Last Thursday, January 26, was the opening of the library Asia exhibition ‘A Buddha in the Backyard’, the kickoff to Leiden’s Asia Year 2017 – a joint programme by Leiden University Libraries, several Leiden museums and the city council to celebrate the merging of all of Leiden University’s Asian collections into a new ‘Asian Library’ at the existing UB Main Library at the Witte Singel.
After Bollywood dancing, several speeches, and Bruce Lee-style martial arts demonstrations, guests were free to wander around and see the work in progress of the reading room of the Asian Library on the second floor, and come down to view the Asia exhibition near the library reception.
Since it is so important to understanding the region, one of the display cases was completely dedicated to Asian food. The subject of Asian food is a fast growing field of study, on which there are many research materials in the extensive collections of the Asian Library, which will be officially opened mid September this year.
On the top shelf of the displays relating to food are several soy sauce bottles, alongside Prof. Anne Gerritsen’s inaugural lecture booklet, Ronald Yates’s book on the Kikkoman corporation, and several Asian cookery books, connecting nicely to to our Shared Taste project. Also on display is a volume of the Seikei zuzetsu 成形圖說, an illustrated Japanese encyclopedic work with colour woodblock prints of vegetables and fruits of the early 19th century.
Further reading :
- Prof. Anne Gerritsen’s inaugural lecture ‘the Global Life of a Soya Bottle‘
- Read all about Leiden’s Asia year, including list of events: Leiden AsiaYear
- The libray exhibition will be on show until May 9 of this year. Read more on this exhibition at the library website
- 1804 成形圖說 Seikei zuzetsu, in 4 cases, University Library special collections, Ser. 1042