Yamada, Taizo
University of Tokyo. Historiographical Institute. Assistant Professor

Digitalization of pre-modern Japanese Historical Material by Historiographical Institute The University of Tokyo

Historiographical Institute the University of Tokyo, ‘HI’ for short, has been investigating historical materials concerning pre-modern Japanese history. In the process, we have been making and managing metadata as the results and shooting the materials. Recently, we have been digitizing of the historical materials based on the results so that the data can be used at long-term preservation and utilization of them. In the paper, we report on the approach and the efforts.

HI have continuously and systematically researched and collected pre-modern Japanese historical materials, since 1885 for about 120 years. From around 1930, HI started the investigation of the materials in other countries with the support of the U.A.I (Union Academique Internationale). Micro-camera photography began in earnest in around 1970, and digital camera photography began in around 2010. Of these films, we have scanned films and released digitized images. Also, since the late 1990s, we have been photographing and digitizing historical materials held in archives, including manuscripts. The results have been published in the databases of HI, enabling sharing among researchers as well as manuscripts and photo books, greatly contributing to the development and deepening of Japanese history.

The method of collection of reproduction historical material has changed with the times. In order to make permanent use of the accumulated the materials, we have formulated a method for uniformly carrying out processes such as photography, digitization, and management and have been constructing and operating a system to realize that.