North America - U.S.A.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign -- Phase 2 --


Asian Collections in Rare book and Manuscripts Library


Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 346 Library, MC-522, University of Illinois, 1408 W. Gregory, Urbana, Illinois 61801 USA


Hotchkiss, Valerie
Director of Rare Book and Manuscript Library and Professor of Medieval Studies
Tel: +1 217 333 7292
Fax: +1 217 244 1755
Witt, Steven W
Head of International & Area Studies Library, Interim Japanese Studies Librarian
Tel: +1 217 265 7518
Fax: +1 217 333 2214
Oono, Yuriko
Senior Library Specialist
Tel: +1 217 265 8192
Fax: +1 217 333 2214

Size of collection

Books: 5,000 titles
Manuscripts: 2,900 titles
Maps: 2,500 titles
Single-Sheet Items: 800 titles

Collection description

Mostly (woodblock) printed books with several maps, manuscripts and a scroll.
A large portion of the Japanese Collection came from the collection of Joseph K. Yamagiwa (1906-1968)

History of the collections

A large portion of the Japanese Collection came from the collection of Joseph K. Yamagiwa (1906-1968), a leading scholar and professor of Japanese at the University of Michigan. Professor Yamagiwa's collection, purchased in 1969, contained 1800 volumes, divided between the Asian Library and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Now Asian Library is combined with main stacks collection.

*Yamagiwa, Joseph Koshimi, (1906-1968)
Professor of Japanese at the University of Michigan, was a leading scholar in the field of Japanese language and literature. Professor Yamagiwa authored and edited many works in the field of Japanese language and literature. He served as a head of the Department of Far Eastern Languages and Literature of the University of Michigan as nearly ten years. During World War II, Professor Yamagiwa served the Army by holding various positions related to Japanese Language programs. Majority of his book collection consisted of items on Japanese language, literature, and history. He was especially interested in seventeenth century editions of classical Japanese literature and contemporary editions of eighteenth and nineteenth century literary works.

To celebrate the achievement of reaching 13-million books in our collections in 2012, the University of Illinois acquired the Ise Monogatari (or Tales of Ise), the first illustrated Japanese printed book (Sagabon ; kokatsujiban).

Access to bibliographic data

Online catalogues
OPAC (minimum data only)

How can researchers gain access to the material?

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is located on the third floor (Room 346) on the north side of the Main Library at 1408 W. Gregory Drive in Urbana, Illinois. There is a metered parking lot with an entrance off 6th Street (one-way toward north) between Armory Avenue and Gregory Drive. Researchers must register before using materials in our collections.
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library Registration Form may be printed and filled-out in advance or in person at the library. Registration is NOT required by patrons wishing to view exhibits or consult our reference collection.
If you wish to consult with a Curator before your arrival, please contact them at "Ask a Curator."
The Library reading room is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:45 pm.

Is reproduction of the material permitted ?

All copying of material in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is done by digital photography or scanning. Standard fees are currently a $30 labor fee per item request, with an exposure charge of $2.00 a piece for all images made after the first. Large-scale orders may incur additional media and labor fees. Order prepayment is required. The default mode of delivery is via If FTP delivery is preferred, you must provide your own FTP site.
To make a request, please fax or send a completed Reproduction Request Form to us at: (217) 244-1755, or mail to: The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Attention: Reproduction Orders, University of Illinois Library, Room 346, 1408 West Gregory Dr. Urbana, IL 61801
Please allow at least ten days for the fulfillment of orders. Rush service cannot be guaranteed.
For further information about other digital services in the University of Illinois Library, please click for a full schedule (PDF) of fees and services offered by the library's Digital Content Creation unit.
Price and additional information are found at