It is with great respect and pleasure that the Association for Asian Studies presents the 2021 award for Distinguished Service to Asian Studies to Anna Leon Shulman, editor of the Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS), and Frank Joseph Shulman, BAS associate editor. Prior to their retirement in December 2020, Anna and Frank Shulman have dedicated a combined 85 years of service to the BAS, a recognized cornerstone of research on Asia.
Anna Shulman began as the East Asia associate editor of the BAS in 1985 and has served full-time as its editor since 1993. Frank Shulman worked as an assistant editor between 1970 and 1972, subsequently served as a consultant, and has worked more than half time since the mid-1990s as one of the publication’s associate editors for East Asia.
During their decades of service, the Shulmans transformed the BAS from an annual printed bibliography of the books, articles, and chapters in edited volumes published during a single year to a cumulative, periodically updated, increasingly annotated database of over 935,000 bibliographical entries on East, Southeast, and South Asia. The Shulmans’ dedication to this publication as a central component of research on Asia can be seen in each entry, each page, each annotation. Their signature dedication permeates this research tool from beginning to end.
As they embark upon their well-deserved retirement with plans no less active and contributory to Asian Studies than their working careers, AAS wishes to express profound gratitude for their hard-working dedication. Their lives stand as testament to the power of passion transformed into work from which the field of Asian Studies remains indebted. This award recognizes the Shulmans’ momentous contributions of service to the field, especially in their stewardship of the Bibliography of Asian Studies.
Remarks by Anna Leon Shulman and Frank Joseph Shulman
For eight consecutive decades, the Bibliography of Asian Studies, or BAS, has been a major information resource for researchers, teachers, librarians, and students alike. Today, with its nearly 942,000 bibliographical records—records for Western-language journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, anthologies, collected writings of individual authors, conference proceedings, encyclopedias, Festschriften, and handbooks in virtually all academic disciplines that deal in any way with the countries and civilizations of East, Southeast, and South Asia—the BAS is the single most extensive English-language bibliographical database devoted in its entirety to Asia. Begun in 1941, it first appeared each year within the Far Eastern Quarterly, the predecessor of the Journal of Asian Studies. Eventually it became a separate annual printed bibliography of publications dating from a single calendar year, and it remained in that physical format until the mid-1990s. Since then, the BAS has existed as an online bibliographical database that is periodically updated with new records, primarily for recently published journal articles and edited volumes.
We have been privileged to contribute to the development of the BAS in multiple ways as professional bibliographers in the service of the Association for Asian Studies.
Anna’s involvement dates back to 1985, when she was selected as the associate editor of the BAS for East Asia. In 1993, she was appointed as its editor, a position that she then held until her retirement in December 2020. She participated in the retrospective conversion and transformation of the BAS from a print-only publication into a cumulative database that first went online in February 1998. Thereafter she assumed responsibility for overseeing the online BAS as it moved from the Digital Library Production Service (DLPS) in Ann Arbor, Michigan to the University of Michigan Libraries and finally in 2016 to EBSCO Host, through which it is currently accessible to the more than 300 institutions that subscribe to the BAS. Insofar as possible, Anna also worked tirelessly to ensure the inclusion of complete and accurate bibliographical data for the publications that were indexed by all of the associate editors. She continued to be responsible for indexing the publications on East Asia and took the initiative to add International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSNs) to the records for the journal articles and International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) for many of the edited volumes. However, as the number of new publications greatly proliferated year after year while the number of BAS staff members remained constant, it became impossible for the BAS to keep up with and to index a larger and larger percentage of the publications. Likewise, there were definite limitations on how much else she could accomplish within her working hours. Nevertheless, Anna persisted by contributing as much as possible to the BAS in spite of all of these concerns and other challenges.
Frank, in turn, was first professionally involved with the BAS from 1970 to 1972, when he worked as a BAS assistant editor while a doctoral student at the University of Michigan specializing in both the history of Asia and library and information science. During many of the years that followed, he served as a consultant for the BAS while serving as the compiler and editor of Doctoral Dissertations on Asia, the journal which he founded in 1975 and which the AAS published through 1996. In 1997, Frank reestablished his formal relationship with the BAS and until his retirement in December 2020 worked part-time as an associate editor with primary responsibility for publications that dealt with at least two regions of Asia as well as with Asia as a regional entity. Anna and he worked closely together.
What has been the motivation behind our highly specialized line of work on behalf of the AAS? More specifically, for Anna’s various editorial initiatives that have benefitted both the BAS and the AAS membership overall, for Frank’s preparation of many title glosses (mini-annotations) in the BAS from 2017 onwards, for his very active participation in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the AAS (MAR-AAS), for his many cumulative, book-length bibliographies of doctoral dissertations on the countries of Asia (some of them coauthored with Anna and with other individuals), and for his other specialized reference works such as The Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952: An Annotated Bibliography of Western-Language Materials, that have been published since 1970?
For us, the primary motivating factor has been our profound interest in and personal commitment to the enhancement of both scholarly research and broader public knowledge about Asia and to the advancement of Asian Studies especially through the collection, provision, and dissemination of bibliographical information together with the systematic organization and appropriate bibliographical control of that information.
