John King Fairbank Library

Dear readers, please note that the library will be closed for national holidays on May 1st and May 8th.

Orientální ústav AV ČR
Pod Vodárenskou věží 4
182 08 Praha 8




John King Fairbank Library – John King Fairbank (1907–1991), Professor of history at Harvard University, is considered a founder of modern Chinese historical studies in the US. In the days preceding his death he made known his desire that the English part of his library be donated to some non-Anglophone country. In the course of ordering the bequest of her late husband, Mrs. Wilma Fairbank recalled the memory of Professor Jaroslav Průšek (1906–1980), once a director of the Oriental Institute in Prague, whom she and Professor Fairbank knew well, and were friendly with since the 1960s. This fact prompted Mrs. Fairbank's decision to offer the English part of her late husband's library to the Oriental Institute. Professor Augustin Palát (Průšek's long-term collaborator) became a mediator of contacts between Mrs. Fairbank and the Oriental Institute. The generous gift reached Prague in August 1994. In November of the same year, the library was opened in the presence of Mrs. Wilma Fairbank and other guests of honor.


The JKF Library contains books on China in English, altogether about 1600 titles concerned with history, culture, economy, US-Chinese relations, etc.