The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of materials in Chinese in traditional and simplified characters, largely housed in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center on the fifth floor. The rest of the collection is spread among the Libraries, most noticeably in Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Penn Museum Library, Lippincott Library, and the LIBRA storage facility.

The focus of the Chinese collection is on the humanities and social sciences, supporting faculty and students across the School of Arts & Sciences (East Asian Languages & Civilizations, History, History of Art, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology, Linguistics, Music, History and Sociology of Science, Anthropology, and Archaeology departments), the Weitzman School of Design (Architecture, City Planning, Fine Arts) and other schools at Penn. We collect a wide range of materials, from primary and secondary sources to graphic novels and comics and contemporary fiction. 



Meeting table, computer monitor, and shelves in the East Asian Studies seminar room.

Candice and Robert Willoughby East Asian Studies Seminar Room

The East Asia Seminar Room houses more than 3,600 reference books in East Asian studies and more than 50 unbound core academic journals in Chinese and Japanese. These materials are non-circulating, though East Asian Studies professors and graduate students may borrow items with the Chinese or Japanese bibliographer's special written permission. 

Doing Research

When using the Libraries to search for Chinese studies materials, we recommend using Franklin. You can search in Chinese characters (traditional and simplified) and you can search in Pinyin, but for the latter, be sure to make spaces in between every single Chinese character unless it is a place name or a name. [Example: "Beijing da xue xue bao" where Beijing is a place name; Xi Jinping]

Our databases are varied and have their own particularities, but the linked Research Guides should provide a good starting point (see below). 

Please feel free to reach out to the subject librarian for more help.