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Japanese collection

Collection Details

Japanese collection held at University of Cambridge Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Library [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

It is mainly an English-language collection but also contains some publications in Japanese and in other European languages. It is mainly a monograph collection but also contains periodicals and newspapers. The subject coverage is primarily the humanities with the main emphasis on language, literature, history, bibliography, religion, art and architecture. More recently there has been a growth in the coverage of modern Japanese culture including sociology, economics, politics and foreign relations.

History and development

The Japanese collection developed in the 1940' and 1950's following the introduction of Japanese teaching in the Faculty in 1948. During the 1950's it was further developed by Eric Ceadel who was the first lecturer in Japanese and later the University Librarian. He purchased Japanese books both for the Faculty Library and for the University Library. Since then the section has been further developed by the addition of books which support the teaching of the Japanese Studies Tripos. In the last fifteen years especially, some of the additional funding secured for Japanese studies from sources outside the University, has been used to develop the Library collection. The main purpose of the collection is to support undergraduate teaching but there is also some content of relevance to research students.


The major strengths are in history, language teaching, literature (classical and modern), bibliography and religion. There are growing sections in economics, politics, sociology and foreign relations.

General arrangement and access regulations

The Japanese collection forms one section of the Faculty Library and all volumes concerning Japanese culture and Japanese language teaching are shelved together. They are arranged by an in-house classification scheme which is an adapted version of the National Diet Library in Tokyo. Serials are shelved with the rest of the Library's serials holdings. Some older volumes are shelved in the basement of the Faculty building.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

East Asia.



Languages of material



Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Education, Geography, History, Industries, International relations, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Politics and government, Religion, Sociology, Travel.

Languages as linguistic focus


Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Books, Serials.

Total size of collection

5,880 volumes 48 serials

Size of collection - vernacular

430 volumes 1 serial

Size of collection - western

5,450 volumes 47 serials

Collection Management Information

The collection is being actively developed, and the average intake has risen.

Annual intake

200 volumes

Content date range

1900 to present

Collection policy

Retention policy

Collection Catalogue Information


Union Catalogue of Departmental and College Libraries (part of the Cambridge University Library on-line Catalogue called 'Newton').

Catalogue transliteration schemes

modified Hepburn

Catalogue scripts

Bibliographic records for the Japanese material are available through the UK Union Catalogue for Japanese Books at

Links to other collections

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