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Japanese Studies

Collection Area

Japanese Studies (vernacular collection)

General Purpose

The collection supports the undergraduate instructional program and basic faculty research needs. Emphasis is on the literature, history, religions, and social-political aspects of Japanese culture, although literature and history are the strongest holdings. The objective is to build vernacular collections which will support the basic curricular and research needs of the Program.

Dartmouth College Program

Japanese studies is part of the Asian Studies Program. Within the Asian Studies major, a Japanese Language and Culture Program is offered. Each prospective major must compete at least one advanced seminar or research course. Language and literature courses are offered by the Program, while most courses in other areas are offered by the respective subject departments. Courses offered by other departments are listed in the Asian Studies Course Guide and include the following departments: Anthropology, Art History, Geography, Government, History, and Religion. Library materials are acquired to support the traditional subjects as well as the aspects which fall within the Japanese Language and Culture Program (see also the Asian Studies policy and specific subject policies).

General Subject Boundaries

The majority of the collection falls within the DS (history) and PL (language and literature) classifications and housed in the Japanese Collection in Baker Library. Most other vernacular materials are housed in this collection as well, the major exception being art and architecture (N classification) which is located in the Sherman Art Library (see also the Fine Arts, Architecture, and Photography policies).


The collection is limited to works in the Japanese language. In support of the Japanese Language and Culture Program as a whole, the Library also acquires materials in English and other Western languages. When such materials deal with history, government, religion or the social sciences they will generally be purchased by the appropriate subject bibliographer (see also the Asian Studies policy and appropriate subject policies). Translations of Japanese literary works, as well as secondary works on Japanese literary history and criticism, whether originals in English or other Western languages or translations from Japanese, may be purchased with Japanese Studies funds. Regardless of funding source, materials not in Japanese are housed in the general collection. For Japanese literature translated into English, see also the policy statement for Literature.

Geographic Areas

Emphasis is on Japan and the Far East.

Types Of Material Collected

While individual monographs and monographic sets predominate, no material type is specifically excluded.

Format Of Materials Collected

While no materials are excluded by format, the collection consists primarily of printed works. Microforms and audiovisual materials are collected to a lesser extent and are housed in Microtext. Other formats are collected on request.

Other Resources Available

A number of RLG libraries have outstanding Japanese Collections. Information on their specific strengths is listed in the RLG conspectus. Due to program size and limited funding at Dartmouth, these collections represent an important resource for research needs.


John R. James

Current Bibliographer

Nien Lin Xie

Last Updated: 8/5/16