April 3, 2000 Japan Documentation Center Closes on March 31

Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

The Japan Documentation Center (JDC) within the Library of Congress Asian Division closed its doors on March 31 at the conclusion of eight years of funding from the Japan Foundation's Center for Global Partnership. The JDC has provided researchers throughout the world with the most current, often difficult-to-obtain, information about Japan in a wide range of areas, including legislation, judicial decisions, economics, commerce and industry, the environment, politics, social conditions, and national defense.

"During its years of operation, the JDC has built a unique collection of more than 5,000 documents including draft legislation, think tank reports, policy studies and white papers, conference proceedings, and other social science materials on Japan," said Asian Division Chief Mya Thanda Poe. "The center has provided important, timely, on-demand information from Japan to the U.S. Congress and congressional committees."

The center's primary user was Congress, whose information needs are served by the Library's Congressional Research Service (CRS). CRS was instrumental in developing the center's first database of full-text scanned images. This database was later maintained by the Library's Federal Research Division, which continued to make the documents accessible electronically.

The center sponsored annual symposiums that featured leading scholars in the field of Japanese studies. In 1997, it jointly sponsored the Fifth International Conference on Japanese Information with the Department of Commerce. The center also offered workshops that introduced participants to conducting research in the JDC, many of whom were unfamiliar with the use of Japanese sources. It published newsletters, both printed and online, to keep users informed of current developments in the field.

Plans to establish the Japan Documentation Center began with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Library and the Japan Foundation's Center for Global Partnership that was signed on May 1, 1992. With funding from a five-year grant from the Japan Foundation, the center officially came into being that year. In November 1993, the Library established a Tokyo Acquisitions Facility to collect documents from issuing organizations. On March 7, 1994, Ichiko Morita was appointed head of the center. On April 1, 1997, a three-year grant extended the operation of the JDC to March 31, 2000.

The JDC collection will be maintained by the Japanese Section of the Library's Asian Division. Researchers can continue to search the JDC bibliographic index through the Library's Web site at http://www.loc.gov/rr/asian.


PR 00-049
ISSN 0731-3527