Columbia Library columns (v.45(1996))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.45,no.1(1996:Spring): Page 27  

The Starr Korean Rare Book Collection

Amy Vlaokck Hkinrich ano Amy LIai Kyunc; Lee

A tree with deep roots.
Because the wind sways it not,
Blossoms abundantly
And bears fruit.
The water from a deep spring.
Because a drought dries it not.
Becomes a stream
And flows to the sea.^


although for the past decade or so
Starr Library tradition has maintained that the Korean collection was
started in 1953, it actually began with a donation of books by Korean stu¬
dents at Columbia University in 1931. According to a recently discov¬
ered article in The Korean Student Bulletin of December 1931, "the much
needed and the long planned Korean Library and Culture Center was
recently established at Cohimbia University. ... At present the Korean
Library has nearly 1,000 volmnes of Korean books, largely contribtited
by the Korean students in New York." It goes on to declare, optimisti¬
cally, that "the Library Committee expects to have over 2,000 volumes of
Korean books" by the end of 1931, and that "a large collection of books
is expected in the near futiuT and according to the plans of the com¬
mittee, the library will have at least 20,000 to 25,000 books by 1936."^
This was not how it turned out. Althotigh the Library still has some of
those early donations, the Librar\ Conunittee mentioned in the article
seems to have dissolved, and other and perhaps more urgent concerns

  v.45,no.1(1996:Spring): Page 27