IIAS and The Asian Library join forces for ICAS Book Prize

06 February 2015

A new boost for Asian studies thanks to cooperation between the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and Leiden University Libraries on the international ICAS Book Prize.

The Asian Library at Leiden University Libraries will be sponsoring the next three editions, between 2015-2019, of the ICAS Book Prize (IBP) of the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS). In return, ICAS and IIAS agree to hand over the book collections of the previous five and the upcoming sixth ICAS Book Prizes to The Asian Library. These include some 600 studies of the past ten years in the broad field of Asian studies in the social sciences and humanities. Leiden University Libraries will present at least the current edition of the Book Prize in the library. 

Photo: University Librarian De Belder and IIAS Director Peycam sign the agreement for the ICAS Book Prize

International ICAS Book Prize: Global scope for publications on Asia

The ICAS Book Prize is a global competition that seeks to honour the best of Asian studies. It is awarded for outstanding Asian studies works and dissertations in the Social Sciences and Humanities.  Founded in 2005, it is the only book prize with a global scope, providing an international focus for publications on Asia while at the same time increasing their visibility worldwide.  An international reading committee assesses the submitted books and dissertations. The prizes consist of awards in various categories and accolades. The IBP has grown into one of the most prestigious prizes in the field, with more than 200 books and 50 dissertations submitted for its sixth edition (2015).

IIAS/ICAS: Accelerator of research

The International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) was established in 1997 at the initiative of the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden) and has since grown into the premier international gathering in the field of Asian studies. ICAS is a platform for representatives of academia and civil society to focus on issues critical to Asia and by implication to the rest of the world. It is an active accelerator of research. Since its inception, ICAS has brought together 15,000 academics at eight biennial conventions taking place in Asia. At these conventions, publishers and organizations in the field of Asian studies display their products in the ICAS Exhibition. Since 2013, ICAS benefits from the input of an International Council composed of world-renowned scholars.

The Asian Library

In 2017, Leiden University will open The Asian Library, a new library to house its world-renowned and extensive Asian collections, to make them digitally accessible worldwide and to preserve them for future generations. They include the largest collection on Indonesia worldwide and some of the foremost collections on South and Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Korea. Leiden is a major international knowledge hub on Asia. Scholars and students from all over the world come to Leiden University to participate in top research and teaching programmes. The Asian Library will be a central focal point with state-of-the-art facilities for study, research and encounters between those with a profound interest in Asia and its position in the world. An international fellowship programme will be established to support a prolonged stay of fellows at The Asian Library.