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E1413e – Release of “NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Hinagiku)”

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Current Awareness-E No.234

28 March, 2013

Release of “NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Hinagiku)”

On March 7, 2013, the National Diet Library (NDL) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication released “NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (nickname: Hinagiku).” With the purpose of passing on records and lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake to next generations and to utilize them for recovery and reconstruction projects in disaster affected regions as well as for future disaster management and mitigation measures, the service enables integrated search across various records of major disasters. The nickname “hinagiku” was chosen for its flower language – “future,” “hope,” and “I sympathize with you” – reflecting project’s intent to facilitate reconstruction efforts.

The service has been established on cooperation among various institutions and organizations. NDL first developed the system in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. The system was then linked to five archives developed in disaster-affected regions with assistance from the Ministry, leading to a unified search across Aomori Digital Archive System, Rikuzentakata Earthquake Archive, The Great East Japan Earthquake Archives Fukushima, Michinoku-Shinrokuden System (Tohoku University), and Kahoku Shimpo Disaster Archive. The system has been also linked to Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters of The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University, Kobe University Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster Materials Collection, OPAC of Japan Atomic Energy Agency, NHK Digital Archive of the East Japan Great Earthquake and Disasters (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Remembering 3/11: FNN Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Fuji Television Network, INC. and Fuji News Network), the Great East Japan Earthquake Picture Preservation Project (Yahoo!), and Memories for the Future (Google).

In the archive, one can search across valuable records collected through the efforts of multiple institutions and organizations, both public and private. Collected are print materials as well as diverse digital contents such as images, movies, sounds, and websites. Complied themes include records about the Great East Japan Earthquake (including those on the nuclear disaster) as well as records on past earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear disasters. At the time of release, the archive contained approximately 200,000 items on the Great East Japan Earthquake. Including items on other disasters and nuclear power, the overall number of information in the archive reached over two million. For example, one can see videos of The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission as well as websites of affected local governments immediately after the disaster that NDL has collected.

At the top page of this service are general keyword search, category search (allowing  search by resource type, source, place, and date when search keywords are unclear), ranking of search keywords, ranking of contents with the most views, search of photos, sounds, and movies (one-click shows search results by different types of resources), map search (showing search results on a map using meta-data on locations), timeline search (showing search results on a timeline using meta-data on dates).

The list screen presents unified search results including partners in the center. To the left is a facet to narrow down the results, and to the right is a cross search in other services as well as other keyword candidates to assist the search.

Three years after the disaster, there is a greater risk of related materials scattering to different places. As a national effort, NDL seeks further cooperation from institutions holding contents and/or managing archives. NDL also intends to make efforts to pass on the records of the great disaster to future generations, and to ensure that these living records are utilized for on-going reconstruction projects as well as measures to prevent and mitigate disasters.

Written by Research and Development for Next-Generation Systems Office, Digital Information Services Division, Digital Information Department, Tokyo Main Library of the National Diet Library

Translated by Okada Aya