Friday, August 9, 2013

Kazuko Hioki participates in conservation workshop

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. 

Tenri University Library (, which holds an important rare book collection of over 17,000 volumes, 90 of which are designated as national treasures, hosted the workshop.  Kazuko joined 19 participating librarians, including 13 from the United States, 4 from Europe, and 3 from Oceania.
 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. 

Online tools included Websites that assist in reading classic hand-writing and in creating bibliographic records (Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books and digital image database, (  

Kazuko plans to apply her new knowledge to catalog several rare antique Japanese materials in the UK Libraries holdings. 

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