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2CUL expands Southeast Asian studies collaboration

Expert librarians in Southeast Asian studies from Cornell University Library will offer their services and share collections with the Columbia University academic community.

Through the 2CUL partnership between the institutions, members of both universities can borrow materials quickly from either library. Through this arrangement Cornell's two Southeast Asia librarians will work with faculty and students at Columbia.

They will also work with Columbia's librarians, provide advice on collection development and select materials. Cornell will provide improved access to materials in the Burmese, Filipino, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malaysian, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese languages. Columbia will continue to maintain its English-language resource collection.

This new agreement builds on the success of 2CUL's first resource-sharing agreement to collaborate on collection development and research in Slavic and East European studies, which was implemented in 2010.

"We hold the most comprehensive collection on Southeast Asia at an academic institution in the world," said Anne Kenney, Cornell's Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. "The breadth and depth of our expertise in this area will help users at Columbia, just as Columbia's experience with Slavic studies helps our users. This partnership enables us to keep these specialized areas vibrant and growing, in a sustainable way, for the sake of deep scholarship at both institutions."

Faculty members and graduate students at both schools will have direct access to Cornell's Southeast Asia librarians -- Greg Green and Jeffrey Peterson, curator and assistant curator of the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia -- via telephone, e-mail or video conference for queries on Southeast Asian language resources. Green and Peterson will also visit Columbia's campus to provide in-person instruction and consultation services.

"The 2CUL collaboration provides a great opportunity for us to find ways to better collect material from and about Southeast Asia and improve access to the collections for students and scholars at both institutions," Green said. "We've always worked hard to provide good service to people from all over the world, and this agreement formally recognizes our commitment to share this amazing treasure."

Cornell's Echols Collection, established in 1977, contains more than 450,000 volumes and covers Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its goal is to gather every publication of research value produced in Southeast Asia and publications about the region published in other parts of the world.

Gwen Glazer is a staff writer for Library Communications.

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