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Japanese Studies Collections and Services

Schedule an Online Research Consultation

Helpful Information


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

311 Main Library

Library Resrouces

Language Resources

Area Studies in Japan

Research Help

New Japanese Books

Online Services during COVID-19 Closure:

Please contact Steve Witt via email (swwitt@illinois.edu) for support with your online course, research, or other information needs.

You may also schedule a time to meet virtual via Blackboard or Zoom using the following link: https://uiuc.libcal.com/appointments?u=28299

During this time period, we are working to make more resources available to faculty and students online.  If you need help locating a resource or need to have something digitized for your class, please contact me and we will do everything we can to help-out.


  • Trial access to 56,000 Maruzen ebooks through May 2020.
  • Trial of the Japan News Database – English language daily published by The Yomiuri Shimbun from 1955.
  • New Digitized Materials: Check out the newly digitized Hōrai no makimono (蓬莱の卷物).  Our next phase in this project will be to add transcriptions into modern Japanese and an English language translation through Illinois IOPN.


The Japanese Collection at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign started as one of the language collections in the Far Eastern Library in the 1920’s.

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 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 (as of Fall 2014).

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 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 Japanese colonialism and pre-modern history and literature.

Location of Materials

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 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
311 Main Library
Phone: 217.265.7518
Email: swwitt@illinois.edu