Main Library’s 289 items from Nakanoin Collection and Konoe Collection have been released
A total of 289 items – 278 items from Nakanoin Collection and 11 items from Konoe Collection held by the Main Library – have been newly digitized and released. Kyoto University Rare Materials Digital Archive provides 1,363,600 images of 17,638 titles as of March 19, 2020.
Nakanoin Collection was formerly owned by Count Michinori Nakanoin (1856-1925), from whom former President of Sumitomo Company Kichizaemon Sumitomo, who was related to the Nakanoin Family by marriage, purchased 1,041 books of the collection and donated them to Kyoto University Library in 1923. The count’s family tree goes back to Murakami-Genji and in particular, the 14th family head Michikatsu (1558-1610) and Michimura (1588-1653) contributed to the development of Japanese literature. Most items of this collection are handwritten by the family members themselves or copies by hand of such manuscripts, as well as books owned by the Nakai family. They include annotations to imperial-commissioned poem anthologies, Genji Monogatari and Ise Monogatari, diaries and memoranda on ceremonies and rituals in the Imperial court. These are valuable primary sources in the research of the situations in the Imperial court and ordinary people’s lives at the time.
The original Konoe Collection was formerly held by the Konoe Family, the leading family of the five regent houses. The Konoe Family had deposited books that had been passed down through the family with Kyoto University on several occasions since 1900. In 1938, however, in order to secure the preservation of this precious collection, a public interest incorporated foundation, Yomei Bunko was founded and the books in care of Kyoto University until then were returned to the Konoe Family and were then incorporated into Yomei Bunko. In this process, 3,150 volumes of 219 titles among the previously deposited books were donated to Kyoto University Main Library and became the library collection currently called Konoe Collection. The major part of the collection is Chinese classics including renowned “荘子鬳齋口義”, “欒城集” and "雲南通志", but it also includes old manuscript copies of Utsuho Monogatari, Ochikubo Monogatari and Okagami, as well as Kokatsuji-han (old type editions) created in Japan during the former half of the 17th century such as “医学入門”, “古今医鑑”.
The Main Library of Kyoto University takes part as a core university in the "Project to Build an International Collaborative Research Network for Pre-modern Japanese Texts (NIJL-NW project)" led by the National Institute of Japanese Literature, which supports the digitization of the 289 books released this time.