Columbia University Libraries and Waseda University Library, Japan Sign Memorandum of Understanding

June 20, 2002 - Columbia University Librarian James G. Neal and Professor Michitaro Urakawa, Director of Waseda University Library, signed a memorandum of understanding between their libraries on May 30, 2002 at Waseda University in Tokyo. It outlines terms and conditions of agreement between the two institutions regarding cooperation in materials exchange, information assistance, interlibrary loan, digital initiatives, staff exchanges and network building.

This agreement extends the cooperation the two have enjoyed through the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Global Resources Japan Project and a long period of personal contacts and will continue through the new Global ILL Framework initiative.

The libraries have agreed to cooperate on exchanges of books and journals published by the presses of both institutions and by assisting each other to obtain books, journals and other scholarly information resources, both print and digital, on the basis of equivalent value and mutual benefit. The interlibrary loan agreement expands the existing Waseda /Columbia interlibrary loan arrangements. In addition the two institutions will explore collaborative digital initiatives, conduct staff exchanges, and work together to develop close ties between East Asia and North American libraries and their institutions.

James Neal signed the agreement when he was in Japan addressing a conference on the future of scholarly publishing. "We are especially pleased to have a direct memorandum of understanding with Waseda University, one of the world's leading institutions of higher learning. They are a valuable academic library partner in Japan and in Asia," he said about the agreement.

Waseda University Library was established in 1882 when the university was founded as Tokyo Senmon Gakko. A new Central Library building opened in 1991 to commemorate Waseda University's centennial. There are 28 libraries at the University including the Central Library, four Campus Libraries, and school libraries or reading rooms for students and faculties that are attached to each school and institute. With more than 4.5 million volumes, 46,000 serials, Waseda University houses one of the largest library collections in Japan and has central services supporting various information needs on and off-campus. Waseda University Library web site is at:

Columbia University Libraries is the nation's eighth largest academic library system, with 7.5 million volumes, 49,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats. The collections are particularly strong in humanities and history, architecture, East Asian and other Area Studies materials, oral history, theater, and original materials in English and American literature and history. The collections and services are organized into 22 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. The Library's web site is a gateway to the print and electronic collections and services.

written: 06/21/02 KRS