William Speidel, the first director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center’s Washington Office, remembers that “We started with about 200 journals on each side…half Chinese and half English. And even through the great difficulties of 1989, the journals were permitted to keep coming in.” The library now houses more than 120,000 volumes in Chinese and English, 400 periodicals and the full electronic resources of Nanjing University and Johns Hopkins SAIS. Sheila Thalhimer, the librarian at Johns Hopkins SAIS who oversees the library’s procurement of English language materials, notes that USAID funding through ASHA grants is “a major factor in maintaining [the library’s] excellence.”
The HNC library resources initially were focused on US-China relations and international affairs, but now they have expanded to include US history, international law, international development, and energy, resources, and the environment. The HNC library is an essential resource for HNC Master of International Studies (MAIS) students, who complete theses in their target language in their final year. In addition to the HNC collection, students are able to request volumes needed for research through the Johns Hopkins SAIS Library. Chinese and international students write their theses on diverse topics, recently including homosexuality in rural China, Chinese house churches, democracy in Asia, cross-strait relations, and women’s rights. Copies of these theses are kept in the HNC library.