Bodies and Structures 2.0: Deep-Mapping Modern East Asian History


Librarians played a crucial role in serving the library patrons. They were also gatekeepers to the library resources.

In his essay, Guo Xuehu mentions how librarians would show him books from the special collection (tokubetsusho). Books from the special collections were marked as toku (special) next to their call number in the catalogue. Many of such books were lavishly published volumes with reproductions, such as the Shinbi taikan (Selected Relics of Japanese Art), Nihon kokuhō zenshū (National Treasures of Japan), or the annual catalogues of the official salon in Tokyo. To view these books, a patron needed to obtain a special permission from the library's director and provide a justification (Taiwan Sōtokufu Toshokan 1939, 12).

Librarian Liu Jingou (1904-1989) helped Guo Xuehu obtain this special permission. Liu is also known to have helped writer Long Ying-zong (1911-1999) to access the library collections (Lin 2008, 27). Liu worked at the library from 1918. In 1942, he received an award from Japan Library Association (Nihon Toshokan Kyōkai) for his continuous meritorious service (Okamura 2014, 170). He continued to contribute to the library well after his retirement in 1969. (To learn more about his life see Zhang 1987). 

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