In this regard, we very much wish to stress that the compilation, preparation, editing, and publication especially of the Bibliography of Asian Studies has always been a collective undertaking. Whatever we have been able to contribute through the BAS to the field of Asian Studies would have been much less fruitful and far more onerous without the involvement, cooperation and support of many others.
With this in mind, we would like to acknowledge and publicly express our gratitude and sincere thanks first and foremost to the University of Maryland: In particular, to the university library whose collections and resources were used extensively in connection with our work and whose interlibrary loan service filled a vast number of requests for edited volumes that were needed for indexing; to the computer science center, which among other things assisted in the programming and design of the BAS form that we have used since the 1990s for indexing all of the bibliographical data; and to the university students who diligently input some of the preliminary bibliographical data under our direction.
Over the years, the libraries of several universities permitted us to access and work with their collections. Among them are Harvard, Michigan, Chicago, Cornell, Berkeley, Hawaii, Johns Hopkins, Hong Kong, and especially Georgetown, George Washington, and the Library of Congress. Likewise, various editors and publishers around the world generously made copies of their publications available for our use. Without their support, it would have been far more difficult, if not impossible, for us to index some of the titles currently available within the BAS.
Equally important has been the support that we have received from the Secretariat of the Association for Asian Studies; both the past and the present members of the BAS Advisory Committee; the associate editors for South Asia, for Southeast Asia, and for Non-Area Journals, who contributed significant numbers of new entries each year; DLPS and the University of Michigan Libraries; David Wyatt, who scanned the printed volumes of the BAS for 1971-1981 when retrospective conversion was undertaken; those who provided technical support; the individual scholars and librarians with whom we corresponded and who provided valuable information and assistance; our respective families and mentors; and our predecessors who paved the way on our behalf. We, in turn, have sought to build on the foundations that they created and to facilitate the continued success of the BAS in the future.
Last but not least, we wish to thank those who played a role in presenting us with this year’s Distinguished Service Award. We are humbled by and deeply appreciative of this honor, and we hope that our efforts and contributions will serve as an inspiration for others who share our abiding interest in Asia and our commitment to Asian Studies.
Additional Service to the AAS
Anna Leon Shulman
Doctoral Dissertations on Hong Kong, 1900-1997: An Annotated Bibliography. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2001. xxxvii, 823p. (University of Hong Kong Libraries publications, no.12)
Member of the Association for Asian Studies since the 1970s
Frank Joseph Shulman
Shulman, Frank Joseph. Doctoral Dissertations on China: A Bibliography of Studies in Western Languages, 1945-1970. Coauthored with Leonard H.D. Gordon. Seattle and London: Published for the Association for Asian Studies by the University of Washington Press, 1972. xix, 317p. (Association for Asian Studies, Reference Series, 1).
“Doctoral Dissertations”. Newsletter of the Association for Asian Studies (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Association for Asian Studies). Editor and compiler of a classified bibliographical column of recently completed and in- progress dissertations concerned with the countries and civilizations of East, Southeast, and South Asia that were accepted by institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Published quarterly between May 1969 and May 1971 (vol.14, no.4 – vol.16, no.4).
“Doctoral Dissertations”. Asian Studies Professional Review (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Association for Asian Studies). Editor and compiler of a classified bibliographical column of recently completed and in-progress dissertations concerned with the countries and civilizations of East, Southeast and South Asia that were accepted by institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Published semiannually between Fall 1971 and Spring 1974 (vol.1, no.1 – vol.3, no,.2).
Doctoral Dissertations on Asia: An Annotated Bibliographical Journal of Current International Research (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Association for Asian Studies). Editor and compiler of sixteen volumes that altogether contain entries for over 31,500 doctoral dissertations concerned with the countries and civilizations of East, Southeast, and South Asia accepted by institutions of higher learning throughout the world. Published between 1975 and 1996:
Member of the AAS Board of Directors and Chair of the AAS Council of Conferences for three years in the early 1980s.
Active member of the AAS Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) and occasional contributor to CEAL Bulletin and its Journal of East Asian Libraries, 1980s and member of CEAL since the 1970s.
Mid-Atlantic Directory to Resources for Asian Studies. Prepared by the Committee on Academic Resources, Mid-Atlantic Region/Association for Asian Studies. Archie R. Crouch, Editor; Frank Joseph Shulman, Assistant Editor. Washington, D.C.: Mid-Atlantic Region/Association for Asian Studies, 1980. viii, 145p.
Mid-Atlantic Region of the Association for Asian Studies: Program of the Tenth Annual Meeting, Center of Adult Education, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, October 16-18, 1981. Coauthored and designed with Ann Nottingham Kelsall. College Park, Md.: Mid-Atlantic Region/Association for Asian Studies and the University of Maryland at College Park, 1981. 48p.
“Archival and Library Resources within the Mid-Atlantic States Region for Advancing Scholarship in East Asian Studies”. Association for Asian Studies, Inc. Committee on East Asian Libraries Bulletin, no.99 (June 1993): 1-23.
“The Asian Studies Newsletter Archives: An Overview”. Association for Asian Studies, Inc. Committee on East Asian Libraries Bulletin no.76 (February 1985): 1-8.
Member of the Association for Asian Studies for over fifty years.
2020: Thomas G. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh