May 25, 2022

Building the Digital Archive of the Great East Japan Earthquake: An Update from National Diet Library

A “New Year Greeting” post by Makoto Nagao, Librarian, National Diet Library (National Library of Japan) includes a brief update about the Great East Japan Earthquake Digital Archive along with updates about digitization and new technology at the library.

From the Greeting:

Facing major catastrophe, one of our vital missions should be to collect all sorts of records concerning the great earthquake and construct a database to benefit reconstruction efforts, research, education, and also to pass down the nation’s memory to coming centuries. For that purpose, since last May, we have been stressing to government ministries the importance of building a digital archive of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Our efforts bore fruit when they each agreed on collecting earthquake-related records in the areas under their own jurisdiction and building a database; the role of the NDL is to establish and administer a portal to cross-search and retrieve necessary records from those databases. The project will take years to complete, but we will persevere.

You’ll Also Read About:

  • The NDL sending staff, “to tsunami-struck areas to train local librarians in how to clean up soiled materials.”
  • The Library of Congress sending a restoration specialist to the area.
  • New Library Management System

What About Digitization at the National Diet Library?

The large-scale digitization launched in 2009 was duly completed last March with approximately 2.1 million volumes digitized in total. The breakdown is: almost all the books published up to 1968, 12 thousand titles of journals from the first issue to 2000, 70 thousand items of classics and others. They make one fifth of the materials due to be digitized. All the digitized materials can be read inside the NDL facilities and we intend to progressively make out-of-copyright materials viewable on the Internet.

Read the Complete “New Year Greeting” from the National Diet Library

See Also: A New National Diet Library Federated Search is Scheduled to Debut on Friday (January 6, 2012).

Details here (mechanical translation via Google Translate).

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.