Chester Beatty Library – Collections – The East Asian Collection | The East Asian Collection, Chester Beatty Library East Asian Collection
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The East Asian Collections

The East Asian collections represent cultures all across the Far East, including parts of Central, East, South and South-East Asia - from non-Islamic India in the south-west to Japan in the north-east, and from Mongolia in the north-west to Sumatra in the south-east.

Within the context of the Library's collection as a whole, the East Asian Collection is relatively small.

Parts of it, such as most of the Chinese manuscripts and works of art were bought as furnishings or decorative pieces while Chester Beatty was still a novice collector, on a trip he made to China and Japan in 1917-18.

Some of the categories in which Beatty collected would have been considered mere oriental curiosities - until recently.

Now, areas such as the Japanese picture-books from Nara (Nara e-hon) are much prized in Japan, and are a focus of international scholarly exchange.

The Library is a trustee of the Virtual Collection of Asian Masterpieces, a project of ASEMUS - the Asia Europe Museum Network.  The VCM utilises the Internet and masterpieces of Asian origin in the collections of contributing museums to promote mutual understanding and appreciation between peoples of various and different cultures.  Further info HERE