This collection consists of materials in the Japanese language, largely housed in Van Pelt Library (fifth floor, East Asia Stacks), Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Museum Library, and the LIBRA storage facility. The focus of the Japanese collection is on the humanities and social sciences, supporting faculty and students across the School of Arts & Sciences--from the East Asian Languages & Civilizations, History, Art History, Religion, Architecture, History and Sociology of Science, Anthropology, and Archaeology departments--and the Weitzman School of Design and other schools at Penn. We collect a wide range of materials, including primary and secondary sources from throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in addition to rare and special materials dating from the Edo (1603-1868), Meiji (1868-1912), Taishō (1912-1926), and early Shōwa (1926-1989) periods.
The Penn Libraries collects a variety of Japanese rare materials, including but not limited to books, periodicals, scrapbooks, limited-circulation newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, and art prints. These come to the Libraries both from targeted purchases from Japan, and from gifts in kind. The Penn Libraries, over time, has built on historic strengths and been guided by collection usage in teaching and research, as well as generous gifts and local community member discoveries and donations. The Libraries’ major collections at present include the Arthur Tress Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books, the Japanese Juvenile Fiction Collection, and the Japanese Naval Collection.