The Research and Information Center for Asian Studies (RICAS) was established on April 1, 1999 to replace the Documentation Center for Asian Studies (established in 1966) as a part of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia. The purpose of RICAS is to establish a research area called "Asian archival studies." Specifically, it is the mission of RICAS to collect and house resources and materials for Asian studies, to compile a database of these resources and materials, and to study their intrinsic characteristics, all on the institutional level.
The areas of research conducted at RICAS are artwork archival studies, comparative literature archival studies, and Asian societies and information. In artwork archival studies, non-written cultural materials are studied such as art, architecture, archaeological materials, folk science materials, maps, book illustrations, films, and photos. In comparative literature archival studies, written cultural materials are the subjects of research such as books, newspaper and magazine articles, written documents, and inscriptions. Finally, Asian societies and information is concerned with studies of digitalized social survey materials such as the AsiaBarometer. The faculty of RICAS consists of one professor and one associate professor in artwork archival studies, one professor and two associate professors in comparative literature archival studies, and one professor and two associate professors in Asian societies and information.
RICAS will take over and conduct many of the valuable operations from the former Documentation Center for Asian Studies, including the creation of databases and the Long-Term Training Program for Chinese Classics Utilization.
At the same time, RICAS will take charge of the resources and materials mainly from East Asia which were assembled by the former Documentation Center for Asian Studies and will collect, process and distribute resources and materials in art, literature, and social surveys from all of Asia including West, South-East, and South Asia.