Europe - Germany

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
Preußischer Kulturbesitz, East Asia Department -- Phase 2 --


Library Home Page: East Asia Department


East Asia Department, Potsdamer Strasse 33, 10785 Berlin, Germany


East Asia Department
Tel: +49 (0)30 266 436 001
Fax: +49 (0)30 266 336 001

Ursula Flache (Ms)
Head of the Japan Section
Tel: +49 (0)30 266 436 100
Fax: +49 (0)30 266 336 001

Christian Dunkel (Mr)
Special Subject Librarian for Japan
Tel: +49 (0)30 266 436 106
Fax: 49 (0)30 266 336 001

Size of collection

The collection comprises approximately 700 titles with slightly more than 3000 volumes including printed books, manuscripts, maps and painted handscrolls. 500 titles have been catalogued already (please see below).

Collection description

The collection of pre-modern Japanese material contains about 700 titles, the oldest of them the Hyakumantō darani of 764-770 AD. It includes examples of early printing from Buddhist monasteries (Nara-ban, Tōdaiji-ban, Kasuga-ban, Gozan-ban, Negoro-ban, Kōya-ban) and some Saga-bon, but the majority of the material are printed books, maps and manuscripts from the Edo-period from all genres. There are also some very fine narrative handscrolls executed in the style of Nara e-hon.

Access to bibliographic data

A)Online catalogues
The OPAC of the East Asian Department
All titles from the printed catalogue compiled by Eva Kraft are included here. The remaining pre-modern material is constantly added. If you want to browse the entire pre-modern collection, please switch to the English version of the site, select "subject heading" as search area and enter the term 貴重書.

B)Printed catalogues
Detailed catalogues of the major collections of pre-modern materials in Germany were compiled by the late Dr. Eva Kraft between 1980 and 1990 and published in 5 volumes by Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, as: Japanische Handschriften und traditionelle Drucke aus der Zeit vor 1868 / beschrieben von Eva Kraft. (Verzeichnis der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland / im Einvernehmen mit der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. Im Auftrag der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen. Bd. 27). Vol. 1: Im Besitz der Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin, Staatsbibliothek und Staatliche Museen, Kunstbibliothek mit Lipperheidescher Kostümbibliothek, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Museum für Völkerkunde Stuttgart , 1982, ISBN: 3-515-03481-1 (The catalogue lists only material acquired up until 1981.)

How can researchers gain access to the material?

To gain access to the collection users need a valid reader pass. Information on how to obtain a pass can be found on the website of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
The material can be viewed in the special reading room of the Oriental and East Asia Department from Monday to Friday between 9 am and 3 pm.
Please contact the East Asia Department in advance about the material you wish to see. The request needs to be made at least one day in advance.

Select bibliography of publications about the collections (books, articles)

  • Kraft, Eva. Illustrierte Handschriften und Drucke aus Japan. 12-19. Jahrhundert. Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1981
  • Kraft, Eva: "The Japanese collection in the Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz' in Berlin". In: Japan Forum, vol. 3, no. 2, 1991, p. 211-220
  • 『西ベルリン本お伽草子絵巻集と研究』エヴァ・クラフト、北村浩、沢井耐三編者, 豊橋: 未刊国文資料刊行会、1981(未刊国文資料 ;第4期第10冊)
  • 『ベルリン東洋美術館』 平山郁夫、 小林忠編著, 東京 : 講談社、1992(秘蔵日本美術大観; 7)

Is reproduction of the material permitted ?

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin does not allow users to photograph items themselves, but provides a full reprographics service. Details can be found on our website.
Images from items included in the catalogue by Eva Kraft can be found online in the digital collections of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin or through the OPAC (please see above).
In case of reproduction for publication purposes please contact the East Asia Department for more details.