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Kyoto University: Kyoto University Main Library (京都大学附属図書館)


General Information

Kyoto University Main Library
Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501
+81-75-753-2632 2636 (Reference)
Email: (Please replace # with @)

About the Library:

Kyoto University Library was established in 1889, two years after the founding of Kyoto University, and now consists of the Main Library as well as over 60 branch libraries. The total holdings comprise approximately 5,500,000 volumes, and about 66,600 periodical titles. Service at the Main Library is geared primarily to undergraduate students while the branches serve the staff and graduate students of the faculties and research institutes.

Related Link(s)

Summary of Collection(s)

Collection Size:

  • Books: About 5,500,000 volumes
  • Periodicals: About 66,600 periodical titles

Notable Collection(s):

  • The National Taiwan Library's collection of rare Chinese classics (1台湾国立中央図書館善本コレクション): The majority of the collection was held by the Qing Dynasty imperial court library. The collection include books related to Philosophy, History, Language, and Literature from the Sung Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty.
  • Iezusukai nenpō shorui  (耶蘇会年報書類) (Jesuit missionaries’ annual reports from the 16th and 17th centuries, 122 volumes): The contents include political and societal affairs of Japan from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to the early Edo period.
  • Ishin tokubetsu shiryō bunko (維新特別資料文庫) :  The collection consists of documents related to the Meiji Restoration, which were originally housed in Sonjōdō 尊攘堂, a memorial built by Shinagawa Yajirō, 品川弥二郎 for the Bakumatsu-shishi 幕末志士, political activists in the closing days of the Tokugawa Shōgunate.  The collection was donated to Kyoto University after the death of Shinagawa in 1900. The collection consists of biographical documents of the Bakumatsu-shishi, containing their ideas, knowledge, and details of various political activities, as well as historical documents about the Meiji Restoration. For example, the collection includes correspondence and manuscripts of Yoshida Shōin 吉田 松陰, a teacher of Shōka Sonjuku 松下村塾, and his students, including Takasugi Shinsaku 高杉晋作, Kusaka Gensui 久坂玄瑞,Kido Takayoshi 木戸孝允 , and Yamagata Aritomo 山県有朋.
  • Titsingh Correspondence (チチング宛蘭文書簡集):  Isac Tistsingh was a captain of a Dutch trading house in Nagasaki Dejima.  The collection consists of 47 letters (both official and private) sent to Tistingh when he was the mayor of Bengal, India. These letters, which were sent to him between 1785 and 1790, were bound into a book.  Some of the senders include official dutch to Japanese translators, and Nakagawa Junan 中川淳庵, a doctor and Dutch studies scholar.  This book is a useful source for understanding the history of travel between Japan and Holland as well a valuable resource containing correspondence between Japanese and Westerners prior to the opening of the country.

Note: For details on other collections held by Kyoto University, Please refer to "Collections". 

Note: The rare collections are stored in special stacks.  For viewing these collections, contact the library staff in advance.  To make an appointment, contact a special services staff member by telephone (TEL 075-753-2640 or 2635). Hours are weekdays from 9:00 to 11:45, and from 13:00 to 16:45.  If the materials are available on microfilm, the original cannot be accessed.  Some rare materials can be browsed in the Digital Library.

Note: The Guide uses the ALA/LC standard romanization, however, it also reflects different romanization system used by an individual institution.


Digital Collection(s)

How to Use the Facility

Using the Library

Prior to the Visit:

  • Please verify the desired material is available by using KULINE.
  • Photocopy services are provided in accordance with Japanese copyright laws.
  • Please refer to "Copying Service".
Accessing Rare Materials

Service Hours:

  • Hours: 9:00-11:45, 13:00-16:45
  • Closed: Saturday, Sunday, Other Holidays

Reception Hours:

  • Hours: 9:00-11:45, 13:00-16:45
  • Closed: Saturday, Sunday, Other Holidays

Prior to the Visit:

  • Please make a reservation with a special services staff member at least a week before the visit.
  • If the request code or other information on the material is unknown, please contact the Reference Section, Information Service Office:

TEL: 075-753-2636 / FAX: 075-753-2650.

  • Please fill out Application for Access to Rare Materials and List of Rare Materials Requested.
  • Send these forms to:

Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501
Rare and Special Materials Section, Information Service Office
TEL:075-753-2640    FAX:075-753-2650

  • Letter of Introduction (紹介状 ō) from the home institution library (please use the following form if the home institution does not have one):
    • A letter of Introduction (Word,  PDF)
  • The library will issue Kichō tosho etsuran kyokasho (貴重図書閲覧許可書)

Upon Arrival:

  • Please present 貴重図書閲覧許可書
  • Please present some form of personal ID
  • Please use the rare books reading room on the 1st floor of the main library.


  • Please ask the library staff.

Note: Please refer to "How to Use Rare Materials".

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