Visiting Librarian Highlights "Digital Treasures"

visiting librarian

Hisashi Kadoya, a visiting librarian from Keio University in Tokyo, recently gave a presentation at Harvard-Yenching Library
entitled "Introduction to Digital Treasures of Keio University
Library in Tokyo."

March 19, 2009 - More than two dozen library staff gathered March 9 in the Harvard-Yenching Library Common Room to hear a presentation by Hisashi Kadoya, a librarian from Keio University in Tokyo.

Entitled "Introduction to the Digital Treasures of Keio University Library in Tokyo," Kadoya's presentation highlighted the digital access to more than 50 rare monographs written by Keio University founder Yukichi Fukuzawa during the mid- to late-19th century. Researchers worldwide can access the material online and view full-page scans of every page of each book.

Selected pages from other collections are also available online, Kadoya said. Keio University Library collections of incunabula, anatomia, an extensive collection of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings, or ukioye and several other collections are accessible through the library's Web page. Access to the Fukuzawa monographs and other digital collections is available through the Keio University Library Digital Gallery of Rare Books & Special Collections.

Kadoya also mentioned his library's participation in the Google Library Project, which he said has resulted in the digitization of more than 120,000 books which are out of copyright.  

Most recently, he said, Keio University Library has focused on its Humanities Media Interface (HUMI) project. The project, launched in 1996, was designed to assist scholars in pursuing research into digital bibliography. In recent years, he said, the project has focused its efforts on digitizing Gutenberg Bibles. As of November 2008, Kadoya said, the project has digitized 11 full copies, and 19 volumes, and made the material available online for scholars.

Kadoya is the third visiting librarian to come to Harvard-Yenching Library through the Visiting Librarian program. He spent a year studying at Harvard through a grant from the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard, and will return to Japan at the end of March.