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A Guide to Japanese Studies

Guides to Japanese Studies resources available at WUSTL Libraries and on the World Wide Web.

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Japanese Studies

Collection: General

Date Revised: April 15, 2014

Subject Librarian: Ryuta Komaki

 

1. General purpose:
 

Collection of Japanese- and English-language materials to support research and instruction on Japan-related topics up through the doctoral and faculty levels in humanities and social scientific disciplines: the collection primarily focuses on the subject areas of literature and language and history to support research and teaching in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Department of History. The collection also supports research and instruction in the wider Washington University community in such areas, but not limited to, art, art history, architecture, comparative literature, film and media studies, political science, religion, and women, gender and sexuality studies. In those areas, the Japanese Studies librarian coordinates with subject librarians in the respective subject fields. The interests of the core and affiliated faculty members and graduate students of the East Asian Languages and Cultures program are given special weight in deciding on acquisitions.
 

 

2. Subjects excluded:
 

Active collection building efforts at the Japanese Studies Collection focuses mainly on literature, language and history,  but no subjects in principle are excluded as long as they support research and teaching by faculty members and graduate students. (Currently, however, the Japanese Studies collection does not actively pursue acquisition of materials in Law, Business, Social Work, Medical and natural science and engineering disciplines. See also section I below).

 

3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

As the Japanese Studies Collection supports a wide range of research and teaching topics (except for the areas mentioned in B above), the subject areas the collection covers overlap with those of several other subject collections. The Japanese-language collection, however, focuses primarily on Japanese-language materials, whereas other subject collections generally do not collect materials in Japanese. (See D below also for language-related policies). The responsibility of the Japanese-language collection sometimes overlaps with that of the Art and Architecture and other audio and visual collections, including films, as parts of those collections are not language specific. Also, the responsibility of the Japanese Studies collection in the area of history overlaps with that of the History subject collection for certain English-language materials. In those areas, relevant units collaborate, but no attempts are made to strictly divide the responsibilities, so as to better serve the interests of faculty members and students and not to miss desirable items.


 

4. Languages included and excluded:

As stated above, the Japanese Studies Collection collects materials in English and Japanese. The Japanese-language collection focuses primarily on materials in Japanese, both modern and classical, as well as bi- and multilingual items in case of dictionaries and language instruction materials. Books in classical Japanese also include materials that are textually and grammatically Chinese, but those are not excluded from the Japanese-language collection as long as they are attributed to Japanese authors or publishers, or have circulated widely in Japan. Books written in Chinese and Korean national languages fall under the responsibilities of the respective language collections even if their subject areas are Japanese Studies. Materials written in languages other than English and Japanese are generally not actively pursued, but not excluded if they pertain to specific research and teaching projects of faculty members and graduate students.
 

 

5. Geographical limitations:

The frame of Japanese Studies, which is geographically bound to the current and historical boundary of Japan (including its colonies and overseas territories), is given special weight in deciding on acquisitions, but subject areas such as, and not limited to, comparative and world literature and world and regional history, and materials relevant to diasporic Japanese populations are not excluded if written in Japanese. (If written in other languages, these topics fall under the responsibilities of collections responsible for the appropriate subject area, language or geographic area). This also means that within the East Asian Collection, books on China and Korea written in Japanese falls under the responsibility of the Japanese-language collection and vice versa.
 

 

6. Chronological limits:

None

 

7. Retrospective acquisition:

Acquisition activities for the Japanese Studies Collection focuses primarily on current publications, but gaps in areas of particular emphasis are filled as identified and as funds permit. Retrospective acquisition is also considered to support new research and teaching areas of faculty and graduate students as permitted by funds.
 

 

8. Types of material collected and excluded:
 

  • Included:
    • Monographs
    • Serials (including reprints)
    • Microforms
    • Electronic Resources (both those stowed in physical media and those provided over the Internet based on subscription)
    • Reference materials (including dictionaries, encyclopedias, some maps and atlases, and relevant bibliographies and archival inventories)
    • Some college-level textbooks in English
    • Audio-visual items are occasionally acquired as part of the Japanese Studies collection, but generally assigned to and shelved in Olin Library or Music Library regardless of language.
    • Popular literature materials are acquired selectively, but not excluded.
    • Ephemera and gray literature are included very selectively. They are considered for inclusion if essential to faculty and graduate student research and if available in the form of electronic databases or microform collections.
       
  • Excluded:
    • Pre-college Level Textbooks
    • Most textbooks in Japanese (except for needed for language instructions)
    • Travelers’ guides
    • Most Japanese translation of Western works and most children’s and juvenile materials and comic books are excluded unless they support specific research projects of faculty or graduate students.
    • Original copies of rare books
    • Manuscripts and single pieces of art are not actively pursued for acquisition due to budgetary and preservation concerns
    • Electronic books not stowed in physical media (i.e. Kindle books and such) are currently excluded from collection.
       

 

9. Other factors to consider:

The Law Library has 1030 titles (5938 volumes) of Japanese-language materials and an undetermined number of English-language materials related to Japan, which are currently not integrated into the East Asian Library’s Japanese Studies Collection and managed by the Law Library. Collections in Business, Social Work, Medical and natural sciences and engineering departmental libraries may also include Japanese-language materials and materials related to Japan, but they are not managed by the Japanese Studies librarian. In other overlapping areas, including History, Art and Architecture, Comparative Literature, Film and Media Studies, Political Science, Religion and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Japanese Studies librarian collaborates with relevant subject librarians.

Some titles in the Japanese-language collection, most of which are multi-volume sets, have been acquired as part of collaborative acquisition initiatives, including the grant program of the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC). We anticipate participating in collaborative acquisition partnerships in our future collection development efforts.
 

 

10. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

 

Current Collecting Level (Japanese)

Anthropology

1

Archaeology

1

Art/Architecture

3

Buddhism

4

Economic History

2

Economics (Modern)

1

Education

1

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.

3

Film and Media

2

Folklore (Monsters, supernatural tales)

2 (2)

Geography

1

History, Pre-modern

3

History, 1868-present

3

Japanese Popular Culture

1

Military Science (Navy, pre-1945)    

1 (2)

Literature, Pre-modern

3

Literature, 20th-century

3

Performing Arts: Pre-modern

2

Performing Arts: Modern

1

Performing Arts: 1945-present

1

Philosophy, Pre-modern

3

Philosophy, 1868-present

2

Political science

2

Shintoism

1

Women’s Studies

2

 

 

Current Collecting Level  (English)

History, Pre-modern

3

History, 1868-present

3

Literature, Pre-modern

3

Literature, 20th-century

3