May 23, 2022

Penn Libraries Acquires Extensive Collection of Books on Japanese Art and Japan

From Penn Libraries:

The Penn Libraries recently acquired an extensive collection of books on Japanese art and Japan and an endowed acquisitions fund to purchase additional resources relating to Japanese Studies.

The generous gift comes from Shirley and Marilyn Luber, wife and daughter of Penn alumnus and Philadelphia-based Japanese art and book collector Gilbert Luber who passed away in 1999, and the donation honors his legacy at Penn as a Wharton graduate, class of 1940 and ensures his family’s passion for Japanese art and culture is accessible to a broad audience for scholarship.

“With this collection the Penn Libraries becomes one of the foremost places to conduct research on the art of the Japanese print, from past to present,” shared Julie Davis, Penn professor of art history, who is already using parts of the collection in her coursework. She added, “The Lubers’ collection makes it possible for us to teach this material to a new generation.”

Prior to coming to the Penn Libraries, the Lubers maintained the art and book collection at The Gilbert Luber Gallery, the first gallery in Philadelphia to handle the works of classic and contemporary Japanese artists. Following the Gallery’s closing in 2000, a portion of the book collection was cared for by the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, a non-profit organization administered by the Friends of the Japanese House and Garden, of which Shirley and Gilbert were inaugural members. The Penn Libraries will continue to maintain a collaborative relationship with the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.


The Lubers’ gift of over 1,300 books, catalogs and journal issues, together with the Gilbert, Shirley and Marilyn Luber Fund for Japanese studies comes at a time when Japanese Studies at Penn have been increasing in popularity. Established at the University in 1952, today Japanese Studies courses are offered through the Japanese Studies Division within the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as through The Center for East Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary unit composed of faculty members whose teaching and research focus is East Asia.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.