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Resources: Other Databases, Aggregators and Collections

This page introduces databases, data aggregators, digitised collections, projects and similar resources that cover a broad cross-section of Japan-related material and are searchable in English.

Center for Open Data in the Humanities (CODH)

CODH uses data and artificial intelligence to create digital humanities resources related to Japan. Its growing body of work include datasets of modern magazines, maps, Edo cooking recipes and pre-modern Japanese texts, as well as projects such as a kuzushiji (classical cursive script) recognition platform and historical big data analysis.

CODH website

Cultural Japan

This website aggregates content related to Japan and Japanese culture from museums, libraries and other collecting institutions both in Japan and globally (data for the Japan portion of the content is sourced via the Japan Search portal). The hub is searchable in both English and Japanese, and content can also be browsed according to “person”, “era” and “category”. Cultural Japan was developed collaboratively by organisations including Japan’s National Institute of Informatics and The University of Tokyo.

Cultural Japan website

Google Arts & Culture, Japan

This resource is a gateway to exploring Japanese art and culture online. It features dynamic content curated around themes, offers online ‘museum view’ tours of institutions which exhibit Japanese work, and acts as a gateway to Japan-related collections held by institutions in Japan and overseas.

Google Arts & Culture, Japan webpage

Japan Search

Spearheaded by the National Diet Library, Japan Search is a data aggregation tool which facilitates searches across a growing number of arts, culture and humanities-related digital archives in Japan. It aims to provide a “national, integrated and cross-sectoral portal” to the ever-increasing volume of digitised historical material in Japan. Japan Search has links to the Cultural Japan portal, which combines the Japan-wide data from Japan Search with data from overseas collecting institutions.

Japan Search website

Japan Studies: Finding Images, Yale University Library

This webpage categorises image databases chronologically, from ‘Kodai’ (pre-1160) to ‘Kingendai’ (Meiji era and beyond), to assist users in sourcing images relevant to particular periods in Japanese history.

Japan Studies: Finding Images webpage

Japanese Digital Resources, Penn State University Library

Compiled by a librarian from Penn State University Library, this detailed resources hub features a rich selection of online resources collated under the following categories: Literature; Art; History; Music and Theatre; Gender Studies; Pop Culture and Film; News; Religion; Regional; Kuzushiji; Blogs; Data; Politics; Material Culture.

Japanese Digital Resources top page

Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive

Kyoto University has a broad collection of digitised historical material, including natural history drawings, maps, rubbings and rare books—including medical, mathematical and engineering treatises as well as literary works—to name a few. Japanese materials are catalogued in Japanese only, however overviews of sub-collections are provided in English. The collection also contains a significant number of fully digitised European rare books which provide insight into the knowledge from Europe that Japanese scholars became familiar with during Meiji times.

Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive website

Library of Congress Online Collection

The US Library of Congress online collection includes almost 220,000 items related to Japan. These include digitised newspapers, periodicals, books, photographs, prints, film and more.

Library of Congress website

National Diet Library (NDL) Online Services

The NDL’s online services include a range of databases and collections, a number of which are available in English.

NDL Online Services webpage

National Library of Australia (NLA)

The National Library of Australia has an extensive collection of Japan-related materials, some of which are available online.

NLA Japanese Collection webpage

Nichibunken Public Databases

The International Research Centre for Japanese Studies (commonly known as Nichibunken) has developed an extensive catalogue of databases related to Japanese historical material. The majority of the databases are available in Japanese only, however the catalogue of databases and a brief overview of each resource are provided in English.

Nichibunken Public Databases webpage

Visual Resources for Japan, Duke University

This Duke University Library webpage aggregates over a hundred different resources featuring photographs, illustrations, maps and other visual materials related to Japan.

Visual Resources for Japan

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