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Save Fisher Library East Asian Collection

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We, the undersigned, wish to register our concern about a proposal posted on the University of Sydney Fisher Library website to split up the East Asian Collection and to scatter the materials in Chinese, Japanese and Korean scripts among the rest of the library holdings. We regard the Collection is an important asset of the University. It is one of the best in Australia and attracts scholars both locally and internationally. We note that the Collection has received many significant donations and bequests from foreign government organisations as well as individuals. The possibility of receiving future gifts would be prejudiced it it is split up so that it is no longer housed in one place. The present Collection brings together many disciplines and provides an enviably broad and integrated platform for research. It includes much material not available on line or in other collections. The specialist staff who are responsible for the Collection at present are also invaluable assistants to guide researchers and students. Another problem relates to the implied need for classification of works in the Collection, which currently use the Harvard-Yenching system. The time, cost and inconvenience to library users of such a move should surely be taken into account before a decision is made. Ideally we hope that the Collection can be preserved as a single entity. If this is not possible, we hope that othe solutions will be explored before a decision is made and that a full discussion will be held with the users of the Collection, including teachers, students and researchers in the University and other NSW universities which look to the Collection to support their work, as well as the various ethnic communities in Sydney and New South Wales.

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