News & Events

March 2008 Wason Update

The Conference Announcement

East Asia Studies: Challenges of Complex Realities in an Era of Globalization and Digitization

The 14th ACPSS International Conference in Conjunction with the 90th Jubilee of the Cornell Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia

November 7-9, 2008
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Cornell University Library, Cornell East Asia Program, and the Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the United States (ACPSS) cordially invite papers and panels on the theme “East Asia Studies: Challenges of Globalization and Digitization” for the 14th ACPSS international conference to be held in conjunction with the 90th Jubilee of the Cornell Wason Collection on East Asia. The conference and jubilee will be held at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA., on November 7 to 9 (Friday to Sunday), 2008.

The Wason Collection and the ACPSS

The Cornell Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia was founded by Cornell alumnus Charles W. Wason (1876) in 1918 with the lofty ideal of bringing “China and the U.S. into intellectual relations.” During the past 90 years, the Wason Collection has provided strong support to generations of East Asian scholars at Cornell and throughout the world in their academic pursuits. Today the Wason Collection is one of the top East Asian libraries in North America. The Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the U.S. is an academic organization founded in 1995 that has vigorously promoted research projects involving interdisciplinary collaboration among scholars and actively engaged in scholarly dialogue with Chinese academics across the Pacific. 

Conference Theme

The forces of globalization have increasingly pulled Asian countries to become deeply involved in the world economy and in world politics. The most impressive changes taking place in Asia are the rise of China and India in terms of their rapid economic growth. These changes, among others, have greatly altered the economic and geo-political landscapes of Asia in the last two decades. This region has become a key economic engine for the world, attracting major investments from Europe, America, and elsewhere, and dominating world trade in numerous sectors. Hand in hand with the increased economic interactions comes an influx of social and cultural clashes among the affected countries. The sharp contrast between the cultures of the East and those of the West has generated enduring debate over whose values count in our understanding of freedom and democracy. These unprecedented interactions in economic, political, social, cultural and other domains of life have brought forth a wide range of new challenges for leaders, scholars, and all those involved in the game if they want to preserve world peace and ensure sustainable development and prosperity for all mankind. It is therefore not just necessary, but imperative for scholars of all disciplines to explore and understand what the issues are and their impact on the future.

Just as globalization has impacted East Asian scholars, digitization has imposed a huge challenge upon East Asian libraries. As the major component of the information revolution, digitization has fundamentally changed the landscape of the library. While the digitization of historical and current documents, newspapers and journals, research papers, and books, enables libraries to provide scholars with convenient access to information resources and addresses physical storage requirements, librarians are facing the daunting challenges of how to manage the historical transition from a traditional library to a digital one, how to support users’ information literacy needs, and how to strategically reallocate financial resources. As librarians of area studies, East Asian librarians also have compelling obligations to organize digital information into databases for East Asian studies. The rapidly developed technologies involved have naturally posed mounting challenges to East Asian librarians.

Scholars and librarians are two inseparable partners in East Asian studies. This conference, jointly organized by Cornell University Library, Cornell East Asia Program, and the ACPSS will provide East Asian scholars and librarians an excellent opportunity to understand and analyze each other’s challenges, exchange ideas and experiences, and share common concerns. This gathering will also serve as a unique event in honor of Charles W. Wason’s historical contributions to East Asian studies.

Suggested Topics

The conference will seek panels and papers to address issues revolving around (but not limited to) the following subjects:

(1) Regional Economy and Its Integration into World Economy

  • Economic development of China /Asia and the use or distribution of world resources (oil, food, water, minerals, labor, space, etc…)
  • Trade of China/Asia with America and Europe and the reciprocal impact on all countries’ economic development and infrastructure
  • Economic relationships among Asian countries in the 21st century
  • Economic development of China/Asia and environment protection issues
  • Economic stability and sustainability of China/Asia
  • Economic equality or inequality in globalization actions
  • Foreign investments in China/Asia and their impact on the finance system
  • China/Asian countries’ overseas investments or enterprises 
  • Outsourcing

(2) Regional Politics and Its Relations with World Politics

  • China’s relationships with its neighboring countries (Japan, India, Koreas, Russia, Vietnam, the Philippines, etc…)
  • China/Asia’s diplomatic principles and strategies with America, Europe, and Africa 
  • The North Korea issue and its impact on the region
  • The Taiwan issue and its impact on the region
  • Internal politics of China/Asian countries and their impact on the region or the western world powers 
  • Political Reforms and Democratization.

(3) Social and Cultural Development

  • Urbanization and rural development 
  • Social equality and justice
  • Non-government organizations (NGOs)
  • Grassroots democracy and public administration
  • Rights of ethnic minorities, women, and children
  • Religion, philosophy, cultural values, and social harmony
  • Family planning, population control, and care for an aging population 
  • Education, research, science, technology, and future development
  • Gender equality
  • Education development and reform
  • Cultural exchanges between East and West
  • Academic exchanges between East and West

(4) Issues Related to Environment and Public Health

  • Environmental protection and conservation (air quality, food and water safety, sanitation, etc.) 
  • Healthcare
  • Prevention and treatment of AIDS/HIV and other epidemics 
  • Social welfare and security

(5) International Cooperation in Crime Control

  • Issues related to international laws
  • Comparative legal systems
  • Immigration issues
  • Human trafficking

(6) Overseas Chinese and Globalization

  • China’s policies towards Overseas Chinese
  • Overseas Chinese and China’s modernization
  • Role of Overseas Chinese business networks in globalization
  • Overseas Chinese’s new transnational identity
  • Re-sinification of Overseas Chinese communities
  • Collecting on Overseas Chinese

