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Curated Archives: Tenri Antiquarian Materials Workshop

Tenri Antiquarian Materials Workshop for Overseas Japanese Studies Librarians


In Spring 2007, the NCC collaborated with the Tenri Workshop committee to coordinate the workshop announcement and to assist screening for North American applicants to the three-year Tenri Antiquarian Materials Workshops to take place at Tenri University in Japan in June 2007, 2008 and 2009.


The workshop participants would like to express their sincere gratitude to Prof. Hideo Yamanaka of Tenri University, whose initial idea made this workshop into reality. We would like also to thank the Tenri-related institutions, especially the Tenri Central Library, and their devoted instructors and staff. We participants are forever indebted to those who made this workshop possible.

The Tenri Workshops were aimed at establishing a cohort of librarians expertly trained in the best practices for managing, cataloguing and organizing Japanese manuscript and antiquarian printed material, who would serve as a core group responsible for providing guidance and training on such material to colleagues in their respective countries/regions.

A series of three workshops (one week each in June for three years) was planned, each building on knowledge acquired in the previous year. The stepped approach allowed participants to apply what is learn to their daily work, raising issues which can be addressed in the following workshop. Each workshop combined lectures, practical sessions and exercises. Lecturers were mainly from Tenri Central Library with some external speakers as guest speakers. The follow are the topics covered in workshops for three years:

Year 1 (June 18-22, 2007)

Basic knowledge for management and cataloguing of materials: focus on Edo Period printed material. The workshop will contain a combination of lectures and practical sessions on the following key areas:

  • Outline and characteristics of Japanese manuscripts/early printed books
  • Types of format/binding; basic bibliographic terminology
  • Characteristics of publishing/book distribution in Edo Period
  • Basic cataloguing: focus on Edo Period printed material
  • Excursion: Horyuji Temple (Day 4 / June 21st afternoon)
  • The Tenri University International Symposium (June 23rd afternoon) "Book Paths: to Japan, from Japan - International Intellectual Exchange through Books (本の道、日本へ、日本から:書物を通した知の交流と活用)"

Year 2 (June 16-20, 2008)

Management and cataloguing of antiquarian material including manuscripts

  • Types of printed and manuscript material
  • Practicalities and problems of manuscript cataloguing
  • Intermediate cataloguing
  • Conservation and management
  • Excursion: The Conservation Center for Cultural Properties in the Nara National Museum (Day 3 / June 20th afternoon)
  • The Tenri University International Symposium (June 21st afternoon) "Towards the International Exchange of Bibliographic Information of Japanese Antiquarian Books (和古書書誌情報の国際的共有を目指して)"

Year 3 (June 15-19, 2009)

Management and cataloguing of antiquarian material in various subjects/formats

  • Printed and manuscript material in non-book format, and picture books
  • Management, handling and organization of documents
  • Advanced cataloguing
  • Preservation and imaging data
  • Excursion: The Museum Yamato Bunkakan (Day 3 / June 17th afternoon) and a lecture "the Basic Knowledge and Handling of Ukiyo (浮世絵の基礎知識と取り扱いについて )," by Mr. S. Asano, Director of the Museum.
  • The Tenri University International Symposium (June 20th afternoon) "Digital Archives of Japanese Antiquarian Books for Knowledge Sharing : Towards the International Exchange of Knowledge and Information : Preparing the Basis for the Metadata of Japanese Antiquarian Books as Academic Information (知識共有のための古典籍デジタルアーカイブ:学術情報としての和古書メタデータの基盤整備に向けて)"

Participants of the workshops:

North America

  • Kuniko Y MCVEY, Harvard-Yenching Library, Harvard University
  • Haruko NAKAMURA, East Asia Library, Yale University
  • Sachie NOGUCHI, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University
  • Hisako ROGERSON, Cataloguing Division, Library of Congress
  • Keiko SUZUKI, East Asia Library, Yale University
  • Lynette K.TERUYA, Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Reiko YOSHIMURA, Freer and Sackler Gallery Library, Smithsonian Institution


  • Arjan VAN DER WERF, Oriental Library, Leuven University (unable to participate in 2008)


  • Veronique BERANGER, Bibliothèque nationale de France (unable to participate in 2009)
  • Antony BOUSSEMART, Library, École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
  • Masako HASEGAWA SOCKEEL, Bibliothèque du Musée National des arts asiatiques - Guimet


  • Setsuko KUWABARA, (formerly librarian of Japanisch-Deutsches Zentrum Berlin)


  • Laura MORETTI, Dipartimento di Studi sull'Asia Orientale, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia


  • Paul WIJSMAN, Centre for Japanese and Korean Studies, Leiden University


  • Naomi YABE MAGNUSSEN, Library of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Oslo

United Kingdom

  • Akira HIRANO, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
  • Noboru KOYAMA, Cambridge University Library
  • Hamish TODD, Asia, Pacific and Africa Collection, British Library
  • Izumi TYTLER, Bodleian Japanese Library, University of Oxford

The follow-up studies group "Overseas Japanese Antiquarian Materials Study Group (OJAMASG) = 在外日本古典籍研究会" has been formed to pursue the study of antiquarian materials, to strengthen networking, and to foster close collaboration and consultation among members. The Groups' initial collaborative projects include the compilation of a directory of the collections of Japanese antiquarian material in members' home institutions and the creation of a list of examples of technical terms useful for antiquarian cataloguing (用例集).

Please visit the group's homepage:

The three-year workshops were organized by the Tenri Workshop Committee in collaboration with the UK Japan Library Group, the Tenri University, Tenri Central Library, the Librarian Professional Development Committee of the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC), and European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS)

Tenri Workshop Committee:

  • Izumi Tytler (Chair), Bodleian Japanese Library, Oxford
  • Setsuko Kuwabara formerly with Japanisch-Deutsches Zentrum Berlin
  • Yasukazu Mihama, Tenri Central Library
  • Sachie Noguchi, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University
  • Hamish Todd, British Library
  • Hideo Yamanaka, Tenri University

The Workshops had generous assistance (助成) from the Japan Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. Other major sponsors (後援) included: the National Institute of Japanese Literature, the National Institute of Informatics (NII),European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS), and North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC), with additional co-sponsors (協賛): the Yushodo Group, Toshokan Ryutsu Center, Maruzen, the Japan Publications Trading, Yagi Book Store, and Junkudo Bookstore, in collaboration (協力) with the Nara Convention Bureau.

2007 Tenri Workshop: A Report to NCC Board (August 2007)

2008 Tenri Workshop: A Report to NCC Board (August 2008)

2009 Tenri Workshop: A Report to NCC Board (October 2009)

(All reports were written by Dr. Sachie Noguchi, NCC Representative for Tenri Workshop Committee)

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