The Japan Society

Upcoming Events

ARCHIVED The Japanese Maps Collection of the University of Manchester Library: Digitalising a Mapped Society

Monday 17 May 2021 / 6:45pm
The Japanese Maps Collection of the University of Manchester Library: Digitalising a Mapped Society

Monday 17 May 2021
6.45pm (BST)
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Booking Details
Free – Donations Welcome
Registration essential

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The activities of the Japan Society are made possible thanks to the support of its members. This event is free of charge and open to all. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people. However, if you are planning to attend and do not have a membership subscription as an individual or through your employer, please consider making a donation. You can find details of membership and how to join the Japan Society community here.

The Japanese Maps Collection of the University of Manchester Library draws both on a larger Japanese Collection, purchased by the John Rylands Library (now part of the University Library) in 1901, and on the University’s Map Collection. It includes some Japanese and British maps of Japan from the end of the nineteenth century, and a wide variety of Japanese cartographic materials dated from the Edo period (1603-1868). It provides a rich mirror to Edo Japan’s “mapped society” described by scholars, as it holds examples of the majority of the commercial map types that were produced in its context.

This lecture will illustrate the contents of the collection. It will also discuss the new Japanese Maps portal in Manchester Digital Collections: the digitisation process, the creation of the metadata, and how the digitised materials are being used by the library to foster research and public engagement, particularly in the context of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Project Travel in Tokugawa Period Japan (1603-1868): Identity, Nation and Social Transformation led by Dr. Sonia Favi (2019-2021).

* Images: Detail of Enjū Oedo ezu [Map of Edo] Japanese 97 (1860), The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.
Sonia Favi is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the John Rylands Research Institute (The University of Manchester). Her research interests primarily relate to Japan and to the fields of Travel Studies, Cartography, and Historical Bibliography. Before working on the Japanese Collection of the University of Manchester Library, she took part in several projects for the survey and digitisation of early modern Japanese materials in Europe. She was in charge, in particular, of the digitisation of the Marega Collection (Biblioteca Don Bosco, Rome), in collaboration with the Art Research Center of Ritsumeikan University (Kyoto). She is the author of Self through the Other. Production, circulation and reception in Italy of sixteenth-century printed sources on Japan. She is currently researching on the impact of commercial travel literature on social and cultural transformation in nineteenth century Japan.
If you have any questions, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

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