Public Libraries: Public Music Libraries in Japan — Facts and Figures

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  • Public Libraries: Public Music Libraries in Japan Facts and FiguresAuthor(s): Heikki PoroilaSource: Fontes Artis Musicae, Vol. 36, No. 2 (April-Juni 1989), pp. 136-139Published by: International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres(IAML)Stable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 21:25

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  • 136 Further Reports from the 1988 Conferences Professional Branches

    The cataloguing system of the Cherubini Library supplies only the barest minimum

    of bibliographical detail. An overview of the material assembled allows us to glimpse in

    outline the broad classes of interest formed by the Collection. It comprises MS codices, old and printed editions of musical texts, treatises on music, as well as editions contem

    porary with the collector, catalogues, journals and literary varia. Many of these volumes

    bear book-plates and dedications arising from the history of the collection. There

    are many original sources in the Basevi Collection, for example B. 1306 G.B. Martini

    Benedictus for two voices, or B. 1426 G. B. Pergolesi Oratorio for four voices. Basevi's

    library is closely related to the bibliographies of his own works, and thus constitutes an

    important source for a study of his compositional and musicological writings. Seen in

    the light of such considerations the Basevi Collection acquires new significance and

    value. Enriched as it is with so many and so important works, consciously and lucidly

    stmctured, it seems to me to be one of the miracles of nineteenth century musicology.

    Further Reports from the 1988 Conferences in Tokyo, Stockholm & Vienna

    Professional Branches

    Public Libraries

    Public Music Libraries in Japan Facts and Figures' Heikki Poroila (Esposo/Finland)*'

    The Public Libraries Branch of IAML had a special Japanese session in Tokyo. Unfor

    tunately not so many participants from Europe and America were present during this

    session. Unfortunately, I think, because we heard some very interesting figures and

    facts about the situation of public music libraries in Japan. For those collgues who

    could not attend, I promised to make a summary of this Japanese session. Both speakers of this public library topic

    Mr. Hiroshi Saito and Miss Shuko Kato kindly gave me

    the permission to use their papers for this purpose. The following tries to sum up the

    most interesting parts of what we heard and learned. All the facts are from papers given. If I did not understand all details correctly, I apologise to our Japanese friends.

    1. Overview of Japanese public libraries and their music collections

    Hiroshi Saito (Shobi College, Kamifukuoka)

    A working group of MLAJ (Music Library Association of Japan) has made a statistical survey on musical collections and staff in public libraries in Japan. In July 1988 a

    questionnaire was sent to 1694 public libraries (including both main and branch libra

    This item is additional to the Branch's Report which appeared in Fontes Aitis Musicae 36/1. Heikki Poroila is Secretary of the Public Libraries Branch.

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  • Fuithei Reports from the 1988 Conferences Professional Branches 137

    ries). MLAJ received an answer from 1645 libraries. The general results of the question naire were these: public libraries in Japan have quite small amounts of printed music, music literature, sound recordings and audiovisual facilities. Staff specialized in music

    exists only in a few libraries.

    The following tables express more precisely the situation in the public libraries of


    (a) Books on music

    None or not reported 409 libraries (24.9 %) Less than 500 790 libraries (48.0 %) 501 to 5000 413 libraries (25.2 %) Over 5000 33 libraries (1.9 %)

    (b) Printed music

    None or not reported 1090 libraries (66.5 %) Less than 500 537 libraries (32.5 %) 501 to 5000 16 libraries (0.9 %) Over 5000 2 libraries (0.1 %)

    (c) Sound recordings

    None or not reported 962 libraries (58.5 %) Less than 500 374 libraries (22.7 %) 501 to 5000 256 libraries (15.6 %) Over 5000 53 libraries (3.2 %)

    (d) Audio facilities

    None or not reported 1070 libraries (65.0 %) 1 to 5 457 libraries (27.8 %) 6 to 20 111 libraries (6.7%) Over 20 7 libraries (0.5 %)

