Japanese Collection Developments

Large gifts from the late Professor Hiroshi Miyaji and from Robert and Take Dean have increased Middlebury’s Japanese Collection by 50%; we now have approximately 4500 items in the collection. (In addition, items containing some English as well as Japanese (including bi-lingual dictionaries) are in the regular stacks and video materials are in the video collections.)

While cataloging the new acquisitions, we recataloged the items already in the collection. The call numbers were changed from a non-standard system to the standard Library of Congress system used in the rest of the library. In addition the Japanese characters were added to the records so now the description contains both the romanized forms and the characters themselves. We hope these enhancements will make our catalog and our collection more usable and rewarding. Someday we may even be able to search MIDCAT using characters!

The Japanese Collection has extensive works of Japanese literature and works on Japanese literature, philosophy, religion, and history but also includes resources on almost any subject imaginable.<

For the first few weeks of the Japanese summer school, a significant selection of recently added titles is displayed in the New Book shelves section of the Main Library. Books we did not add to the collection or which have been removed from the collection will be displayed separately for sale beginning in late June; these books are chiefly duplicates of items already in the collection and may well be of interest to individuals.

The items on the new bookshelves are in call number order–even though bookjackets prevent the call numbers from being visible. If you or a patron needs to find a particular book, you need to partially remove the jacket to see the spine or to look in the back of the book where the call number is written in pencil. Note also that, although I say ‘back’ because we think of it as back, it is indeed the front of the book for Japanese and other languages written right to left.

–Cynthia Watters

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