Korean Library Collections at the University of Michigan
The University’s involvement with East Asian countries can be traced back 130 years to the tenure of Dr. James Burrill Angell, third president of the University. Recognized for his expertise in international affairs, President Angell was called upon to serve as the Ambassador to China and lived in Beijing from 1880 to 1881. Under his great leadership and vision, the University played a major role in expanding opportunities for students from the Pacific-Rim countries.
The establishment of the Center for Japanese Studies in 1947 and the Center for Chinese Studies in 1961 has further developed teaching and research on East Asia. Michigan eventually became a major center for Asian education with the creation of the centers for the study of Asian languages and cultures. Korea-related studies at the University have a relatively short history of 20 years compared to other East Asian Studies at the University. Korean language courses were first offered in 1990 and the Korean Studies Program (KSP) was officially founded in 1995 at the International Institute with generous financial support from the Korea Foundation. The KSP was upgraded to the Center for Korean Studies (CKS) in 2007.
To satisfy the instructional and research needs of the rapidly developing KSP, the Korean Collections began to collect books and other materials on Korea on a large scale in 2000. One epoch-making development is to join the Korean Collections Consortium of North America (KCCNA) as the 10th member in 2003. The Consortium is funded by the Korea Foundation and each member library is committed to develop in-depth collections on assigned subject areas. Michigan is responsible for further developing the following subject areas; Historiography, Democratization, Reunification questions, Labor relations, Auto industry, Publications on Korea and Korean published in Japan, Publications on Korea and Korean published in Detroit and Mid West area.
As of May 2018, the holdings of the Collections number more than 66,000 in monographs and periodicals, and a wide range of e-resources. The Korean Collections continue to help facilitate groundbreaking scholarship in Korean Studies with the strong commitment and support of the University and the Foundation.