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Sainsbury Institute: Lisa Sainsbury Library

General Information

Facility: Lisa Sainsbury Library
64 The Close
Norwich NR1 4DH
Phone: +44 (0) 1603 597507
FAX: +44 (0) 1603-625011

Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Closed English Bank Holidays, Easter and Christmas.

About the Library:

The Lisa Sainsbury Library is part of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. The Institute, founded in 1999 through the generosity of Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury, is a prominent academic centre and supports scholars from all over the World thanks to a number of fellowship schemes, lecture series, and other cultural events.

The Library, inaugurated in 2003 by the former Japanese Ambassador Mr Orita Masaki, hosts one of the best collection on Japanese Art in Europe, and it houses books, journals, exhibition catalogues, slides, prints, maps and other materials relating to all aspects of Japanese arts and cultures. The collection comprises general introductory works and key reference materials, as well as specialised materials to support advanced research concerning Japanese applied arts, ceramics, archaeology, material culture, cultural heritage and architecture.

Summary of Collections

The Library comprises various collections of modern books and serials, as well as antiquarian materials:
  • Carmen Blacker Collection Donated to the Lisa Sainsbury Library by Dr Blacker in 2009. The collection counts over 1,600 volumes of books and around 75 titles of journals concerning folklore and religious practices in Japan, Minakata Kumagusu and Fukuzawa Yukichi.
  • Cortazzi Collection Books on Japanese art and history which were donated by the former British ambassador to Japan, Sir Hugh Cortazzi. Includes a number of significant and rare items, 40 Yokohama-e, prints, paintings, maps and valuable Japanese ceramics as long-term loan.
  • Bernard Leach Collection Approximately 200 books on East Asian ceramics, formerly owned by the celebrated potter Bernard Leach.
  • Matsushita Collection Over 15,000 volumes concerning Japanese Art, which was donated by the Japanese scholar Matsushita Takaaki in 2001.
  • Yanagisawa Collection Over 3000 books that belonged to the late Professor Yanagisawa Taka (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo)


Online catalogs: General catalog, Maps catalog

Online Resources

Digitized Maps

Ukiyoe collection (ARC浮世絵検索システム検索)


How to Use the Facility

Using the Collections

The Lisa Sainsbury Library welcomes researchers in Japanese studies, but visits are by appointment only.  All materials are for use within the Library. A black and white photocopier is available. For further information, enquire the Head Librarian, Mr Hirano Akira.

The Institute provide a flat within the main building to temporarily accommodate researchers coming from outside the UK.

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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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