Scholarly inquiry into any distant culture is considerably promoted when the materials on which it is based are made proximate to the inquiring scholar. The library, for a student of foreign things, is normally a sine qua non; for the work of U.S. scholars and students in Japanese studies, the collections surveyed here are a fundamental resource. Universities and centers sponsoring Japanese studies ought therefore to pay special attention to improving and maintaining them, and this publication represents part of the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies' effort toward that end.
Two surveys of note have considered academic programs on Japan at U.S. colleges and universities. The first, under the auspices of SSRC-ACLS, was published in 1970; the second, prepared for the Subcommittee of Japanese studies of the American Panel of CULCON, was published in 1977. Neither was directed particularly at the library collections supporting the programs, although both pointed to the importance of such holdings. After a workshop which it sponsored for Japanese collection librarians August 28-30 1978, in Washington D.C., the Japan-United states Friendship Commission was moved to assist an in-depth survey of the particular and general state of the research collections in this country.
This volume contains the report of that survey, which provides librarians and others concerned with collection and service development with the kind of comparative data that is usually a spur to ambition. But the surveyors, sponsors, and others involved in the completion of this work are convinced that the future development of these valuable collections depends on cooperation in services and coordination of acquisitions among them. To see themselves here gathered between two covers in itself an achievement promising well for future cooperation. [preface]