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Japanese Studies Multimedia History Project: Overview

Mission and Goals

A Multimedia History of NCC and the Japan Studies Field--A Participatory Engagement Project

Since its founding in 1991, NCC has been involved in facilitating the growth of the Japan Studies field in North America, and now many of the librarians and scholars who helped to train and mentor the current generation are retiring or have already retired. There has been talk of an oral history project at NCC since at least 2002, but this has not been feasible for reasons that include funding for travel and compensation for time. Also, this kind of project is very time-consuming for a volunteer committee, and it is difficult to find technology that everyone can access or afford.

In view of these difficulties, we are proposing a new kind of project for NCC—a Participatory Engagement Project—which would involve the whole community in building a “multimedia” history of all the key people involved in building NCC and the Japan Studies field over the past 25 years.


Tara M. McGowan (Executive Director of the NCC)

Victoria Lyon Bestor (Former Executive Director of the NCC)

Tokiko Bazzell (Japanese Studies Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Chiaki Sakai (Japanese Studies Librarian, Columbia University)

Email us at multimediahistory at nccjapan dot org!

What is a Participatory Engagement Project?

What is a Participatory Engagement Project?
A Participatory Engagement Project breaks away from the old model for digital humanities projects, where a small committee of devoted volunteers creates a resource and then publishes it online when it is complete (Susan Schreibman, 2018). In a Participatory Engagement model, everyone can contribute to the resource, and it will be published on the NCC website as new information is added.


What is a Multimedia History Project?
In the current age of multiple media options, there is no reason for NCC to limit itself to audio interviews only. With our YouTube channel, we can upload both audio and video, and we can also include links to various kinds of documents, images, and presentations. Expanding our thinking beyond “oral history” opens up the possibilities for interviewers and interviewees to work together to select the media most suitable to tell their stories, highlighting whatever aspect of their work is most meaningful to them.

What Will I Find in This LibGuide?

What will I find in this LibGuide?

In addition to the oral history interviews and biographiesthis LibGuide provides guidelines for taking part in the project and offers resources, tips, and templates for planning your own interviews. Each story should include a photograph of the interviewee with a brief bio - from there, readers can access links to whatever media that person wants to add. In this way, we can open the project up, not only to all kinds of media but also to anyone in the Japan field (librarian, scholar, or any combination of the two) to find someone they wish to add to this archive and to work with them to create an entry. It is also possible to include memorials and eulogies to people who have contributed to the field but who are no longer with us. 


If you have a resource about the person that you think should be included don't hesitate to contact us!

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
Copyright 2017
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