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Since its creation in 1993 the Institute has built up a reference library for research as well as to meet the growing demand for information on Asia. Today, the library is France’s biggest Asia documentation centre outside Paris. The collection covers every field in the social sciences (anthropology, demography, law, economics, ethnology, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, sociology and urban studies among others) with special emphasis on East Asia. More than two-thirds of the works in the library are in Asian languages.

1. General description

BibliothèqueThe IAO library is devoted to research. Its primary purpose is to acquire and manage documents and other resources needed for studying East Asia countries (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Viêt-Nam as well countries in South-East Asia) and to be a centre of reference in the field.

The library has more than 45.000 monographs, over 750 periodicals, 252 of them still in circulation, and over 350 maps. It also has more than 1000 microforms, 530 American dissertations in the PDF format (UMI), and 227 Chinese films on VCD.


In 1998, the library acquired the Asian holdings of the now defunct Institute of Comparative Research on Institutions and Law which used to be a part of the CNRS. Over time, it has expanded its resources with thousands of works on China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The library’s expansion has been sustained especially by credits from the CNRS, under a national program for decentralising research.

Another major source of funding is the Rhône-Alpes Region under an agreement between the French State and the Regions. Since 2002, thanks to the Region’s policy of furthering cooperation with the Indochina peninsula, the IAO has developed a policy of acquiring documents and other resources on South-East Asia in general and Viet-Nam in particular. The IAO has thus amassed a specialised collection of about 7,000 volumes, more than half of which are in Vietnamese.

Bibliothèque Magasin 6The TIAO has also acquired a number of well-known private libraries on Asia (among them the Porée-Maspéro, Georges Boudarel, Paul Mus collections) as well as the private collections of research scholars (listed below) and major institutions (the Taiwan National Library andthe Korea Foundation).

3. Donations

The IAO research library is actively committed to finding and preserving special collections, particularly collections on Vietnam and Japan. Recent years have seen tremendous growth in documentation on the Indochina pensinsula, thanks mainly to a number of high-quality donations.

Donor Acquired in Contents Short description Overview
Daniel Hémery 2011 Files on Indochina Politics, history, society Documentary materials on the history, politics and social and economic life of colonial Indochina
Stéphane Corcuff since 2008 (ongoing collection) 500 books on Taiwan Politics, , history, society Documents in Chinese and Western languages
Jean le Gallo (personal collection) 2009 Books and periodicals on China History, politics, Cultural Revolution A portion of the documents published during the Cultural Revolution which are difficult to find
Eric Seizelet, Jurist and professor at Paris-Diderot University; Paris 7; former Director of the IAO 2009 350 books Japanese politics and law Historical resources in Japanese
Jean-Pierre Cabestan, Director of the Department of Comparative Politics at the Hong Kong Baptist University 2008 Collection of periodicals and works on China Chinese law Legal documentary materials in Chinese
Philippe Langlet, Historian, lecturer and research scholar at the Vietnam section, Paris-Diderot University, Paris 7 2008 200 monographs and 200 maps; some periodicals Culture, geography and history of Vietnam Books in Vietnamese; Collection of maps on Indochina, invaluable for research purposes
Judy Stowe, Historian and independent research scholar (London) 2008 300 monographs on South-East Asia and documents/ Pridi Banomyong papers Contemporary Vietnam and Thailand A number of these documents are in Vietnamese and Thai
Hiroshi Nishikawa, former Professor at Mié University (Japan) 2007 600 monographs and collections of periodicals Japanese politics and history Japanese-language documents from the last 50 years
Philippe Devillers, Historian. Le Monde correspondant in Indochina (1945-46), former Director of Research at the CNRS 2006 Boxes of documents Press cuttings, reports on the Indochina war Invaluable documentary material on the 1945-1954 period
Pierre Brocheux, Historian and. honorary lecturer at the Paris-Diderot University, Paris 7 2006 About a hundred books, 16 periodicals, 16 theses, 26 dissertations An ideal supplement to the Boudarel collection
Bernard Laplaud (personal collection) 2006 1980-2004 Monthly bulletins by Prince Norodom Sihanouk A treasure-house of information on Khmer politics spanning a 30-year period.

4. The Lyon Taiwan Collection (CDTL)

This collection was created on 23rd May 2008 at a ceremony presided over by the Taiwan representative, Mr Michel Lu Ching-long. The collection is formed by works belonging to the IAO along with resources received in recent years (Collection of the Information Service of the Taipei Representation Office, the Jean-Pierre Cabestan collection and the collection of the Chinese Cultural Centre in Paris). For more information click here.