November 19 (sat.) Keynote Speech 1

> 日本語

Makoto Nagao/President, National Diet Library (NDL)

The National Diet Library’s Efforts on Creating a Digital Library

      The National Diet Library, or NDL, is the only national library in Japan. Under the Legal Deposit System, all books published in Japan are collected, stored, and made available for use. While our first priority is to assist the National Diet, we also provide a wide variety of services to the general public. There are approximately 37.5 million items in the NDL collection. These include roughly 9.7 million books and 9.7 million magazine volumes, as well as newspapers, Japanese classics, microfilm, records, and more.

      The development of a digital library was begun in 2002, and we acquired a large budget for digitalization in 2009. As a result, the digital library now contains over a million volumes. One can browse the entire collection on-site at the NDL, but because of copyright law restrictions, only works whose copyrights have expired can be made publicly available online. Even so, one can still enjoy old photos of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka; books from the Edo period; picture scrolls, or emakimono; art books; handwritten documents with high historical value; and much more, all on the internet.
      The NDL is also an active contributor to the World Digital Library. The World Digital Library is a system that digitally provides its users with primary materials of significant cultural value from representative institutions all around the world. One can get a valuable sense of a country’s culture through these materials.
      Along with the various technical issues involved in creating digital materials, it will become necessary to consider how to collect not only books and magazines but also voice recordings, music, and videos, as well as audiovisual archives of intangible cultural assets and the processes involved in their creation. Examples would include three-dimensional constructions, festivals, stage performances, and traditional arts and crafts. What kind of metadata may best capture the intended objective when it comes to these items is a question that requires our urgent attention.
      It is important to have an international perspective as well as a domestic one regarding the utilization of all these materials. The NDL has opened a dialogue with the national libraries of China and Korea to allow mutual access to library archives through a mechanical translation system. Like Japan, China and Korea are part of a shared culture of Chinese character use. By organically integrating and utilizing different categories of knowledge on a global scale, we hope to create a knowledge system that can enhance creativity.