Harvard-Yenching Library holds the largest East Asian language collection outside East Asia. This collaborative exhibition features a diverse selection of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language materials curated from both Yenching and Houghton’s collections. From depictions of 18th- and 19th-century cross-cultural encounters to video games and playing cards, this display gestures towards the breadth of East Asian holdings across the two repositories.

Items on display include

  • A poem written in Chinese for Harvard president Charles W. Eliot by Ge Kunhua, Harvard's first instructor of Chinese
  • A scroll illustrating the arrival of Matthew C. Perry's naval fleet to Japan
  • The first Korean translation of The Pilgrim's Progress (1895)
  • A 16th-century volume from the Yongle da dian, the largest encyclopedia in existence until the advent of Wikipedia
  • A 19th-century illustrated history of a Korean civil servant's different workplaces
  • Japanese-language video games

This exhibition was curated by staff members from Yenching and Houghton libraries, faculty from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and a member of the 2022–23 cohort of Houghton Visiting Fellows.

Planning to visit?

Houghton exhibitions are open to all visitors. Please see Harvard Library's Visitor Access Page for the most up-to-date information about visiting the library.

Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access, please contact us.