The Edo period (1600-1868) in Japan was a time of prolonged peace. Ruling under an isolationist foreign policy (Sakoku) and with no civil wars, the Tokugawa Shogunate government focused on more »
Tag: Freer Sackler Gallery Library
We wish you warmth and joy this holiday season! The book featured in this video is Tokaido gojusantsugi by Hiroshige Ando published in 1868. The translated title is 53 Stations more »
In addition to his art collection, Charles Lang Freer gave a substantial number of books from his personal library to the Smithsonian Institution. These books are wide ranging in subject matter including not only Asian and American Art but also mythology, anthropology, auction catalogs, and travel guides. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library staff has been working to find them in its collection and identify Mr. Freer’s books in the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS).
A few months ago, a book from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library came for treatment to the Book Conservation Lab: Home Life in Tokyo. Our copy, printed in 1911, is a softback binding, common for Japanese publications, and according to the bibliographic record, it was “issued in a portfolio.”
The book itself was in very good condition, however, after many years of protecting the soft-backed book, the portfolio enclosure had become damaged and was no longer functional. One spine piece of the structure had completely failed at its hinges; the decorative printed cloth and the paper linings had broken. The spine cloth fortunately was saved and sent along with the item.
The Freer | Sackler Library of the Smithsonian Libraries have completed digitizing over 1100 volumes/41500 images from its collection of illustrated Japanese woodblock-printed books and manuscripts from the Edo and Meiji periods (1600-1912). The Libraries’ digitization project was generously funded by the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund.
This post was contributed by Matt Alt. Matt is the co-founder of AltJapan Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based localization company that specializes in producing the English versions of Japanese games, manga, and other entertainment. Together with Hiroko Yoda he is the co-author of Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide, and the upcoming Japandemonium Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien which features images from the Smithsonian Libraries volumes of Toriyma Sekien’s works.
This post was written by Keala Richard, intern in the Freer|Sackler Library during the summer of 2016. Keala is currently working towards a Masters in Library and Information Science at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
When I was a teenager, I spent countless afternoons gossiping and scheming with my best friend under the watchful eye of Mughal royalty. Her family’s collection of miniatures, stripped of their gilt borders and in many cases missing in-painting, still struck me as the most beautiful pieces in her parents’ massive collection of Indian art. Whenever I would sneak down the hall for midnight slumber party refrigerator raids, I would always stop and admire the princes and princesses painted in profile. When I first learned that I was awarded the Smithsonian Minority Awards Program Internship, I marveled at the serendipity of being selected for the Freer|Sackler Library’s Mughal Wikipedia Project. I would get to learn more about the gilded nobility on my best friend’s wall.