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E1532e – Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of February 14, 2014)

The original article published in Japanese ( )

Current Awareness-E No.254

20 February, 2014


Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of February 14, 2014)


This report summarizes key information on status of libraries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake between the end of 2013 and mid-February of 2014, following past Current Awareness-E reports (see E1515 and others).


●Developments in Digital Archives

On January 20, INFOCOM Corporation announced its acceptance to be commissioned to collect and digitize disaster related materials and to develop a system for “Aomori Disaster Archive.” This archive digitizes and preserves disaster related materials including photos and movies of disaster affected regions within Aomori Prefecture (Hachinohe City, Misawa City, Oirase Town, and Hashikami Town). These local governments are asking their residents to submit photos and movies on the Great East Japan Earthquake.,46565,84,222,html,12378,49,217,html…

On January 24, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (incorporated administrative agency) announced to strengthen its effort to archive information related to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO). The effort will be pursued in partnership with National Diet Library (NDL) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

On January 29, the digital archives of Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center of Japanese Red Cross Society released a photo gallery on relief activities related to the nuclear accident. Photos present records of relief activities that Red Cross Society were engaged in when the residents began to make temporal entrance to caution zone in Fukushima Prefecture.


Iwate Prefectural Library is holding an exhibition related to the Great East Japan Earthquake titled “1097 Steps: Local Governments after Three Years” from December 28, 2013 to March 24, 2014.

Public libraries in four cities and one town in Chikushi District of Fukuoka Prefecture (Dazaifu Public Library, Chikushino City Library, Kasuga City Library, Onojo Madokapia Library, and Nakagawa City Library) is jointly hosting a relay-style exhibition titled “The Great East Japan Earthquake: Photo Exhibition of Libraries in Affected Regions” from January 5 to March 30. The exhibition presents photos of libraries in regions affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake as well as activities of Help-Toshokan(Japan Library Association), a team that provided support to these libraries.

Tohoku Gakuin University Museum in Miyagi Prefecture hosted an exhibition titled “Life in Oshika Peninsula in Sendai: Revival of Damaged Cultural Properties” at Sendai Mediatheque from January 10 to January 13.

Osaka Prefectural Central Library is holding an exhibition titled “Disasters and Reconstruction: Learning from Historic Earthquakes” from January 10 to March 12. Materials are presented under the following seven themes: 1) records of earthquakes in the history of Osaka, 2) the Great Kanto Earthquake in children’s books, 3) materials to learn about past earthquakes, 4) reconstruction from the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, 5) the Great East Japan Earthquake, 6) disaster records and reconstruction, and 7) reconstruction and bonds.

Kitakyushu Manga Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture hosted an exhibition titled “Reconstruction from the Disaster and Manga” from January 11 to February 2. The exhibition presented roles that Ishinomaki Mangattan Museum played in reconstructing Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. The exhibition also introduced an exhibition of pictures of warriors (called musha-e in Japanese)” that presented art pieces created by manga artists to support revival of traditional festivals in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture.

Ofunato City Museum in Iwate Prefecture is hosting “Photo Exhibition of Damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake Part I” from January 28 to May 11. The exhibition presents situations of Ofunato City on March 12, 13, and 14, during the first three days after the disaster.

Edo-Tokyo Museum is hosting a special exhibition titled “2011.3.11 Damage from Heisei Large-Scale Tsunami and Museums: Towards Revival of Damaged Materials” from February 8 to March 23. The exhibition presents continual efforts to revive historical and cultural documents damaged within Iwate Prefecture, centered around Rikuzentakata City.

●Lectures and Seminars

On January 11, NDL and International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) of Tohoku University co-hosted “International Symposium on Archives of the Great East Japan Earthquake: Community Memories for the Future.”

On January 16, Liaison Council of Institutions Dealing with Historical Documents in Kanagawa Prefecture hosted its second lecture series titled “Preservation of Historical Documents and Rescue Activities.” Lectures were given on the following topics: “The Great East Japan Earthquake and Preservation of Historical Materials,” “Activities of Shizuoka Prefectural Network for Rescue of Cultural Properties,” and “Efforts of Local Governments to Preserve Historical Materials: Regional Disaster Prevention Plans and Resource Networks.”

On January 25, an open symposium titled “Learning from Disasters: Preservation and Revival of Historical and Cultural Information Resource” was held by “Research in the Human Sciences on Catastrophic Disasters,” a collaborative research project of National Institutes for the Humanities (NIHU).

