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British Library colloquium in resources for Japanese studies

By Sachié Noguchi

Japanese Bibliographer/Cataloger University of Pittsburgh

The third British Library Colloquium, September14-16, 1988.

This colloquium was the third (the first, Colloquium on Resources in Chinese Studies,

August 1987; the second, the First International Conference of Japanese Information, September 1987) in the series the British Library has been organizing to bring together librarians, scholars, and information scientists to share their knowledge, experience, and ideas on the resources base for Oriental studies. It was sponsored by the British Library with support from the Japan Foundation, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, the British Council, and the Japan Library Group.

SOAS was the venue, and the colloquium immediately preceded the Conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies, held at the University of Durham, 19-22 September 1988. In contrast to the last year’s conference, which focused on science, technology, and business information, this colloquium covered broader topics on Japanese studies including the book industry and automation. It was unique in dealing specifically with resources on Japanese studies.

The Colloquium was officially opened by the Japanese Ambassador, Mr. K. Chiba, and introduced by Lord Quinton, chairman of the British Library Board. The program on the first day was an overview of resources for Japanese studies in Britain and abroad. Thirteen papers were presented during four sessions, with a special lecture by Dr. U. Wattenberg (German Society for Information and Documentation, Tokyo) on “Maps and Map Collections in Japan.”

The second day covered the topics of printing, publishing, and the art of the Japanese book. There were eleven presentations in four sessions; Mr. S. Sorimachi (president of the Kobunso Antiquarian Bookseller) gave part one (about manuscripts) of his lecture on “The Place of Japanese Antiquarian Books in the World.” The special lecture was given by Prof. M. Yayoshi (vice-president, Libraries Communication Centre, Tokyo) on “Relations between Publishers and Men of Letters in the Edo Period.”

The subjects of the third day were on automation and cooperation. Ten papers were given in three sessions. Mr. Sorimachi gave part two (about printed books) of his lecture as the special lecture of the day.

The colloquium was attended by one hundred and fifteen participants in all from eleven European countries, the United States, Australia, and Japan. The participants from the United States were: Mr. K. Kahler of the University oflowa, Mr. K. Niki of Columbia University, Dr. R. Ravicz of the University of California, Ms. M. Shimomura of Princeton, Ms. L. Virgin of the University of Chicago, and S. Noguchi.

Duringthe colloquium, the Multi-Script Workstation (MSW) for RLIN CJK was demonstrated. An exhibition on the theme of “Byways in Japanese Illustration” was on display in the King’s Gallery. Participants also had the opportunity to preview, duringthe second evening reception, majorpieces in the Hyde collection of important Japanese manuscripts and illustrated books before they were auctioned by Christie’s in New York on 7 October.

The final session on the third day included a discussion on the desirability and feasibility of forming a European Association of Japanologist Librarians. Various opinions were exchanged and the further discussion and decision will take place in Berlin, October 1989.

The endeavor of Yu Ying Brown, who is the head of the Japanese Section, Oriental Collection of the British Library, and was the organizer and convener, was very much appreciated by all participants. Copies of the presented papers were distributed at the Colloquium and will later be published as a volume by the British Library. ■■

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