Developing MOA’s Asian Resources Guide

My summer internship report at the Audrey & Harry Hawthorn Library & Archives, Part 2
Box, Philippines, MOA Ia282 a-b

Developing MOA’s Asian Resources Guide

I hope you enjoyed reading my last post about generating a digital copy of the ‘Ksan Doors found in the MOA Photographic Collection. I would like to share with you another project I completed at the Audrey & Harry Hawthorn Library & Archives that I hope may be of interest to you.

A guided tour through UBC’s Asian Library spurred an interest in creating a research guide that would assist library patrons in learning of and accessing MOA’s Asian cultural collections. I began this task by reviewing the finding aids and exhibit record guides in MOA’s archives. I received contributions from Adrienne Hembree highlighting MOA’s library resources; and in addition, Ann Stevenson contributed information regarding MOA’s vast collection. Altogether, this guide is known as: A subject guide to Asian cultural library and archival resources at the Audrey & Harry Hawthorn Library & Archives and Asian cultural collections at the Museum of Anthropology.

Charles S. Brant fonds, Burma, MOA a033181

Charles S. Brant fonds, Burma, MOA a033181

The purpose of this guide is to provide users with a subject index for records, collections, and library resources relating to Asian cultural materials held at the Museum of Anthropology. MOA’s archival repository and collections house records and ethnographic objects from a variety of cultures around the world. Records, ethnographic objects, and information concerning MOA’s previously displayed exhibits, research, and collections are accessible to the public. The library contains resources and textual materials referencing various aspects of cultures around the world, as well as materials on museology, archaeology, and specific materials regarding MOA’s exhibits and collections.

Eric Parker fonds, Tibet, MOA a033550

Eric Parker fonds, Tibet, MOA a033550

Included in the archives are: textual records and drawings of Chinese charms and coins dating from 255 BC – 1910 (Hugh Campbell-Brown fonds); photographic albums and slides highlighting travels in Korea and the Philippines (Rita B. Steeds fonds); mixed media records relating to field research of the languages and cultural practices of South Asia (Gillian Darling Kovanic fonds); and much more. Records documenting the development of past exhibits and student exhibits are also accessible for research and include the captivating exhibits: A rare flower: a century of Cantonese opera in Canada; Image and life: 50,000 years of Japanese prehistory; Tibetan textiles: selections from the Museum’s textile collection; Wayang: from the Gods to Bart Simpson; The spirit of Islam: experiencing Islam through calligraphy; and much more.

Box, Philippines, MOA Ia282 a-b

Box, Philippines, MOA Ia282 a-b

MOA’s collections include over 17,000 ethnographic objects from Asia and most are accessible online through MOA’s Collection Online and the Reciprocal Research Network. And of course, you can visit MOA to see many objects on display!

Musical Instrument, Cambodia, MOA B519

Musical Instrument, Cambodia, MOA B519

The library houses over 200 titles relating to Asian cultural materials. Members of the public conducting preliminary or further research on MOA’s collections, archives, or exhibits may wish to consult the library’s resources. These include ethnographic resources, exhibit publications from various museums, archaeological and material culture resources, and historical information.

All titles within the library, including those in the Charles E. Borden Special Collection and Rare Books & Special Collections, are accessible to the public for use within the library; however, the titles are not available for circulation. In the general stacks of the library,

specific Asian cultural materials can be found in section 11 ASIA, or in general sections relating to anthropology, art, and museums/museology. The Charles E. Borden Special Collection and Rare Books & Special Collections also include a number of titles relating to Asian cultures with a focus on Asian prehistory and archaeology.

11.1 General Asia subject materials. Photo: Adrienne Hembree

11.1 General Asia subject materials. Photo: Adrienne Hembree

Accessing the records
The subject guide can be found here. You can search the library catalogue online. The Library is normally open to researchers Monday-Thursday 10:00-4:00 for browsing.

If you haven’t had a chance to learn more about the MOA’s archival holdings, I recommend taking a look through the finding aids available online. The Archives is open to researchers by appointment on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please contact us at archives@moa.ubc.ca or 604.822.1946 to set up an appointment.

By  Lisa Uyeda