The Chinese collection is intended to facilitate research in all aspects of Chinese culture, and the scope of accessions embraces all periods from pre-history to the present day. Collection policy continues to focus on traditional Chinese culture, but has evolved in accordance with recent developments in teaching and research in the University to place more emphasis on areas such as modern Chinese economics, law and politics, modern Chinese literature and film studies.
The requirements of basic undergraduate teaching are not catered for, as these are met by the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Library.
Accessions policy, especially in the areas of traditional Chinese medicine, the history of Chinese science and archaeology, is coordinated with the Needham Research Institute (East Asian History of Science Library).
Materials collected originate in the territory of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and are predominantly in the Chinese (Han) language, with the addition of a few materials written in the languages of ethnic minorities in China. Because of the importance of Japanese sinology, a considerable quantity of Japanese materials relating to China is regularly added to the Chinese collection. Materials in western languages, translations into Chinese of such materials and works in Chinese on modern science, etc., are generally excluded from the Chinese collection, but with these exceptions, the scope of accessions is very broad, and covers the whole range of Chinese studies.
The main subject areas covered are:
Bibliography and generalia (FB.1-99)
Bibliographies, library catalogues (including foreign collections of Chinese books), general reference works, periodicals and collectanea of a general nature.
History and biography (FB.100-199)
Chronologies and calendars, historiography, archives, annals, topical and dynastic histories of all periods, foreign relations, biographies and genealogies.
Geography and local history (FB.200-249)
Maps and atlases, hydrography, orography, local descriptions and histories (arranged by province).
Archaeology and epigraphy (FB.250-299)
Archaeology of particular periods and particular sites (arranged by province), descriptions of artifacts (general, bone, metal, stone, jade, terracotta, wood), numismatics.
Social sciences and law (FB.300-399)
Anthropology, ethnography, folklore, manners and customs, mythology, occultism, sociology, administration, bureaucracy, ritual, examination systems, politics, economics, demography, trade, law, education.
Semantics, syntax, language textbooks, script, phonetics, lexicography (monolingual and bilingual dictionaries), dialectology, languages of ethnic minorities within the borders of China.
Literary history and criticism, poetry and prose of all periods (arranged chronologically), opera and songs, fiction.
Philosophy and religion (FB.700-899)
Confucianism and Confucian scriptures, Taoism and Taoist scriptures, other indigenous philosophies and religions, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism and Buddhist scriptures (also FA.700-899).
Fine and recreative arts (FB.900-949)
Painting and calligraphy, engraving, ceramics, sculpture, architecture, horticulture, sigillography, decorative arts, costume, furniture, music, dancing, drama, cinema, games and sports.
Science and technology (FB.950-999)
Mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry (including alchemy), geology, biology, medicine, materia medica and pharmacy, agriculture, domestic science (including gastronomy), handicrafts, industrial technology, mining and metallurgy, engineering, military science.
NB: Each subject grouping includes subject-related bibliographies, periodicals, collectanea, reference works and general treatises.
Accessions policy aims at comprehensive coverage of works of permanent research value in these subject areas. Special importance is attached to obtaining the latest bibliographies and reference works and to maintaining complete runs of the most significant collectanea or reprint series, which contain rare works not obtainable elsewhere.
Electronic media such as CD-ROMs are not actively acquired, though they are received as supplements to printed materials.
An important feature of the Chinese collection is the serials holdings. Over 1000 current serial titles are taken; these comprise all the important serials in the areas covered by the accessions policy which can be obtained from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Library also subscribes to some important online databases of Chinese serials.