Harvard College Library News: News from around the libraries

Harvard-Yenching Library becomes permanent member of China Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL)

CADAL to provide free access to 1.75 million Chinese e-books to Harvard University

2014 Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting winners


By Beth Giudicessi, HCL Communications

May 30, 2014 – The China Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL), a national consortium of the major academic libraries across China, admitted the Harvard-Yenching Library as a permanent overseas member in late April 2014. As part of this appointment, Harvard affiliates are granted free access to the full contents of the CADAL database and to that of China's other national consortia of academic libraries, the China Academic Library Information System (CALIS).

CADAL originated from the China-U.S. Million Book Digital Library Project, a Carnegie Mellon-led initiative to create a free, searchable collection of over a million scholarly resources, primarily in the English language. It now offers 1.75 million e-books through partnerships with more than 70 Chinese universities, including those ranked in the top ten, and is considered to have a preeminent collection of volumes published during the Chinese Republican Period from 1911-1949. The database is based at the Zhejing University Library in Hangzhou and, like CALIS, which is headquartered at Peking University Library, is supported by funds from the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Harvard's relationship with CADAL began in October 2013 when the Harvard-Yenching Library co-sponsored a conference with Wuhan University Library in central China. At the conference, CADAL invited a handful of East Asian libraries in North America to become temporary overseas members of the consortium through December 2014.

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During an April 2014 trip to China, Harvard-Yenching Librarian James Cheng and Librarian for Public Services and e-Resources Sharon Yang met with CADAL representatives to ensure permanent access to the digital library.

As part of the same trip, Cheng and Yang visited librarians and book experts at the China International Book Trading Corporation, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Fudan University, the Guangxi Normal University Press, Zhejiang University, and the Zhong Hua Book Company.

Harvard-Yenching Library is Harvard's primarily repository for East Asian books and resources. Its collections of over 1.4 million volumes covering history, language and literature, philosophy and religion, fine arts and social sciences. It is the third largest library at Harvard, after Widener Library and the Law School Library, and is one of the largest and most comprehensive research libraries in its field. To benefit scholars worldwide, the Harvard-Yenching Library—formerly in cooperation with the National Library of China in Beijing and now with other partners in China, including the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)—is in the process of a multi-year project to digitize most, if not all, titles in its Chinese Rare Book Collection.