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Japanese modern books and periodicals

The British Library has extensive holdings of Japanese language books and periodicals covering a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences.

 

Please note that there are delivery issues affecting some books published between 1900 and 1985 with shelfmarks in the range 14002 to 19968 following their move to a new storage facility.  Please see further information on moves of Asian language materials

Works in Japanese

The British Library’s current Japanese language acquisitions policy is to build up the national collection of works in the humanities and social sciences. We do this mainly by obtaining items directly from Japan through purchase, gift and exchange. 

Books

The collection of books amounts to approximately 75,000 volumes. Particular strengths are Japanese bibliography, religion, history, art, literature and current affairs. There are also substantial holdings in philosophy, archaeology, geography, law, politics, economics and education.

Periodicals

Of the 6,000 or so Japanese periodical titles held, 1,200 are current academic journals and official publications. The latter range from white papers to gazettes, parliamentary proceedings, topical reports and statistics. They have been acquired since 1951 through international exchange with the National Diet Library of Japan.

Newspapers

Newspapers in Japanese can be viewed in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room at St Pancras, and details are included in the online British Library Japanese Catalogue. English language newspapers from Japan are held by British Library Newspapers. 

The British Library receives the Asahi Shimbun, the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on a daily basis, and the Mainichi Shimbun in monthly reduced-format facsimile. There is also a collection of pre-war Japanese newspapers published in Singapore.

The British Library reading rooms provide access to Asahi Kikuzo, an electronic version of the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun (1879 to the present), plus the magazines AERA and Weekly Asahi. It also includes access to Asahi Shimbun's archive of over 10,000 historical photos.

Accessing the collections

Details of Japanese books and periodicals relating to the humanities and social sciences acquired since 1994 can be found in the online British Library Japanese Catalogue. Works relating to science and medicine are included in Explore the British Library. A list of Japanese serials currently acquired by the British Library Document Supply Centre is available in pdf format.

The Japanese Section of the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections is primarily responsible for acquiring material written in Japanese.

Works in English and other European languages

The British Library has substantial holdings of books and periodicals relating to Japan in English and other European languages. These can be found in Explore the British Library.

Contact

Hamish Todd, Lead Curator, Japanese and Korean
Asian and African Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7662
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641

E-mail: hamish.todd@bl.uk

Yasuyo Ohtsuka, Curator, Japanese Section
Asian and African Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7652
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641

E-mail: yasuyo.ohtsuka@bl.uk