown in China from March 10 to May 3, 2008.  The publishers plan to make a DVD of the film and donate a copy to be used for our research and instruction. To celebrate the event, a press conference was held in Shanghai on March 10, 2008.  The U.S. Consul General in Shanghai, Mr. Kenneth Jarrett (季瑞德 ), a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor's degree in history in 1975, attended the press conference.  Mr. Jarrett was originally from New York.  He taught English from 1979-81 at the Shanghai Foreign Languages Institute.

Photo of the China Science Society film viewing

Announcing a Newly Acquired Database for Japanese Studies

The Wason Collection on East Asia is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of an important electronic resource for Japanese studies, Web Ōya Bunko.  Representing at the article level the holdings of the Ōya Sōichi Library, renown for its rare materials on Japanese media and popular culture, Web Ōya Bunko will greatly supplement our current article database, Nichigai Service’s Magazine Plus, which is available from any computer at the following link:  Web Ōya Bunko will add some 640,000 volumes of 10,000 magazines titles and 70,000 books to our reference range.

You can access Web Ōya Bunko for keyword and article searches right now at  Click on the box just below 契約ユーザー専用ログイン at the upper left for access.