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E1590e – Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of August 4, 2014)

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Current Awareness-E No.264

7 August, 2014


Status of Libraries in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (As of August 4, 2014)


This report summarizes key information on status of libraries in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake between mid-April and early August 2014, following past Current Awareness-E reports (see E1555 and others)

● Developments in Digital Archives
On May 9, the digital archives of Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center released Part I of “Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Aid Report.” This report provides summaries of programs in five areas that Japanese Red Cross Society has worked on for recovery from the Great East Japan Disaster (rebuilding lives, social welfare service, educational support, medical support, and strengthening disaster preparedness).

On June 13, International Research Institute of Disaster Science of Tohoku University (IRIDeS) and The Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University (RIJS) signed an agreement on academic cooperation in disaster science and digital archives.

On June 18, Google announced to launch “Street View from the Sea” project. The project shoots photos of Sanriku Coast from the sea. This is part of the Great East Japan Earthquake Digital Archive Project that Google has been engaged in since 2011. In addition to street views taken from the land, Google will capture sceneries of Sanriku Coast from the sea.

On June 23, Japan Atomic Energy Agency released Fukushima Nuclear Accident Archive. Users can browse and search Internet-based information and oral presentation information about the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO). For Internet-based information, the archive will access WARP (Web Archiving Project) of National Diet Library (NDL).

The following contents were added to the NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive (Hinagiku): “Telling the Story of the Great East Japan Earthquake” (an ICT project for preserving community ties by Higashimatsushima Library in Miyagi Prefecture), “Record of Earthquakes in the Histories of Municipalities” (Saitama Prefectural Urawa Library), and disaster related movies from the Japanese Government Internet TV. Also added were videos and photos of NDL Tokyo Main Library at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

● Developments in Preservation of Resources
On May 1, “Rikuzentakata City Temporal Museum Facility for Preservation and Repair of Cultural Properties Damaged by the Disaster(仮設陸前高田市立博物館被災文化財等保存修復施設)” was completed within the site of Iwate Prefectural Museum. The facility has begun its full operation.

A project that aims to carry out ancient documents and photos left in private housing in Tomioka Town (Fukushima Prefecture) began its activities on July 24. The town has been designated as caution zone of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident.

On August 4, Tokyo Metropolitan Library announced to repair 83 local documents damaged by tsunami of the Great East Japan Disaster. These documents were owned by Rikuzentakata Public Library in Iwate Prefecture. The library plans to complete repairing tasks by the end of 2016. The library has repaired a total of 51 documents in 2013 and 2014.

On July 3, Agency for Cultural Affairs announced projects to subsidize as 2014 Projects to Assist Promotion of Priority Areas in Art and History Museums (美術館・歴史博物館重点分野推進支援事業). Among those selected in the category of “Building National Structures for Prevention and Relief of Cultural Properties from Large-Scale Disasters (大規模災害に対応した文化財等の防災・救出に係る全国的な体制整備等)” was “Project to Promote Networks for Disaster Prevention of Cultural Properties (文化財防災ネットワーク推進事業)” of National Institutes for Cultural Heritage.

● Exhibitions
Iwate Prefectural Library hosted an exhibition titled “Go! Sanriku Railway: Great East Japan Earthquake and Railways (すすめ!三陸鉄道-東日本大震災と鉄道-)” between April 1 and June 29. With the railway resuming its full service, the exhibition introduced its history, damage from the disaster, and trajectory until the full comeback. As a sequence of this exhibition, the library is also hosting “Go! Sanriku Railway: Fun Trips on Santetsu (すすめ!三陸鉄道-楽しいさんてつの旅-)” from July 1.

● Lectures and Seminars
On June 21, Miyagi Prefectural Library hosted a talk event titled “Legacies of Sakyo Komatsu: Memories of the Disaster and Words for the Future.” The event was held in relation to the library’s fourth exhibition on collection on the Great East Japan Earthquake.

On June 21, The Iwate Higher Education Consortium hosted a symposium titled “Storing the Records and Memories of the Disaster: Collecting, Preserving, and Utilizing Disaster Related Resources (震災の記録と記憶をどうとどめるのか-震災資料の収集保存と活用).”

A symposium titled “Manga and Disasters (マンガと震災)” was held at Kyoto International Manga Museum on June 29.

● Publications
On March 27, 2014, The Iwate Higher Education Consortium released on its website a report of a symposium titled “Examining the Great East Japan Earthquake and Recommendation to Prepare for Future Disasters: Preservation and Rescue of Documents (東日本大震災の検証と来るべき震災への備えのへの提言-資料保存と救済のあり方から). ” The symposium was held on March 16 and 17, 2013.

NDL published a summary of “International Symposium on the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive: Community Memories for the Future” in the April 2014 volume of “National Diet Library Monthly Bulletin (国立国会図書館月報)” (No.637). This international symposium on archives of the Great East Japan Earthquake was hosted by NDL and International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) of Tohoku University on January 11. A summary of “Seminar on the Archives of Earthquake Disaster: From Experiences of New Zealand Canterbury Earthquake and Great East Japan Earthquake” held on January 9 was published in “NDL Newsletter” (Vol. 193, April 2014). “Biblos (びぶろす)” (Vol.64, April 2014) published a special issue on “Crisis Management: For the Critical Moment(危機管理-いざというときのために-)” .

An article summarizing “Three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake:Verification of the distance to revival” discussed as topic 3 in a research conference of Japanese Association of Museums was published in “Hakubutsukan Kenkyu (博物館研究)” (Vol.552, June 2014). The conference was held on March 6 and 7.

On June 21, Fukushima Prefectural Library released volume 9 of “Book Guide.” The guide presents what librarians felt reading the materials from “The Great East Japan Earthquake Fukushima Prefecture Reconstruction Library.”

On June 24, Science Council of Japan released a recommendation titled “Solid Successon of Cultural Properties to the Next Generation: Towards Development of Protection Policies Assuming Disasters (文化財の次世代への確かな継承-災害を前提とした保護対策の構築をめざして-)” as an outcome of discussion at History Committee, Section on Protection and Utilization of Cultural Properties (史学委員会文化財の保護と活用に関する分科会).

“National Diet library and National, Public and Private University Library Cooperation Committee: the Interim Report from the Working Group on Libraries Damaged during the Great East Japan Earthquake” was published on July 28.

A pictorial record of permanent exhibition titled “Records of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Disaster History of Tsunami” of Rias Ark Museum of Art was released as a free digital book for public and university libraries on August 1.

● Others
As a project to support reconstruction from the disaster, Meiji University Museum is hosting a special exhibition titled “The World of Meiji University Collection: From Ice Age to Showa (明治大学コレクションの世界-氷河期から昭和まで-)” at Ofunato City Museum (Iwate Prefecture) from July 26 to August 31.

On August 4, GreyNet (Grey Literature Network Service), an international network on grey literature, announced Kiyoshi Ikeda of Japan Atomic Energy Agency as the winner of 2014 GreyNet Award.

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