Materials in the Northern Studies Collection

Materials in the Northern Studies Collection

General books

General books (Japanese): 30,351 volumes
Mainly consisting of books related to Hokkaido, this is a good collection of important materials. Resources related to the Ainu, the KurileIslands, Sakhalin and Siberia are arranged separately according to category.
Journals and newspapers (with some exceptions) are located in the general stack room. Approximately 2,000 books from the Takakura Bunko (the book collection of the late Shinichiro Takakura, an honorary professor and authority on the history of Hokkaido) were moved to the Northern Studies Collection in 1991.
Pamphlets: approximately 12,000 volumes
Pamphlets (publications of less than 100 pages), which are generally difficult to classify, are bound together and filed. There are also sorting cards and author/editor/title catalogs for them. Many of the pamphlets include information which cannot be obtained from other kinds of books, including reports, field surveys, municipalities in brief and separate prints of theses.
Foreign books: 8,462 volumes
This collection features books related to Siberia (accounting for more than half) and many rare classical books from the 18th and 19th centuries. With the recent emphasis on Russo-Japanese and Soviet-Japanese relations, books on Japanology studied in Russia (the former Soviet Union) have been collected.
Approximately 3,200 volumes from the Lensen Collection (the former private library of the late Dr. Lensen, a professor at Florida State University, which is a precious collection of materials related to the history of Russo-Japanese relations) were transferred here from the Slavic Research Center in 1991.

Manuscript books/ancient documents

Manuscript books: approximately 4,500 volumes
This collection consists of old Edo-period descriptions (manuscript books/block books) of the land of Ezo, the former name for Hokkaido, and manuscript materials related to Hokkaido, Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands from the Meiji era, many of which are precious and rare. Separately-placed materials include the privately-owned collections of Kenji Kimura, the Okudaira family, Shigekata Kikuchi, the Shiraishi family, Takeshiro Matsuura and Kazuichi Yoneda, as well as manuscript books deposited by the Hokkaido Government (representing newly edited material on the history of Hokkaido). There is also a catalog in pamphlet form (catalog of old descriptions on around northern Japan - Hokkaido, Sakhalin, the Kurile Islands and Russia; published in 1990; 466 pages).
BashoUkeoininKyuka Monjo Booklets: 850 Single sheets: 3,700
These are documents on old families working as trade merchants who had an enormous influence on Hokkaido。ヌs economy from the Edo period to the early years of the Meiji era, including the Murayama, Date, Sato, Takegawa, Fujino, Sasanami and Tamura families. There is a tentative catalog of the documents for each family (Also see the catalog of old descriptions on around northern Japan).


Letters related to the Hokkaido Development Commission and foreigners: approximately 5,000
This letter collection includes reports and letters sent from hired foreign experts and other foreigners to the Hokkaido Development Commission in the early years of the Meiji era, most of which are autograph letters. There is a catalog in pamphlet form (catalog of letters related to the Hokkaido Development Commission and foreigners; published in 1983; 253 pages).


Maps/graphics: approximately 5,000 sheets
This includes systematically collected old maps of the land of Ezo and many hand-drawn original maps from the days of the Hokkaido Development Commission, as well as an almost entire collection of geological survey maps of Hokkaido in and after the Meiji era. The graphics include pictures related to the Ainu, calligraphic works and paintings and building plans from the days of the Hokkaido Development Commission. A catalog is available (catalog of Hokkaido-related maps/graphics; published in 1981; 363 pages).


Photos related to Hokkaido: approximately 5,000; dry plates: 750
Many of these photos were taken by the Hokkaido Development Commission and the Hokkaido Government for administrative purposes in the Meiji era. They are said to be very precious not only as documentary photos of Hokkaido's development but also in terms of photographic history. A catalog is available (catalog of Hokkaido photos from the Meiji and the Taisho eras, Hokkaido from the Meiji and the Taisho eras ; the catalog edition; published in 1991; 316 pages).

Audio materials

Audio materials on the Ainu language (records: approximately 180 discs; cassettes: 220 tapes)
These audio materials include records (there are also reproduced cassettes) of Ainu epic poems, songs for gods and folk songs produced by the Japan Broadcasting Cooperation shortly after the end of the Second World War, as well as audio materials on the Ainu language made by the Waseda University Language Research Institute and oral materials on the Ainu language in Sakhalin made by the Institute of Language and Culture Studies of Hokkaido University.