Digital Resources for Japanese Studies

3. Finding Books: Library Catalogs, Book Sites, and East Asian Collections

Library Catalogs at Harvard

The online catalog for Harvard's libraries. For information about using HOLLIS to find materials in East Asian languages, please see HOLLIS Catalog CJK 中日韓 Scripts.

Note: Not all Japanese-language materials in HOLLIS have characters. Some materials can only be found by romanization.

OASIS (Online Archival Search Information System)
Provides centralized access to a growing percentage of finding aids for archival and manuscript collections at Harvard. These finding aids are detailed descriptions of collections that contain a wide variety of materials, including letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, printed material, and objects.

Note: OASIS does not currently handle East Asian scripts. All searches for East Asian terms must be entered in romanization.

VIA (Visual Information Access)
Union catalog of visual resources at Harvard, focusing on artistic and cultural materials.

Note: OASIS does not currently handle East Asian scripts. All searches for East Asian terms must be entered in romanization.

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General Union Catalogs

Not all the materials you need may be at Harvard. The following catalogs contain information about holdings at thousands of libraries throughout the world. Interlibrary Loan or document delivery may be able to obtain materials for your research.

Worldcat (First Search) (requires Harvard ID/PIN)
Union catalogue for a large number of libraries, including many non-US libraries. Most participants are, however, American. Click on the relevant language icon at the bottom of the screen (e.g. 日本語) to convert the interface display to that language. Provides a convenient list of holding libraries organized by location which may be printed out.

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Library Catalogs in Japan and Europe

NDL-OPAC 国立国会図書館蔵書検索
National union catalog for Japan, from the National Diet Library. Besides books and journals, it contains information on maps, dissertations, rare books, audio-visual materials, and electronic resources. Digitized versions of over 100,000 volumes of monographs (books) published before 1912 are linked directly from each record.

Webcat Plus 国立情報学研究所図書情報ナビゲーター
Union catalog of university libraries in Japan. Good content description.

University of Tokyo OPAC 東京大学 OPAC
Online catalog for the University of Tokyo library. Includes functions to browse lists of newly arrived books 新着図書案内 and journals 雑誌最新巻号案内. OPAC records provide links to tables of contents and / or brief content descriptions where available.

National Union Catalog of Japanese classics 国書基本データベース
Created and updated by the National Institute of Japanese Literature. Based on Kokusho somokuroku 國書總目錄 and Kotenseki sogo mokuroku 古典籍総合目錄.

UK Union Catalogue of Japanese Books
Extracted from Webcat Plus, this catalogue is available in two versions, SPCAT (provided directly by NII) and Bodleian Library JAPANESE UNION CATALOGUE. SPCAT provides more powerful keyword searching. The catalog contains holdings of the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries, the British Library, the university libraries of Cambridge, Sheffield, London (SOAS) and Stirling, the Japan Foundation Nihongo Centre Library, and the libraries of the British Museum, JETRO London, and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture. Please note that not all the holdings of these libraries may be included as some are waiting for retrospective conversion. Also, the most recent SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) acquisitions are not immediately available through this catalog but may be found through the SOAS library catalog.

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Locating Books Published in Japan

Reference Sites
Nichigai BOOKPLUS (in-library use, DCJ)
Provides information on books published from 1926 to the present and includes a brief summary of recently published books. Available for in-library use at the Documentation Center on Contemporary Japan at the Fung Library. Please see their webpage on digital resources for more information.

Prange Collection プランゲ文庫
Monographs published during the Occupation Period (1945-1949) and held in the Prange Collection are searchable through the University of Maryland Libraries' online catalog. The Harvard-Yenching Library has a microfilm set of the newspaper and journal holdings of the Prange Collection. For more information on the collection, see the dedicated website at the University of Maryland.

Commercial Book Sites
The following sites provide information about new and used books published or for sale in Japan. These are provided as a convenience to scholars interested in learning what is in print and what may be available in the market. The list is not comprehensive, nor does it constitute an endorsement of particular vendors or publishers. [Hon wo sagasu]本を探す
Searchable information for books available in Japan.

Nihon no furuhon-ya 日本の古本屋
Japan’s most extensive online search tool for used books, comparable to alibris and abebooks.

Book Town Jimbou じんぼう, Used books database 古書データベース
Collaborative site between Kanda 神田 Antiquarian Bookseller's Association and Association Press. Complements Nihon no furuhon-ya 日本の古本屋.

Kinokuniya Book Web 紀伊国屋書店 Book Web
The site of the largest book store in Japan. Site features include databases on books, on-demand publications, video/DVDs, bestsellers lists, and book reviews from 6 major newspapers.

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East Asian Libraries and Collections

North America

C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University

Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia, Cornell University

East Asian Collection, Duke University

East Asian Collection, Indiana University

Asian Reading Room, Library of Congress

East Asian Library and the Gest Collection, Princeton University

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library, Smithsonian Institution

East Asia Library, Stanford University

Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University

Asian Library, University of British Columbia

East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley

East Asian Collection, University of California, Irvine

Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library, University of California, Los Angeles

International Relations and Pacific Studies Library, University of California, San Diego

East Asian Library, University of California, Santa Barbara

East Asian Collection, University of Chicago

Asia Collection, University of Hawai'i

East Asian Library, University of Kansas

East Asian Collection, University of Maryland, College Park

Asia Library, University of Michigan

East Asian Collection, University of Minnesota

East Asian Collection, University of Pennsylvania

East Asian Library, University of Pittsburgh

Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, University of Toronto

East Asia Library, University of Washington

East Asian Collection, University of Wisconsin-Madison

East Asian Library, Yale University


SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Library, University of London

Le département des Manuscrits (division orientale), Bibliotheque National de France
Includes special catalogues for East and Central Asian manuscripts, particularly from the Pelliot collections. See also the union catalog for France, Catalog collective de France

Department of Oriental Collections, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Contains links to their original online Chinese and Japanese catalogs, as well as to the new UK Union Catalogs.


Asian Studies Research Collection, Monash University

East Asian Collection, University of Melbourne

East Asian Collection, University of Sydney

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Page Last Reviewed: October 21, 2010