CrossAsia – a German National Infrastructure for East Asian Studies – Current Situation and European Perspective

Presentation by Matthias Kaun

CrossAsia – a German National Infrastructure for Asian Studies – Current Situation and European Perspective Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library) has been developing and running the platform CrossAsia ( for more than a decade. CrossAsia was launched in 2005 to provide an easy-to-use and central point of access to the printed and electronic resources in the library’s collection relating to East, Central and Southeast Asia. The collection is partly funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Over the years, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin has continuously adjusted the objectives for CrossAsia, incorporating and in some cases anticipating the demands of academia and research.

In my presentation, I will focus on two topics. First, I will introduce the CrossAsia cosmos (, including collection building, inter-library loan (ILL) services, metadata and full-text data searching, digitisation and visualisation, contextualisation of collections, and support for Open Access publishing and (research) data services. I will also show what services are freely available for researchers in Germany, Europe and beyond.

My perspective is that of a library and information infrastructure that is rethinking its mission to support Asia-related scholarship and research in an ever more globalised and digitally connected world. I will show how CrossAsia seeks to organise access to collections – regardless of their physical form and/or usage limitations due to licensing restrictions – in ways that make the materials findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable wherever possible.

Secondly, I will present some ideas how to improve the access situation for the European research community. Based on international cooperation and reliable coordination between partners and networks, an at least partial improvement of access conditions could be achieved for the European research community. In view of the diverse use cases and usage scenarios, especially in the context of electronic and digitally available texts and sources as well as in the context of digital humanities a joint and coordinated approach seems more promising.

In order for us at CrossAsia to better understand the needs and the wishes of the research community, we are offering a virtual booth at EACS where we are happy to get in contact with you. In addition, we kindly ask you to take part in our online survey on “Access to Resources in Europe” ( so that we can better assess the situation in the different regions.

Event Timeslots (1)

Room 1
Roundtable Discussion