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東京大学新図書館計画

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The current General Library was built in 1928, courtesy of a 4 million yen donation from John Rockefeller Jr., after the original structure was destroyed by fire in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923. Putting the lessons from the fire into practice, it was constructed with a robust steel-reinforced concrete frame and its exterior design took on gothic elements, complete with arches. As the building is endowed with such historical significance, the New Library Plan will only renovate the interior whilst preserving the existing structure and exterior. This will establish a bright and open space for the stacks, helping to create an environment that is comfortable and conducive to browsing, reading and research.
The historical overview of the library is  here  periodized into two separate eras: “pre-earthquake” and “post-earthquake”. The latter is then further divided into a “reconstruction” phase and the years”during and after the war”.

Chronological History of the University of Tokyo General Library

1877

Chronological History of the University of Tokyo General Library Chronological History of the University of Tokyo General Library.

1892

A new brick-built library (the Imperial University of Tokyo Library) is constructed. 

photograph just before or after c.1892 photograph just before or after c.1892 photograph just before or after c.1892

1892

photograph of Stacks that are added

To deal with the significant increase in new acquisitions, in 1907 further stack space is added.

1923

photograph of library destroyed by fire. The library is completely destroyed by fire in the Great Kanto Earthquake and the majority of its holdings, totaling 760,000 at the time, are reduced to ashes. 

1928

The library is rebuilt with funds donated by J. Rockefeller Jr. Following the disaster, a large number of book donations begin to be received from both within Japan and abroad.

photograph of library that is rebuileding. Library rebuild donated books

1945

The library manages to escape being damaged by the Pacific War air raids that destroyed large parts of Tokyo.

Late 1960s

As part of reforms carried out by the library president, Hideo Kishimoto, large-scale renovations are undertaken to improve the functioning of the library and reference rooms are newly added. Following this, it is renamed ‘General Library’. 

1st floor about Late 1960s Late 1960s

c.1985

Large-scale renovations of the General Library are undertaken, including expanding the open shelf area and reinforcing the basement stacks.

stacks 3rd floor of stacks 4th floor of stacks

Today

nearest future's new library The New Library Project is in progress.

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