UK Libraries Conservation Librarian Kazuko Hioki attended the Tenri Antiquarian Materials Workshop for Overseas Japanese Studies Librarians, held at Tenri University in Nara, Japan, June 11-20, 2013. The workshop sought to establish a cohort of librarians trained in best practices for managing, cataloging and preserving Japanese manuscript and antiquarian printed material. Once trained, the librarians can provide guidance and training in their home regions for these types of materials.
A highlight of the workshop was learning techniques for gathering information about rare antiquarian books by examining the actual materials as well as by exploring online tools. For instance, the participants compared the various editions of a kabuki play script from the 18th century and a piece of woodblock used for printing one of those editions (photos 1 and 2) to find differences between early and later editions, including inaccurate publication information (such as publishing year) printed on the books.
Kazuko plans to apply her new knowledge to catalog several rare antique Japanese materials in the UK Libraries holdings.