Wednesday, October 27, 2010

EAL Lecture: Flexible Diplomacy of Taiwan and Its Relation to Cross-Strait Reconciliation

Speaker: Dr. Francis Tsu-ching Hu (胡祖慶), Department of Political Science, Tung Hai University, Taiwan

Discussants: Dr. Victor Falkenheim and Dr. Helen Wu

1:00-3:00pm, Monday, November 15, 2010
Current Periodical Area, Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, University of Toronto
Rm. 8049, Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street, Toronto

Free admission. Limited seats available, therefore please RSVP to Lucy Gan by email ( or by phone at 416-978-1025.

Dr. Francis Tsu-ching Hu is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan. In June 2005, he was elected a deputy of the National Assembly (國民大會代表) and has since 2006 served as one of the twenty-one members of the Referendum Committee of the Executive Yuan (行政院公民投票審議委員). He has paid many trips to mainland China as a member of the People First Party (親民黨) delegation. His major fields of research include comparative politics, cross-Strait relations, and party coalition. His representative books published in Taiwan include Bijiao Zhengfu yu Zhengzhi《比較政府與政治(Comparative Government and Politics) and Zhengdang Hezuo yu Jiemeng《政黨合作與結盟(Cooperation and Coalition between Political Parties). James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) both wrote prefaces for Zhengdang Hezuo yu Jiemeng.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Exhibition of Chinese Rare Books at EAL

Leaves of Enchantment, Bones of Inspiration: The Dawn of Chinese Studies in Canada is the first comprehensive exhibition of Chinese rare books held in the University of Toronto Libraries. This joint project by the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library was on display in the Fisher Library from May 25 to September 17, 2010. The current installation includes parts of the earlier exhibition.

Most of the Chinese rare books in the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library belong to the so-called “Mu Collection” - a private collection of scholarly books from Mr. Mu Xuexun (慕學勛1880-1929). Mu was born in Penglai County, Shandong Province. He graduated from Beiyang University (北洋大學堂) in Tianjin in 1911 and worked as the Chinese Secretary at the German Legation in Beijing for seventeen years (1912-1929). He spent over twenty-five years building up his personal library, which consisted of roughly forty thousand volumes of books.

At the time when Mu Xuexun passed away in 1929, his son had been assigned to a position outside of Beijing and so the family decided to sell the rare book collection. Canadian missionary Bishop William Charles White (1873-1960) offered $10,500 to purchase it in its entirety and his offer was accepted by the Mu family. White was the first Anglican Bishop in Henan Province (1901-1930) stationed at the city of Kaifeng (開封)and the first Canadian bishop to be consecrated for service in the mission field.

Ten Chinese workers were hired to prepare a descriptive catalogue for the library collection. The book shipment arrived at Toronto in June, 1935. At the time, it was the third largest university collection of Chinese books in North America, after the Gest Library at McGill University (later transferred to Princeton University) and the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University. The Mu Collection was first housed in ROM’s Sigmund Samuel Gallery. On 5 November 1937, the Library opened officially in a new addition specially built for the Mu Collection with the name “Professor H.H. Mu Library of Chinese Books”. Bishop White was appointed the first keeper of the Library.

In 1968, the majority of the Mu Collection became part of the University of Toronto Libraries’ holdings. At that time, an East Asiatic Studies Library was created with holdings of sixty thousand volumes— apart from the original Mu Collection - that had been added to the library in the years since 1937. In 1974, the East Asiatic Studies Library moved to the newly constructed John P. Robarts Research Library, the main humanities and social sciences library of the University of Toronto Libraries where it was absorbed into the Central Library and renamed as the ‘East Asian Library’. The Mu Collection was relocated to its own rare book reading room, with part of it kept in compact shelving in a restricted area.

In the Mu Collection, there are two volumes of Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) editions, ninety-eight volumes of Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368) editions, 230 titles of Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) editions, around 400 titles of Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) editions from before the 60th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1795) and 50 titles of Ming and Qing manuscripts. Some of these are unique and exceedingly rare materials. This exhibition contains two parts: Part I is displayed in the EAL Rare Book Reading Room close to the main entrance of the library and the part II displays here. You can find publications related to the Chinese rare book collections and the history of this library in the last case of this display. For more information, please contact our staff.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2010-2011 EAL Film Lecture Series

Starting from the 2010 fall semester, the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library will launch a six-part Film Lecture Series, inviting acclaimed Asian Canadian directors/producers to share their filmmaking experience, especially from the perspective of being Asian Canadians in the multicultural landscape of Canada.

In each of the lectures, films will be screened starting from 2:30pm on the selected Wednesday afternoons. All lectures are free and open to all.

Lecture Schedule:

  1. 2:30-5:00pm, Nov. 3, 2010
    Speaker: Dr. Tony Chan, on two of his documentary films,
    Chinese Cafes in Rural Saskatchewan and American Nurse.

  2. 2:30-5:00pm, Nov. 24, 2010
    Speaker: Brenda Joy Lem, on her films,
    The Compact and Open Letter.

  3. 2:30-5:00pm, Dec. 1, 2010
    Speaker: Richard Fung, TBD

  4. 2:30-5:00pm, Jan. 19, 2011
    Speaker: Keith Lock, on his 2009 new film,
    The Ache.

  5. 2:30-5:00pm, Feb. 14, 2011
    Speaker: Diana Dai, on
    China's Earthquake: The People in the Pictures, an award-winning documentary film she produced and directed in 2009.

  6. 2:30-5:00pm, Mar. 2, 2011
    Speaker: Irene Chu, on one episode from the 20-part drama series,
    Once Upon a Time in Toronto.

The lectures are free and open to all. But registration is required due to a limited number of seats available. EAL is now accepting registrations for Dr. Chan's lecture. Please RSVP to Lucy Gan by email ( ) or by phone (416978-1025).

EAL is now accepting registration for the first lecture in the series: Dr. Tony Chan is going to talk about his two films on November 3.
For information about this lecture, check the the link at