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Japanese Studies Collections and Services

Helpful Information

Library Resources

Language Resources


Steve Witt

International & Area Studies Library
Associate Professor
University Library
Center for Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

311 Main Library

Welcome to UIUC Japanese Collections and Services!

Digitized image of Horai no Makimono Scroll
Credit: Digital Collections at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Research and Course Support:

Please contact Steve Witt via email (swwitt@illinois.edu) for support with your course, research, or other information needs. You may also schedule a Research Consultation directly


Our History

The University of Illinois’ Japanese Collection started as one of the language collections in the Far Eastern Library in the 1920s. In 1969, 1,800 volumes of Joseph K. Yamagiwa Collection were purchased to enhance the Japanese collection. As the Asian Library was formed at the University Library in 1979, the Japanese Collection began focusing on more distinctive subjects rather than language materials. Over the decades, Japanese studies librarians have built one of the most solid collections in the Midwest alongside the development of the Japanese studies programs on campus. Its strength lies mostly in the humanities and social sciences with key holdings in literature, history, philosophy, religion, theater, business, and economics. Japanese collection holdings are approximately 86,000 volumes, 150 serial titles, and over 1,000 microform items.

Our Mission

The Collection primarily supports faculty and student research and classes taught in the Japanese studies programs at the University of Illinois, but simultaneously, it emphasizes the collection of materials in unique subjects. Approximately 2,000 volumes of books and journals on Jewish Studies in Japan were donated by emeritus professor Masanori Miyazawa of Doshisha Joshi University, Japan in 2004. This collection is currently the only one of its kind both in Japan and in North America. Other materials that we focus on are early modern newspapers, materials related to Japanese colonialism and pre-modern history and literature.

Our Location

The Japanese Collection is one of the area collections that makes up the International and Area Studies Library. Japanese serials and the reference collection are available for in-library use in the reading room of the International and Area Studies Library (Room 321 Main Library). The circulating collection is located on the 7th through 9th decks of the Main Stacks. The collection is searchable via the University Library online catalog (click here!) with Japanese characters and/or Romanized Japanese, and available via Interlibrary loan.


Suggestions for new Japanese books, serials, and all other information resources are welcome and may be forwarded to:

Steve W. Witt
Associate Professor of Library Administration Head
Head, IAS Library and Interim Japanese Studies Librarian
319a Main Library
Phone: 217.265.7518
Email: swwitt@illinois.edu