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The collection comprises original works from Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, mainly from China, Japan and Korea.
The holdings are supplemented by literature in Western languages, which relate to this region.
 
The current acquisitions focus on the arts disciplines of pre-modern Eastern Asia: history including social history and history of sciences and medicine, as well as political science, sociology, philosophy, religion, the fine arts and archaeology.
Due to the exceptionally valuable and comprehensive old collections (printed works and manuscripts), the BSB's literature collection emphasis lies in the fields of the history of printing, codicology and archive materials.

Catalog search
China-related literature
  • in vernacular language:
     OPACplus (search and display currently only in Pinyin romanization, as of 2012 also in Chinese characters)
     Gateway Bayern (search only in Pinyin romanization, display in Pinyin romanization as well as in Chinese characters)
  • in Western language:
     OPACplus
Japan-related literature
  • in vernacular language, cataloged before 1990:
    L.jap.-Catalog (card catalog available in the  East European, Oriental and Asian Reading Room
  • in vernacular language, cataloged after 1990:
     OPACplus (search and display currently only in Pinyin romanization, as of 2012 also in Chinese characters)
     Gateway Bayern (search only in Pinyin romanization, display in Pinyin romanization as well as in Chinese characters)
  • in Western language:
     OPACplus
Korea-related literature
  • in vernacular language and in Western language:
     OPACplus
Vietnam-related literature
Thailand-related literature
Directions regarding search and resources:
When searching for Chinese literature in Pinyin transcription it must be observed that syllables are spaced apart in writing. Exceptions: personal names and names of locations. The search is not case sensitive.
 
In the case of large series or omnibus works (Congshu, etc.) it is recommendable to not only search for series titles and volumes, but also individual titles.
 
In the event that it is impossible to order an individual volume in the  OPACplus via "Suche" (search), "Trefferliste" (list of hits) and "Titelanzeige" (title display), kindly use the function "Magazin-Bestellung" (order from stack) in the  OPACplus for ordering individual volumes.
 
Current periodicals and newspapers are available in the  East Reading Room and partly in the  Periodicals Reading Room.
 
Besides the  OPACplus newspapers and periodicals are catalogued in the  Periodicals Database (Zeitschriftendatenbank, ZDB), electronic journals in the  Electronic Journals Library (Elektronische Zeitschriftenbibliothek, EZB) and databases in the  Database Information System (Datenbank-Infosystem, DBIS).
 
All electronically captured collections relating to East Asia are also catalogued in the WorldCat and can be searched there both in transcription and original script version.
 
The  Virtual Subject Library CrossAsia offers central access to various information offers regarding East Asian and South-East Asian studies.