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Major Buddhist Library To Be Given To University Of Virginia Library

December 18, 2000 -- Stanley and Lucie Weinstein of Hamden, Conn., have announced plans to bequeath to the University of Virginia Library a significant collection of scholarly books on Buddhism, focusing particularly on Buddhism in China and Japan. The collection also includes substantial holdings on Buddhist art. The bequest will make U.Va. the holder of one of the major collections for the study of Buddhism in the United States, according to Paul Groner, U.Va. professor of religious studies.

The collection of 10,658 books is particularly strong in 19th and 20th century publications on Buddhism, and also includes many books on other East Asian religions, as well as history, literature, art, and related subjects. Many rare woodblock-printed books are also part of the collection.

"Stanley Weinstein’s library is without a doubt the best collection of East Asian Buddhist materials in private hands in the West," said Groner. "He has tracked down and acquired rare books, many of which were published privately and not readily available in bookstores."

When asked about his choice of Virginia as a permanent home for his library, Weinstein said, "The University of Virginia has shown a deep commitment to the study of Buddhism by establishing four full-time positions in Buddhist studies. An especially strong constellation of scholars has made Virginia one of the major centers in this country for the serious study of Buddhism."

He added, "The real strength of the Buddhist studies collection at Virginia, as it is presently constituted, lies in its Tibetan and Indian materials rather than its holdings on East Asian Buddhism. Thus, it seemed to me that my collection would be a perfect match for Virginia's library with its current strengths in Tibetan and Indian Buddhist materials. With the addition of the materials from my library, the Buddhist collection at Virginia should rank as one of the top collections in the country."

"The Weinstein library will be a magnificent addition to our collections," said University Librarian Karin Wittenborg. "We plan to name the room it will be housed in ‘The Stanley and Lucie Weinstein Buddhist and Asian Studies Library,’ and we expect the collections and the room to be a dynamic meeting place for faculty and students in Asian studies."

The collection will be located in what is now the Barrett Room in the Special Collections Department on the second floor of Alderman Library. The Barrett collection will be moving to a new building soon to be under construction.

Stanley Weinstein became associate professor of Buddhist studies at Yale University in 1968 and has been professor since 1974. He is the author of numerous books and articles, most recently the chapter "Aristocratic Buddhism" in The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 2, Heian Japan. Lucie Weinstein is professor emerita of art at Southern Connecticut State University, where she taught East Asian art.

Stanley Weinstein began collecting Buddhist materials during his stay in Korea in 1953-54 when he was serving with military intelligence. He added extensively to the collection during the following six years that he spent at Japanese universities, when scholarly Buddhist materials, including many Edo period woodblock editions of Buddhist texts, were still available. Between 1962 and 1968, he lectured in Far Eastern Buddhism at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and was able to enhance his collection significantly through the acquisition of scholarly materials on Indian and Southeast Asian Buddhism published in Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Since his appointment to a professorship at Yale in 1968, he has visited Japan at least once a year and continues to build his collection.

A book endowment has been established in the U.Va. Library to purchase books on Buddhism and other East Asian topics. The library is seeking additions to the book endowment to reach a goal of $100,000.

Contact: Melissa Norris, (804) 924-4254

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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