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Introduction of the Ryukoku Libraries


Introduction of the Ryukoku Libraries

The history of Ryukoku University begins in 1639 (Kan’ei 16) with the establishment of the student hostel “Gakuryo” within the Nishi Hongwanji Temple grounds, and more than 375 years have passed since that time.

The oldest documentation shows the acquirement of the “Kusharonshakujujogisho” in 1651 and, shortly afterwards in approximately 1652, it was documented in the “Gakushotai shuishoku seihojo” that a librarian was present to manage the reference collection. In subsequent years, "Gakuryo" made the transition to "Gakurin", and according to information that has been passed down, in approximately 1955 (according to the lunar calendar), a library which not only gathered materials but also provided lending services was developed.

Entering into the 1890's, a campaign was initiated with the aim of becoming the world's largest public Buddhist library. As per the resolution of the Myounyo Suzerain, the donation of the majority of the book collection of successive generations of Nishi Hongwaji Temple Suzerains, "Shaji Dai Bunko" (approximately 30,000 volumes), took place in 1892 (Meiji 25) and 1904 (Meiji 37). From this point, the library was at once in ownership of a large number of materials of superior value. These precious documents owned by the university were digitized in approximately 1998 and have subsequently been made publicly available on the internet.

In March 1908, an independent library was constructed with donations made by the followers of the Nishi Hongwanji Temple. (This building, "the Green House", was dismantled and reconstructed on the Seta Campus, where it is presently called the "Jyushinkan" and used as a building for worship.) Afterwards, with the growing collection of materials, the Omiya Library was completed in 1936 (Showa 11). In 1948 (Showa 23), the "Chuo Ajia Seiiki Bunka Shiryo (Cenral Asia/Western China Civilization materials)", a collection of data from the Otani Expedition, was donated by the Nishi Hongwanji Temple Suzerain. With two volumes of the "Rihaku Sekitoku Ko" (a National Cultural Treasure) and other materials, the Omiya Library had come into possession of a world-class collection.

At the present time, our university library system is being reorganized in conjunction with the expansion of our Faculties and course offerings and is comprised of three libraries: The Omiya Library 【completed in November 1936 (Showa 11); renovation completed in February 2006 (Heisei 18) 】with a collection focused on the Humanities; the New Fukakusa Library 【located in the Wagenkan building; completed in February 2015 (Heisei 27) 】with a collection focused on Intercultural Studies and Sociology; and the Seta Library【located in Otsu-city, Shiga Prefecture; completed in 1989 (Heisei 1) 】with a collection focused on Social Welfare and Natural Sciences. As a comprehensive library covering the fields of Humanities, Society and Nature, including the provision of paper materials and electronic journals to our enrolled students, our main endeavor is to support the study endeavors, education, and research activities of our users.
< Library Holdings: 1,020,000 books(as of 1989【Heisei 1】); More than 2,000,000 books (as of 2014【Heisei 26】) >


Regarding the use of our main collection, as well as our rare documents, please refer to the following link.

Rare document visual database

Regarding procedures for applying to utilize our rare documents


Other Information

【Valuable Library Assets】 and 【Exhibit Illustration】

Library Collection

R-WAVE (Library Collection Online Catalog) 【OPAC】Japanese

R-WAVE (Library Collection Online Catalog) 【OPAC】English

Access・Inquiries

Mail:【o-lib(Omiya), f-lib(Fukakusa), s-lib(Seta)】@ad.ryukoku.ac.jp

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