A Message from the Director, the Library of Economics

The Library of Economics at the University of Tokyo is a part of the Graduate School of Economics, and mainly has books and materials regarding economics and management. With about 830,000 volumes and 1,117 titles in the current collection (as of March 2015), this is one of the largest special libraries for economics and management in Japan. Our collection today is diverse – there are the latest books on economics and business administration, and quite a few of our books and materials can only be found here.

This library was founded in 1919, when the Faculty of Economics was formed, by being separated from the College of Law. The collection, which belonged to the College of Law’s Economic Statistics Seminar and the Commercial Materials Library, became the core of the current collection. Since then, the library has continually amassed books and materials on economics from around the world, despite numerous challenges during its history such as the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, censorship inhibiting acquisitions, and the evacuation of books to protect them from wartime bombings. Our collection includes rare books mainly consisting of collections previously owned by famous economists, such as Adam Smith, and their manuscripts. We also hold the precious private collections of the professor emeritus of this faculty – for example, Arisawa Hiromi and Wakimura Yoshitaro, and old collections of economic research institutes such as historical documents taken over by the Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute. This library has always been systematically acquiring articles of incorporation, annual reports of Japanese enterprises and publications from government agencies from even before the World War II. In recent years, we have assertively collected, stored and conserved primary resources owned by corporations, organizations and private citizens – for example, the Records of Yamaichi Securities and the Records of Yokohama Specie Bank. These are regarded as one of the largest corporate archives in the world. Further, as the unique collection, the library also holds a historical coins and bills‘ collection that is considered second only to that of the Bank of Japan.

By serving consistently academic contents, this library works as an infrastructure of educational and research activities for our graduate school and faculty. To meet the needs not only of the University, but of the whole country, we aim to enrich our function and service as an accessible library. We also strengthen partnership among internal and external libraries. In June 2014, this library made a mutual use agreement with the Institute of Development Economies (IDE) Library. Through good use of information technology, we reinforce our function as a digital library. As a part of this effort, we published Syllabus Book List linked to the University of Tokyo Library OPAC, e-Books and e-Journals. The database of digital archive “Engel” serves as a portal to academic contents on economics, such as corporate materials, national/local government/labor-related materials, and materials on financial policies. Databases of annual reports and financial reports of Japanese enterprises, historical coins, historical bills and Records of Yamaichi Securities can all be viewed via our website.

The library is currently located in two buildings: the Akamon General Research Building and the Economic Research Annex, or Kojima Hall. General books and periodicals can be studied in the Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Akamon General Research Building, and primary materials such as Rare Books, special materials, corporate materials and historical manuscripts are in the Resources and Historical Collections Office (Shiryo-shitsu) Reading Room in the 3rd floor of the Kojima Hall. Shiryo-shitsu, the preservation management section of this library, actively works on managing both conservation and access to materials. The Kojima Hall was completed in 2009, made possible by a donation from Kojima Ryojiro, President of the Kojima Industries Corporation, for “the advancement of the library”. There is a complete temperature and humidity controlled room housing the closed stacks in the basement of this hall.

Owing it to the tradition built by the ancestors’ wisdoms and ambitions, the Library of Economics at the University of Tokyo makes every effort to progress functions of information, infrastructure and service. Engaging honestly with users, we will also continue to pursue our duty in a new age. We hope you will fully maximize the opportunities offered by this library.

Comments are closed.