Interim Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research meeting held on R&D to Preserve and Utilize Past Reports on Artwork and Types of Image Data: Passing on the Views of Art Historians
On December 20th, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems held an interim meeting on a study funded by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research entitled R&D to Preserve and Utilize Past Reports on Artwork and Types of Image Data: Passing on the Views of Art Historians (principal researcher: Atsushi Tanaka). The Institute is a repository for materials used in its previous projects and reports, photos, and other items donated by the families of former Institute officers. The Department is encouraging the preservation and utilization of these items as research materials. The Department is also encouraging the study and utilization of related materials that had been overlooked in previous art history research. The materials include items that are easily categorized and stored, like printed publications, as well as handwritten notes and sketches, handouts from meetings and conferences, 35-mm slides, and 16-mm film. Organizing these items is difficult, and such items are treated less than reverentially by organizations such as art museums, museums, libraries, and universities. Such items are also extremely rare. The study on R&D to Preserve and Utilize Past Reports on Artwork and Types of Image Data was scheduled to last 4 years starting in 2009, and this year marks the third year of the study. Members of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems and visiting researchers have divvied up the voluminous materials and are organizing them and converting them into digital formats. The interim meeting described which materials were assigned to certain individuals in certain categories, to wit:
EMURA Tomoko is studying Kogabiko (Notes on Old Paintings) during the Showa Period: Using the Papers of TANAKA Ichimatsu in Future Research, SARAI Mai is studying the Papers of KUNO Takeshi, MIKAMI Yutaka (Wako University, visiting researcher in the Department) is studying Documents on Modern Art: Assembling Art Gallery Circulars and Catalogs and Topics for the Future, NAKANO Teruo (visiting researcher) is studying the Papers of YANAGISAWA Taka, WATADA Minoru is studying the Papers of TANAKA Sukeich, and TANAKA Atsushi is studying the Papers of TANAKA Toshio.
There are various databases for each category of material, preventing a full archiving of these cultural properties. To resolve this problem, basic data from the papers of TANAKA Ichimatsu, KUNO Takeshi, and UMEZU Jiro were integrated into a database of books, exhibition catalogs, art journals, original photos, and other items currently in use at the Institute. A simulation was performed with the resulting database (about 635,000 records in total). The database allows simultaneous searches of research materials in various formats and it highlights multiple trends in research. The database will provide new directions for specialized archives. Numerous issues must be dealt with so that the database can serve as a more accurate information-gathering tool, but hopes are to create an archive of cultural properties that can be utilized in various fields of study.