Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia – Japanese Studies Library Subject Collection uri icon

subject description and guidelines

  • The Library’s Japanese Studies Collection gathers material of importance to students, teachers and scholars in the presentation and study of Japan, particularly as it pertains to those academic disciplines and approaches emphasized at Cornell. Potentially, materials on any subject that relates to the academic study of Japan may be included, although in practice, the primary emphasis is on acquiring materials that will be of immediate use to Cornell-based researchers. The collection emphasizes original works in Japanese that focus on or represent Japanese literature, history, religions, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, economics and government, although scholarly Japanese materials focused on other regions of Asia are also selectively collected. In general, translations and generic/non-area specific studies are avoided, although exceptions are made when these works are foundational for developments in Japan (such as early Japanese translations of western literature or Japanese translations of key philosophical texts) or represent a specifically Japanese point of view of strategic importance (such as a Japanese world history textbook with atypical content).


  • The Japan collection serves multiple constituencies. At center are Japan specialists: Cornell faculty, graduate students, visiting researchers and users from allied libraries, in order of importance. The collection also maintains an excellent teaching collection for graduate and undergraduate education, as well as for local users. Although the collection is designed with an academic focus on the study of Japan, non-academic users with Japanese language capabilities may make use of popular materials such as novels, films and graphic novels. Collecting decisions are not made in reference to this latter group, however, and requests for materials purely for pleasure or personal reasons are not typically granted.