In coming years, Mr. Jefferson's University may become as well known for its massive collection of East Asian Buddhist art and texts as for its neoclassical architecture.
Stanley and Lucie Weinstein of Hamden, Conn., have announced plans to bequeath their extensive library of Buddhist scholarly materials -- one of the largest privately-owned collections in the western world - to the University's Alderman Library.
Stanley Weinstein cited the University's commitment to Buddhist studies, exemplified by the four full-time professors of Buddhist studies in the Religious Studies Department, as his reason for choosing the University as the library's permanent home after his death and the death of his wife.
Weinstein believes the University is a "dynamic center for Buddhist studies," said Deputy University Librarian Kendon Stubbs.
Much of the collection of 10,658 books is comprised of 19th and 20th century publications on Buddhism, although it also includes texts dealing with other East Asian religions, history, literature, art and related subjects. The collection also includes many rare woodblock-printed books.
The collection will be located in what is now the Barrett Room in the Special Collections Department on Alderman Library's second floor.
The Barrett collection will be moving next door to a soon-to-be-built facility that will house the Mary and David A. Harrison Institute for American History, Literature and Culture and the Albert H. Small Special Collections Library. The new building is slated to stand where Miller Hall now houses the Office of Admissions.
The Barrett Room will be renamed "The Stanley and Lucie Weinstein Buddhist and Asian Studies Library."
The room will be a new center of Asian Studies, and will contain study spaces and room for small lectures and seminars, Stubbs said.
"We hope it will be a faculty and student meeting place - a place for gathering," he said.
Stanley Weinstein has been a professor of Buddhist studies at Yale University since 1968. He is the author of several books and articles on the subject. Lucie Weinstein is professor emerita of art at Southern Connecticut State University, where she taught East Asian art.
Stanley Weinstein began collecting Buddhist materials while serving with military intelligence in Korea in 1953-54. He subsequently spent six years at Japanese universities, where he added to his collection and later lectured in Far Eastern Buddhism at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
Although the still-growing collection will not come to the University until after the Weinsteins' deaths, the couple may make some materials available to the University in advance, University Librarian Karin Wittenborg said.