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Keio's case: distributed collections on campuses

See the collections distributed in Keio University

Let’s explore the various collections at Keio University. Watch Ms.Hasegawa introduce various collections distributed on several campuses.

Keio University, one of the oldest modern universities in Japan, boasts six main campuses and consists of 10 faculties, 14 graduate schools, and several specialized research institutes. One of its unique features is the establishment of 9 affiliated schools, ranging from primary to high school. Various collections have been formed and utilised in such a vast setting where a wide range of domains and communities intersect.

Media Kit
Media Kit Take a closer look

1. Academic collections

For instance, the Keio University Library houses about 10,000 items, including Japanese and Chinese books from periods earlier than the Edo era in Japan and the Song and Yuan dynasties in China, respectively, as well as valuable Western books from before the 17th century, including the Gutenberg Bible. Many of these invaluable materials are available online as digital collections.

Digital Collections of Keio University Libraries
digital collections

Efforts to utilize these valuable books in classes are ongoing, where under expert guidance, students are given opportunities to study these precious materials closely.

Classroom scene
Classroom scene with valuable books (KeMCo Lecture)

Furthermore, the Keio University Art Center, a university research institute, has gathered archive materials of post-war contemporary art in Japan, encompassing performing arts such as dance, poetry, and architecture. It actively collaborates both domestically and internationally, developing its role as a research archive. The Art Space, an exhibition area, continues to host a series of exhibitions focusing on its managed collection, showcasing evolving archives.

The Keio University Art Center has released the following courses on FutureLearn. If you’re interested, please take a look!
Invitation to Ex-Noguchi Room: Preservation and Utilization of Cultural Properties in Universities
Exploring Japanese Avant-garde Art Through Butoh Dance

2. Artwork management as a university organization

A distinct feature of Keio University is the “Keio Art Committee”. Keio Art Committee is a joint undertaking by Keio University Art Center and Keio University’s property management division to inherit, manage, and maintain the art collection. Efforts to identify, share, and consult on art pieces scattered throughout the campuses, and activities such as restoration work are underway. This unifies the university community, and fosters a platform where the art collection is supported.

Activities around the committee
Activities around the committee(research and maintenance of the art collection)

3. Collections for children

In addition to the university, Keio has affiliated elementary, junior high, and high schools. These institutions have cultivated unique collections.

The Science Museum at Keio Yochisha Elementary School houses specimens, minerals, biological and geological materials, and living materials like biotopes. Students have opportunities to encounter natural science collections in their daily school lives.

The Science Museum
The Science Museum

At the Keio Yokohama Elementary School’s Yukichi Fukuzawa Museum, in collaboration with the university’s research centre, the words and materials left by Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835 – 1901), the founder of Keio University, are presented in a way that’s easily accessible to elementary students.

Yukichi Fukuzawa Museum
Yukichi Fukuzawa Museum

Each collection, formed by individual faculties, departments, and sections, is utilized in its own way, from being used in classes, displayed for public viewing, or transformed into digital content. Furthermore, there are also collections tailored to each community.

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Akichi in Collections Management: Perspectives from a Japanese University Museum

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