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E1248e – Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of December 21, 2011)

The original article published in Japanese (

Current Awareness-E No.207

22 December, 2011 

Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake

(As of December 21, 2011)

This report summarizes key information on status of libraries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake between the end of October and mid-December, 2011 following past Current Awareness-E reports (see E1155eE1161eE1166eE1172E1177e, E1205e, and E1222e).

  • Support Activities to Establish Libraries

On December 6, 2011, Miyagi Prefectural Library released a report summarizing their support activities to reopen Minamisanriku Town Library (see E1228).

In disaster affected regions, activities to establish libraries continue. Examples include: “‘Books for Tomorrow’ Project for Children,” “Rainbow Library” by “Publishing Headquarter for the Great Disaster” (Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture; opened on November 12), Rikuzentakata Children’s Library “Small House” (opened on November 26) managed by a specified nonprofit Ureshino Children’s Library, “Small Library” by Higashimatsushima City Library (nine locations in temporary housing within the city; opened at the end of November. Furthermore, Tokai University and the Japan Committee for UNICEF will open “Natori City Donguri Children’s Library” in Miyagi Prefecture on January 6, 2012.

Project Office for the Promotion of Reading Culture, School Library Association (SLA), and Characters Culture Promotion Organization announced to implement the “School Library Genki Project” for Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefecture from December, 2011 to March, 2014.

  • Digital Archives

In its “Memories for the Future” project, Google released photos of disaster affected regions in the form of street views. “Memories for the Future” is in partnership with Yahoo! JAPAN’s “The Great East Japan Earthquake Picture Preservation Project,” and photos and videos submitted to either one of them are archived in both services. 

Released on the website of “311 Marugoto Archives” are videos provided by local governments, including a video of tsunami. Also posted are lecture materials and videos from the symposium “Records of the Great East Japan Earthquake and its Utilization: Aspirations of the 311 Marugoto Archives.” held on October 8.

“Michinoku-Shinrokuden” (meaning “memoirs of Tohoku”), the archive project promoted by Tohoku University in collaboration with several institutions released “Reconstruction Photo Map by Tohoku University Researchers.” NHK Media Technology, Inc. also provides 3D movies of disaster affected regions.

Hidenori Watanabe, Associate Professor of Tokyo Metropolitan University and his collaborators released “eARthquake 311,” an application for iPhone and iPad that uses augmented reality techniques for viewing “The Great East Japan Earthquake Archives” developed drawing on Google Earth.

  • Cultural Properties Rescue Project

World Monuments Fund in the United States designated cultural heritage in regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake as the “World Monument Watch,” which aims to encourage support for cultural heritage in need of repair and preservation. The Foundation also cooperates in “Save Our Culture,” support activities of the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research of Japan.

Written by Research and Information Section
Library Support Division, Kansai-kan of the National Diet Library

Translated by Okada Aya