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Using the Rolvaag Library Special Collections

Guide to using special collections materials and collection descriptions

Bodman-Lang East Asian Collection

Rolvaag Library Special Collections accepted the first portion of Dr. Richard Bodman's library in 2015. We are currently cataloging the thousands of volumes that make up the collection. As they become available, you can find them in Catalyst.

For those interested in the history of the book in Asia, the collection contains traditionally thread bound books, xylographic printing blocks, and several manuscripts. There are memoirs, travelogs, and autobiographies of Western foreigners in China, including rare books in Western languages from as early as the 18th century.  A large body of Chinese literature and Western novels about China are prominent in the collection. There are also newspapers, Chinese histories, Cultural Revolution materials, and books on other parts of Asia.

Dr. Bodman began his tenure at St. Olaf in 1980 and retired 25 years later. When he arrived, the Chinese program was in need of revitalization; through his teaching and passion for Chinese language and culture, the Chinese program grew, leading to an exchange program with the East China Normal University in Shanghai.

If you'd like to know more about Asian manuscripts in particular, see our separate guide.

Check out this video for a tutorial on how to make your own Chinese-style notebook.