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Postings by Kuniko Yamada McVey

Contact: kuniko [at]

アジア歴史情報センター (JACAR)

Filed under: — kuniko @ 11:34 am
長い間ご無沙汰していましたが、皆様お元気ですか? Sorry for my long absence. The site looks good and fun.Thanks, Konrad! I would just like to inform that Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR, アジア歴史情報センター) is coming to hold a workshop on March 20 (Tuesday) at the Knafel center at Harvard. Detail/logistics is being worked out right now and I would like to hear from potential audiences' interests and suggestions. Let me know. As you may know JACAR offers a database of over 850,000 documents in 12 million digital images drawn from the Japan's National Archives, the Diplomatic Archives, and the Institute of Self Diffense Archives, and is growing fast. An essential resource for Modern East Asian History. JACAR's chief project administrator Mr. Shohei Muta will lead the workshop/s and looking forward to hearing from your feedbacks, questions, suggestions. P.S. The day before, on March 19, we are planning for a hans-on workshop for JapanKnowledge, another indispensable Japan research tool. The site is adding Shogakukan's Nihon Kokugo jiten 「日本国語辞典」, 13 volumes of Japan's version of the OED.

National Diet Library Web site

Filed under: — kuniko @ 4:55 pm
The National Diet Library (NDL) site 国立国会図書館 offers essential resources for research on Japan including the NDL-OPAC (National bibliography) and Journal index 雑誌記事索引 (1949-present) as well as Lending/copying services for both institutions and individuals. (Now they even allow credit cards for payment!) Since some of you may not be familiar with it, so let me take this opportunity to share a little more about this amazing resource. The NDL’s Electronic Library Collection 近代デジタルライブラリー has continued to grow. It now has some 55,000 volumes of monographs published in Meiji period. Although the Yenching library has the complete Meiji monograph collection available on microfilm (some 120,000 volumes), increasingly we can skip viewing microfilm thanks to this growing digital collection. 日本の国会・世界の議会 The Diet & Parliament section offer a wealth of Modern political history sources including the 国会会議録 since the first postwar Diet session in 1947, the 日本法令索引 since 1884, 閣議決定等文献リスト及び本文 1927-1963, and my favorite 近現代日本政治関係人物文献目録 with 44,000 references. The NDL’s Parliamentary Documents room 憲政資料室 has in-depth resources on modern Japanese political history, and is making a selection of its contents contents viewable digitally here. The problem with the NDL web site is its organization. Parliamentary documents are kept in the ”Nippon in the World” section which is a part of the “Gallery”. “Nippon in the World” has three sections: Scenic Mementos of Japan, Japan at the Vienna Expo 1873, and Parliamentary Documents. There is no logic in grouping them, but they all offer rich and unique information in image and texts. The NDL site map, which reflects NDL bureaucracy but isn't a ‘universal’ organization of knowledge that we might be familiar with, does not help much in finding things. Anyway, my point is that NDL’s digital resources on the web are growing and it’s worth exploring from time to time. There are many hidden gems on the NDL web site. P.S. I created a web resource guide for Japanese studies two years ago and it is accessible at the Yenching library web site. I am planning to update this soon. I would appreciate your comments/suggestions for my next guide.

Self-Intro: Kuniko Yamada McVey

Filed under: — kuniko @ 12:22 pm
はじめまして。イェンチン図書館の日本語資料担当ライブライアン、マクヴェイ山田久仁子です。「井の中の蛙」の一員になれて光栄です。どうぞよろしく。 Hello, Japan scholars. I have been a librarian for the Japanese Collection at the Harvard-Yenching Library for five and a half years. I was a librarian at the Documantation Center on Contemporary Japan (DCJ) at Harvard for ten years before coming to Yenching. Before working at the DCJ and before a short interval of two years as a bookbinding student in Boston, I worked at the Museum of Modern Japanese Literature 日本近代文学館 in Tokyo for seven years. I guess some of you guys were born at a time when I was putting up literay exhibitions in Japan. I encountered following phrase "Shall I at least set my land in order?" by T.S. Eliot while writing my senior thesis at ICU. I liked it and adapted as my motto. In the following year I entered the world of libraries and have resided there for most of the time since. Now I feel we librarians can no longer stay in this orderly world and need to explore this rich and chaotic information universe both physical and virtual. Being one of the "Librarians without borders" is my goal now. I hope I can learn a lot from you at the same time I offer something useful to you for your research. FYI: I recently discovered the "Kanban jissoku Nihon chizu" (官板実測日本地図) printed in the Bakumatsu period, based on Ino-zu, in our library's basement. Although our copy is missing one (Ezo) of four sheets that cover all Japan, including Ryukyu and Karahuto, they are beautiful. If you are interested in taking a look, let me know. They are not cataloged in the collection.

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