    (e) Staff working with music collections

    None 1053 libraries (64.0 %) 1 to 5 497 libraries (30.0 %) 6 to 20 39 libraries (2.3%) Over 20 12 libraries (0.7 %)

    (f) Staff with higher education or career in music librarianship

    None 1631 libraries (99.1 %) 1 to 2 14 libraries (0.9 %)

    The background of this not very satisfactory situation was discussed briefly. Of the

    possible reasons Mr. Saito named the lack of money for audiovisual materials, rental

    shops for records and tapes everywhere in Japan and copyright problems. No doubt these

    facts will help MLAJ to develop the music services in Japanese public libraries.

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  • 138 Further Reports from the 1988 Conferences Professional Branches

    2. Music materials in Public Libraries in Japan case reports

    Shuko Kato (Keio University, Tokyo)

    Four different public music libraries (all from Tokyo district and all quite good ones) were then presented in more detail. But first an important notice. In Japan the term

    "public library" means two different kinds of libraries. A koritsu toshokan is estab

    lished and maintained by local public organizations according to the Library Law

    (1950). A kokyo toshokan is open to the public, too, though maintained by private

    persons or associations. Of the four libraries presented here Koishikawa Ward Library and Fuchu City Central Library fall into the category of koritsu toshokan, Min-On

    Music Library and Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall Library are kokyo toshokans.

    (a) Koishikawa Ward Library

    The history of this library goes back to the Meiji period, 1910, but the present building

    was established in 1966. From that year on also sound recordings have been available, first for listening and from 1969 also for lending.

    Now the Koishikawa Ward Library has the largest collection of sound recordings in

    Japan among the koritsu toshokans and it is known as "the audiodisc library". Some

    figures from June 1988 may explain the reasons for this opinion:

    Audiodiscs 14101 Cassette tapes 1138

    Compact discs 738

    Music librarians 3

    Registered borrowers 9944

    The loan period for sound recordings is two weeks. At any one time one can borrow 5

    sets of discs and/or tapes. Listening to music at the library is also possible. Koishikawa Ward Library uses 140000 Yen (about 1000 dollars) per month for buying

    new sound recordings. In the future this library is going to collect mainly compact discs.

    (b) Fuchu City Central Library

    This library, established in 1968, is located in a park near Okunitama Shrine. There are

    11 branch libraries around, but only this Central Library provides sound recordings for

    lending and listening. For about 17000 registered borrowers there is a collection of 5000

    cassette tapes and 3500 compact discs, of which 30 % is classical music, 40 % popular and 30% jazz. Over 76000 sound recordings were borrowed in 1987. The busiest days are Saturday and Sunday! The loan period for sound recordings is one week. Three cas

    sette tapes and one compact disc may be borrowed at one time, if you are old enough, that means over "junior college".

    Three librarians out of eleven are regularly in charge of sound recordings. Also in

    Fuchu Library the future plans focus on compact disc collection. Over the next few

    years this library promises to provide a collection of 10000 compact discs. Circulation

    and cataloguing systems have already been computerized. Printed catalogues of sound

    recordings have been made with this system.

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  • Further Reports fiom the 1988 Conferences Professional Branches 139

    (c) Min-On Music Library

    This kokyo toshokan, established in 1974, is a part of the Min-On Music Concert

    Association, a private organization founded by Mr. Daisaku Ikeda in 1963. The Min-On

    Music Library is open to the public free of any charge. Some detailed figures from March

    1988 show the range of activities of Min-On Music Library:

    Books on music 19648

    Scores 33735

    Serial publications 145 Records (audiodiscs) 88008

    Compact discs 5538

    Reproducing piano rolls 728 Ethnic music instruments 230

    Records listened to/year 8000

    Books and scores borrowed/year 35000

    Visitors from 1974 to 1988 153000

    The collections cover classical, ethnic and traditional Japanese music, but not popu

    lar music. Books and scores are circulated, the sound recordings may be listened to only

    at the library. Computers are used in acquisition, circulation and retrieval. A database

    of all collections is being planned: at the moment only books and scores are retrieved

    by computers.

