The Japanese collection of the National Library is a rich source of information on the history, culture and current affairs of Japan, The collection is the largest in Australia and focuses primarily on modern and contemporary Japan. The major strengths are in the subject fields of the social sciences, especially popular culture and contemporary social issues. Japanese modern history (after 1968) including the history of Australia-Japan relationship and its contemporary culture. The collection on Japanese traditional arts also is growing.

The Library actively seeks and purchases new materials and also offers major digital resources on Japan. These include Japan Knowledge, Asahi Shinbun Online titled, ‘Kikuzo’ and Yomiuri Shinbun Online titled, 'Yomidasu'.

A further strength of the Japanese collections is a number of research collections. They include Harold S. Williams Book Collection (on the history of  foreign settlements in Japan),  Sakakibara Collection and Kegan Paul Collection both on Japanese and East Asian classics.

Harold S. Williams Collection and David Sissons Collection are unique English special collections related to Japan in Manuscript collection.

The collection also includes some visual collections such as woodblock print collection, Kuchie print collection  and cardboard game (=sugoroku) collection.

For scholars who do not have access to resources nearby, the Library annually offers Japan Study Grants and a Japan Fellowship.

Use of the Japanese collections

Materials in the Japanese Collection may be consulted in the Asian Collections Reading Room. Remote users may request material on interlibrary loan through their own library, or request photocopies of items through the Copies Direct service.

Use of the collections during after hours on Monday to Thursday and weekend can be arranged. Please contact us by email or call us 02 6262 1615.

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