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Resources for Japanese Studies

The University Library

Cambridge is well provided with the resources necessary for conducting research. The University Library began acquiring Japanese books in 1911 and it is now one of the best research libraries for Japanese studies in Europe; as a copyright library it of course offers magnificent research facilities in almost all other fields as well.

The modern Japanese collection of some 90,000 volumes is well chosen and is still expanding. Its strengths at present lie in the areas of history, religion and literature, but over the last few years strenuous efforts have been made to provide the necessary resources for modern studies in such areas as economics, modern history, society and politics. The Library subscribes to more than 300 Japanese periodicals in all areas and also to the major relevant Western-language journals.

Under the Japanese Librarian, Mr Koyama, a project is now underway to provide an online computerised data-base of modern Japanese books throughout Britain, and this already provides access to the other major Japanese collections in the country.

Owing to the generosity of Mitsui Marine and Fire Insurance, the Library was given in 1991 a complete set of microfilms covering all 160,000 works published in the Meiji Period held in the National Diet Library in Tokyo together with state-of-the-art reader- printers. At present, this is the only set in Europe and it means that Cambridge is an ideal place at which to conduct research on all aspects of the Meiji Period.

In addition, the Library contains the famous Aston Collection of some 2000 works dating from the Edo Period or before: the oldest printed items date from the Nara period and there are many rare or unique works. The collection is described in N. Hayashi & P. Kornicki, Early Japanese Books in Cambridge University Library (Cambridge U.P., 1991). Finally, the Library is also the base of the Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books in Europe project, which is in the process of building up a data-base of all pre-1870 books throughout Europe.

The Faculty Library

In addition to the University Library there is also the Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Library which acts as a teaching library for undergraduates. It contains over 6,800 books on Japan in English and other European languages, dictionaries and basic reference books, and English-language journals. College libraries tend also to be equipped with Japanese language dictionaries and reference books.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum has a substantial collection of Japanese works of art as well as its own library collection.