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Campus Now

Autumn Issue (Nov.)

Waseda rediscovery

Cover Photograph: Mr. Yoichi Sato (Visiting Assistant Professor at the Art and Architecture School)

cover story

A door protecting cultural assets

A sturdy iron door with a combination lock.

This door, which looks like something from a bank vault, is located in the Special Materials Room of the Central Library.

Tens of thousands of valuable materials are stored behind the door. These materials have been collected by the library since the founding of the Tokyo Senmon Gakko, and include 2 National Treasures and 5 sets of Important Cultural Properties (approx. 200 items).

The library has the duty to preserve every single one of these cultural assets for future generations. Therefore, the library carefully stores the assets in a vault with this kind of formidable door.

However, if materials are simply stored, it is as if they do not exist. Indeed, such materials are truly "dead in storage."

Material truly lives when its existence is recognized and it is used. This is true for any material.

While we carefully store material for future users, we also want materials to be used by people in the present.

For this reason, the library has constructed a database with images of all of these valuable works. This database can be viewed freely by anyone and from any location.

Please enjoy the detailed images which are exceedingly close to the actual materials themselves.

Database of Japanese and Chinese Classics