Essays by Foreign Fellows
The Acquisition of the Library of Prof.
The SRC recommended the purchase of the
library of James R. Gibson,
historical geographer and professor emeritus of York University,
Canada, for the University Library. The Ministry of Education, Science
Culture has accepted our proposal and has decided to finance the
The University Library acquired the collection in the beginning of
and is now in the process of cataloging it.
The collection consists of 2,544 items,
comprised of 8 parts:
We chose a small sample of 70 items from the
Russian Americaís part
of the collection and checked holdings of these items in Japan. Using
electronic union catalog, which includes the holdings of most major
libraries in Japan, we found that Hokkaido University had the richest
in this field, even before the acquisition of the collection. Hokkaido
held 37 items out of the 70 sample items. Kyushu University, with 14
out of 70 (20%), had the second largest number. In third place were
University and the University of Tokyo, each 10/70 items. We found that
items in the sample met no holdings in Japan.
- Russian America (337 items)
- History of Siberia (652 items)
- Russian anthropology and ethnography (127
- Russian history (452 items)
- Historical geography of Russia (304
- Contemporary USSR/CIS/Russian geography
- Atlases of USSR/CIS/Russia (84 items)
- Supplementary materials (55 items)
The Gibson collection will much enhance
library holdings in the subject
areas mentioned above. Not only Hokkaido University, but the
studies of Northern areas in Japan as a whole will benefit from this
By Y. Tonai.
"Whoops, page numbers are missing on one of
the references to this
article. Hmmm... the 1996 issue of the Russian Review. At least I can
this at the library...," or so I thought. It wasn't there. Thinking
it may not have been bound yet, I also tried the SRC periodicals room.
wasn't there either. So I asked Mr. T. He grabbed a key and leisurely
me to a room across the hallway. There, in neat rows, sat stacks of
periodicals. At last I was able to check the page numbers. Case closed.
I wondered, are the bound magazines stashed away in this corner? Aren't
any plans to bring them into the library where they belong? Does the
staff have to stop whatever they are doing every time someone like me
along, grab a key, and take them into this isolated room? These
flowed through my mind, though the answer was probably to be found in
mild expression of resignation and confusion that settled upon Mr. Tís
The SRC Library boasts one of Japan's largest
collections of Slavic
and East European-related publications as Prof. Wexler mentioned. It
also has a hard-working staff, as reflected by the strong impression
on Prof. Hickey. However, the lack of space, while undoubtedly a
facing many university libraries, casts a large shadow over the SRC
I was surprised and disappointed that even recent issues of such common
magazines central to Slavic studies couldnít be easily reviewed.
Suteru! Gijutsu [Techniques to Throw
It Away!] now lines the
bestseller shelves. Basically the book says it's nonsense to keep
you have, thinking "Hey, I may need that someday." If you don't need it
you can bet that "someday" is unlikely to ever arrive. Inspired by this
I was quick to take a thorough inventory of my attic and cart off all
books I couldn't foresee reading again to a flea market. It felt good.
I suppose it is not so easy to purge a library full of national
bought with the taxpayer's money. This ambiguous and difficult problem
my mind one long autumnal night.
By Mika O.
back to INDEX>>