(7) Transition from Traditional Library to Digital Library

  • Transition of East Asian librarian’s role
  • Re-organization of East Asian libraries
  • Re-distribution of financial resources
  • Digitization of collections
  • Information literacy and instructions
  • Digital libraries and public services 
  • Re-writing policies and issues relayed to copyright
  • Re-thinking the roles of repositories
  • Evaluation of East Asian digital libraries

(8) Methods and Technologies Involved in Digitization of East Asian Materials

  • Constructing databases for East Asian studies
  • Application of GIS technique to East Asian databases
  • Metadata structure for East Asian databases
  • Issues with vendor proprietary software in databases
  • Cataloging digital resources
  • CD and DVD ROMs vs. online databases
  • Databases and reference services

Paper Submission Deadline

 Please submit via email an abstract for your paper (100-150 words) to Dr. Liren Zheng at or Dr. Jieli Li at by July 1, 2008. A committee will review all submissions, and those with accepted abstracts are expected to submit their full-length papers by September 20, 2008. Papers should be written in English and preferably in the length of a journal article. Presented papers may be selected for publication in conference proceedings or considered for publication in the official journal of the ACPSS-- American Review of China Studies.

Conference Site

The City of Ithaca, nestled in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York,is best known for being the home of Cornell University and is famous for its great natural beauty surrounded by gorges, creeks, waterfalls, sparkling lakes, picturesque hills, and meandering footpaths. By car, Ithaca is an hour's drive from Syracuse , two hours’ from Rochester , three hours’ from Buffalo, and five hours’ from New York City. By flight, Ithaca is served by US Airways Express (via New York or Philadelphia ) and Northwest Airlink (via Detroit). There are frequent intercity bus service to Ithaca from Binghamton and New York City and limited bus service to Ithaca from Syracuse Rochester , and Buffalo provided by Greyhound Lines, New York Trailways, and Shortline.


The conference has blocked rooms at Hilton Garden Inn, Ithaca (15 single rooms and 35 double rooms) and Holiday Inn, Ithaca (15 single rooms and 35 double rooms) for the conference participants. The cut-off date for the hotel rooms at the discount rate isSeptember 30, 2008. Any rooms not booked by the date will be released back to the hotel for general sale. As hotel rooms in Ithaca are in extremely high demand, we strongly urge participants to make reservations before that date in order to secure a room. Reservations can be made directly by calling the hotel or by registering on-line.

Hilton Garden Inn, Ithaca 
  130 East Seneca Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 
  Tel: 607 277-8900
  Fax: 607 277-8910
  Croup Code: WASON 
  Rate: $124 plus tax /single or double room

Holiday Inn, Ithaca 
  222 South Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
  Tel: 607 272-1000
  Fax: 607 269-0460 / 272-1275
  Group Code: WAS
  Rate: $119.99 plus tax / single or double room

2006-2007 Wason's Ranking

According to the statistics collected from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, the Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) has recently released the 2006-2007 East Asian libraries’ rankings. The Wason’s rankings in fiscal support and total volume holdings are as follows:

Fiscal Support
  July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007

Fiscal Support July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007


Library Name

Total Appropriations

Total Grants

Total East Asian Program Support

Total Fiscal Supports


Library of Congress

































































The Wason’s rankings in fiscal support during the past 10 years:

2006-2007 No.11; 2005-2006 No.11; 2004-2005 No.7; 2003-2004 No.10; 2002-2003 No.7; 2001-2002 No.8; 2000-2001 No.5; 1999-2000 No.10; 1998-1999 N/A; 1997-1998 No.12.

Total Volume Holdings
  July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2007

Total Volume Holdings July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007


Library Name

Total Chinese Holdings

Total Japanese Holdings

Total Korean Holdings

Total NonCJK Holdings

Total Volume Holdings


Library of Congress































































The Wason’s rankings in total volume holdings during the past 10 years:

2006-2007 No.9; 2005-2006 No.9; 2004-2005 No.8; 2003-2004 No.9; 2002-2003 No.9; 2001-2002 No.9; 2000-2001 No.9; 1999-2000 No.9; 1998-1999 N/A; 1997-1998 No.9.

Reception for Dan McKee and Beth Katzoff

On March 11, the Wason Collection held a reception to welcome Dan McKee, the new Japanese Studies Librarian, and to thank Beth Katzoff, the Acting Japanese Studies Librarian, for her service. Acting University Librarian, Anne Kenney, Professor John Whitman, and over 30 librarians attended this event.

Gifts from Faculty

Professor Thomas Lyons has recently donated 99 books to the Wason Collection, which included national yearbooks, provincial and municipal yearbooks, gazetteers, and other imprints on China’s national and local economy. Last year Professor Thomas Lyons also donated two CDs, “Townships in Fujian 1997-2003, Digital Maps and Data” and “ Townships in Fujian Supplement 1, Mapping the Census”, all compiled by himself, to the Wason Collection.

This month the Wason Collection also received another generous book donation from Prof. Robert J. Smith and his wife Kazuko, both now retired after many years of service to Cornell University. Some highlights of the latest gifts from the Smiths include works in Japanese by authors living in Brazil, including two recent collections of poetry, 異土の歌 (Songs of a Foreign Earth) and 合鐘の記憶 (Carillon Memories) a study of social policies for Japanese Brazilians by Takashi Maeyama, and a biography of Suzuki Teiichi, 鈴木悌一:ブラジル日系社会に生きた鬼才の生涯.

We heartily thank Professor Thomas Lyons, Professor Robert Smith, and Mrs. Kazuko Smith for enriching the Wason Collection’s holdings in significant areas.