JMSTC Where East Meets West

The Japanese imperial family outfitted in European-style finery in a landscape with Western architecture, gaslights, and a truss bridge in a traditional Japanese setting.


Nobility Enjoying the Cooling Air on A Summer Evening.  Yōshū Chikanobu. 1888. Princeton University Art Museum.


The Meiji Period (October 23, 1868 -July 30, 1912 of Japanese history was a time of great social, political, and economic upheaval, as Japan transitioned from a feudal state to a modern industrialized nation.  Western arts, literature, and technology began to influence traditional Japanese culture.  One the best ways to explore this key point in Japanese history is through the books published and collected during this period.  Because many of these collections are fragile and hard to access, several entities have undertaken the task of converting Meiji era publications to microform and/or e-documents so that scholars through out the world can have access to them.

Similar to the short title catalog projects for Early English publications, the Japan Meiji Short Title Catalog (JMSTC) or 明治期刊行物集成 (Meiji-ki kankobutsu shusei) is one of the more ambitious of these projects, drawing the holding of several prominent libraries holdings.  With the publication of Unit 94 in 2007, the JMSTC contained over 12,500 titles in the fields of languages and literature.  Ohio State University Libraries (OSUL) has been purchasing JMSTC microfiche since 1992 and holds one of the most complete collections in the United States.  Since 2007 OSUL has systematically been cataloging JMSTC titles held for inclusion in its catalog as well as adding them to OCLC’s WorldCat. The JMSTC is currently housed in the Microforms Reading Room (215 Thompson Library).

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