On February 8, a research outcome briefing session of 2011-2013 Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) titled “Comprehensive study on scholarly communication under e-Research and open access environments” was held in Mita Campus of Keio University. Matsubayashi Mamiko gave a presentation titled “Japanese Needs and Search Activities on Science, Technology, and Medical Information after the Great East Japan Earthquake (東日本大震災後の日本人の科学技術医学情報に対するニーズと探索行動) .”

National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo held a seminar on radiological countermeasures for cultural properties on February 12.

On February 14, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, University of Tsukuba Research Center for Knowledge Communities, and University of the Ryukyus Library hosted the Fourth Digital Archive Network (DAN) workshop, and introduced efforts of universities and local governments to construct archives on the Great East Japan Earthquake.

On February 15, Chiba Prefectural East Library held a seminar for supporting community development titled “Carrying on the Memories and Records of the Disaster.” The seminar was hosted in cooperation with a nonprofit organization Hikaritokaze.

On February 16, Network for Historical Materials hosted a workshop titled “Let’s Experience Preservation of Damaged Materials!” at L-Osaka(Osaka Prefectural Labor Center) in Osaka Prefecture. The workshop provided an opportunity to learn the sequence of washing, drying, and bookbinding in efforts to preserve materials damaged by the disaster.


On January 7, “Go Mobile Libraries!: Cuddling with Books in Assisting Reconstruction(走れ!移動図書館)” by Kamakura Sachiko was published from Chikumashobo, Ltd..

In January, “Protecting Historic and Cultural Resources from Natural Disaster : Construction of Studies about Local Historical Materials” by Okumura Hiroshi of Kobe University was published from University of Tokyo Press.

“Radiation Monitoring after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Reactor Incident and Its Metadata Archiving” by Itow Yoshitaka, and “National Diet Library’s Efforts to Build the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive” by Matsumoto Tamotsu was published in the special issue “JSAS Annual Meeting 2013: For Construction of the Radiation Database Archives” in the November 2013 volume of Journal of the Japan Society for Archival Science (日本アーカイブズ学研究).” (Vol. 19). Also published in the same volume was an introduction of documents by Sakai Asako titled “Report on Rescuing Damaged Official Documents in Rikuzentakata City 2011-2012(陸前高田市被災公文書レスキュー報告書 2011-2012)”by Kanagawa Prefectural Archives, and “Manual for Repairing Damaged Official Documents(被災公文書等修復マニュアル)” by National Archives of Japan.

“Investigation about the subsequent damaged records after rescuing and preservation : From the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake to the Great East Japan Earthquake(Research Project)” by Sasaki Kazuko, Mizumoto Yuka, and Ogawa Chiyoko was published in the November 2013 volume of “Journal of the Records Management Society of Japan (レコード・マネジメント : 記録管理学会誌)” (Vol.65).

“News and Events – JBBY News For Children: ‘Tomorrow’s Books’ Project: Support Activities for 3.11 Disaster Affected Regions by JBBY, Japan Publisher’s Club, and JPIC(ニュース&イベント JBBYニュース子どもたちへ<あしたの本>プロジェクト : JBBY,日本出版クラブ,JPICが取り組む,3.11被災地支援活動)” was published in the December 2013 volume of “Book & bread: Japanese Board on Books for Young People (JBBY) bulletin” (Vol.117).

An article about “The Librarians of Fukushima” by Suzuki Shiho, a poster that won the Best IFLA Poster 2013, was published in the December 2013 volume of “National Diet Library Monthly Bulletin (国立国会図書館月報)” (No. 633) as well as in the January 2014 volume of “Toshokan Zasshi (図書館雑誌)” (Vol.108, No.1).

On January 28, Fukushima Prefectural Library released volume 7 of “Book Guide.” The guide presents what librarians felt reading the materials from “The Great East Japan Earthquake Fukushima Prefecture Reconstruction Library.”


An incorporated nonprofit organization called 20th Century Archive Sendai donated a photobook titled “3/11: Records of the Memories(3・11キヲクのキロク)” to public libraries across Japan. The organization had published this book in March 2012. The book is a collection of records of the Great East Japan Earthquake with approximately 1,500 disaster related photos provided by the citizens.


Written by Research and Information Section,
Library Support Division, Kansaikan of the National Diet Library

Translated by Okada Aya