Guided Tours

Visit the Asian collections at KU with guided tours of the Spencer Research Library's rare materials collection, the Spencer Museum of Art's Challenging Power exhibition, and the East Asian Library's major holdings. 

Spencer Research Library

Rare Asian Materials

This guided tour will offer attendees the opportunity to examine highlights from the library’s rare book and manuscript holdings for Asia. Among the items available for viewing will be a mid-14th century Korean Sutra, a palm leaf manuscript from the 1600s containing a Telugu translation of the Rāmāyaṇa, a late 18thcentury illustrated Japanese manuscript roll featuring a tengu, and several items from the library’s holdings for Japanese ornithology. Also on display will be more contemporary manuscript materials, including correspondence between the families of Korean President Syngman Rhee and General Lyman Lemnitzer, and photographs and documents related Lingnan University in Guangzhou, China from the late 1920s to the early 1950s. 

The tour will also offer a walk through Spencer Library’s striking North Gallery space, which houses glass-enclosed book stacks with selections from the library’s collections, a permanent exhibit, and windows that offer sweeping views of the KU campus. 


  • Friday, September 16th, 1:45 - 2:30 pm
  • Saturday, September 17th, 10:15 - 11:00 am


The Spencer Research Library is located at 1450 Poplar Lane, directly behind Strong Hall. This “visit” page on the library's website offers information how to get to the building. The tour itself will start from Spencer Library’s main lobby (3rd floor, which is one floor up from the ground floor entrance, or directly off of the raised terrace shared with Strong Hall). 


Spencer Museum of Art

Challenging Power

Join Kris Ercums, curator of global contemporary & Asian art, for a tour of a special exhibition curated for the MCAA in the museum's Brosseau Learning Center. From a Qing dynasty lacquer throne to a recent series of printed face covering by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, this installation examines how artists contest and critique institutions of power. Other artist included are Murakami Takashi, Oura Nobuyuki, G.R. Iranna, Tang Maohong, Hans-Christian Schnik, and Zhong Yueying.

Guided Tour Time

Saturday, September 17th, 1:45 - 2:30 pm

Self-Guided Tour

If you cannot make the guided tour, Kris Ercums has created a guide to the Asian pieces in the Brosseau Learning Center at the Spencer Museum of Art. The museum is open Friday 10 AM to 5 PM and Saturday & Sunday from Noon to 5 PM.


The Spencer Museum of Art is located directly west of the Kansas Union across Mississippi Street. Go to the first floor and use the west exit near the elevators.


Watson Library

Asian Studies on the Prairie 

Join librarians Michiko Ito and Cecilia Zhang for a tour of the University of Kansas Libraries' extensive East Asian resources in Watson Library. KU's East Asian language collection ranks 11th among public university library collections in the United States. In the early development of this collection, emphasis was placed on collecting East Asian materials related to the fields of art history, history, languages, cultures, and religion. In more recent years, the collection has expanded to include resources that support research on contemporary politics, law, business, and women's studies. 

This exhibition features the diverse and interdisciplinary research activities of our faculty working on East Asia and beyond, highlighting the library collections essential to their research.


Saturday, September 17th, 3:30 - 4:15 pm


Watson Library is located at 1425 Jayhawk Blvd. Meet inside the main entrance of the library on the 3rd floor.