    (d) Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall Library

    This library was established as the first special music library in Japan freely open to the

    public in October 1961. It is a part of Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall, one of the most

    famous concert halls in Japan. It is located in Ueno Park and maintained by the Social

    Education Department. The library has collected music books and scores published in Japan. In March 1988

    there were 12611 volumes of books and 21308 volumes of scores, 168 titles of serial

    publications and hundreds of concert programs from 1961 on. The 38474 audiodiscs and

    3034 compact discs contain classical and ethnic music. Also traditional Japanese music

    is collected, but not popular music. Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall Library is a

    reference library, no part of the collections is free for borrowing.

    Bibliothques de Recherche

    En raison de l'absence de nombreux membres occidentaux, une seule runion avait t

    programme cette anne, consacre aux collections de recherche au Japon.

    Shu-ji Lin a tout d'abord donn un aperu gnral de la situation et prsent son insti

    tution, le Centre de documentation de la musique japonaise moderne de Tokyo. Ce

    centre, cr en 1986 et spcialis dans la musique japonaise depuis la fin du XIXe sicle, est la fois une bibliothque, riche de 21000 documents environ, et un lieu de rencon

    tres et d'animation qui organise concerts, expositions et confrences.

    Mitsue Masaki (Showa Academia musicae de Tokyo) a ensuite parl de la biblio

    thque musicale Nanki et de sa principale collection, la collection W. H. Cummings.

    Ce fonds, qui rassemble une partie significative de la bibliothque du musicologue et biographe anglais de Purcell, est particulirement riche en documents sur la musi

    que anglaise (plus de 400 pices) et contient entre autres des manuscrits de Purcell,

    Handel ... ainsi que plusieurs copies manuscrites du XVille sicle.

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    Article Contentsp. 136p. 137p. 138p. 139

    Issue Table of ContentsFontes Artis Musicae, Vol. 36, No. 2 (April-Juni 1989), pp. 77-164, A1-A4Front MatterEditorial [pp. 77-77]From the President [pp. 78-78]25 Jahre Bibliographische Kommission [pp. 79-84]CD-ROM, Music Libraries, Present and Future [pp. 84-89]Optical mass storage development and its effects on the training of music librarians [pp. 89-95]The Role of the Music Library Association of Japan in the Education of Music Librarians [pp. 95-102]The Venetian Printer Giuseppe Sala: New Information Based Upon Archival Documents [pp. 102-108]Le problme de l'authenticit chez Josquin et les ditions de Petrucci: Une investigation prliminaire [pp. 108-115]Notes sur la Librairie musicale Lyon et Genve au XVIIe Sicle [pp. 116-135]Observations on the Cataloguing of the Basevi Collection [pp. 135-136]Further Reports from the 1988 Conferences in Tokyo, Stockholm &ViennaProfessional BranchesPublic Libraries: Public Music Libraries in Japan Facts and Figures [pp. 136-139]Bibliothques de Recherche [pp. 139-140]International Association of Music Information Centres (IAMIC) [pp. 140-141]

    CommissionsBibliography Commission [pp. 141-143]Commission on Service and Training [pp. 143-143]Project Group on Statistics [pp. 143-143]Project Group on Universal Availability of Publications (UAP) [pp. 143-143]

    Joint CommissionsRIdIM: Report no. 18 [pp. 144-145]

    Related OrganisationsIASA Annual Conference Vienna 1988 [pp. 146-147]

    National Branches [pp. 148-151]Information [pp. 152-153]Comptes-Rendus/Besprechungen/ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 154-154]Review: untitled [pp. 154-155]Review: untitled [pp. 155-156]Review: untitled [pp. 156-157]Review: untitled [pp. 157-157]Review: untitled [pp. 158-158]Review: untitled [pp. 158-159]

    Recent Publications in Music [pp. 159-160]IAML/AIBM/IVMB Directory 19871989 (Revised) [pp. 161-163]Back Matter