Preserving History in the Wake of Disaster


Hiroshi Okumura

(Overview of Documents and Japanese Disasters and case of Kobe Disaster, Community Outreach Center, the Kobe University)

Helen Hardacre

(History and Overview, The Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters Project, Harvard University)

Konrad Lawson

(Creations, Collaborations and Challenges, The Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters Project, Harvard University)  

Date: March 27th, 2012, 2:15 – 6:00PM

Place: International Room (1F) at Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University

Figure: Ansei Kenmonshi  安政見聞誌 (Record of observations in the Ansei era) about events of the time of the Ansei earthquake in 1855.  The earliest donation of a Japanese book to East Asia Library from Miss Myra Higgins, White Lake, Mich. in 1868. 

Sponsored by The Council on East Asian Studies at Yale (CEAS) and Standing Committee of Professional Awareness (SCOPA), Yale East Asia Library is organizing a symposium on archives related to disasters in Japan to commemorate the first anniversary of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami last year.

The symposium approaches the study and practice of archiving in a temporal framework, treating with the conservation of historical archives affected by the disasters and their aftermath, and the preservation of archives from future disasters, as well as documenting present conditions.  It also explores ways that archives of the future might take a different form, like an archival platform that collects/organizes all aspects of non-material data on Japan’s 2011 and other disasters from World Wide Web and while preserving it.     

To inquire into case studies and their overviews, Yale East Asia Library invites Professor Helen Hardacre from the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University and Mr. Konrad Lawson, the project manager of the Digital Archive at Harvard.  Both Prof. Hardacre and Mr. Konrad have been closely engaging with the Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters Project at Harvard, a highly significant effort involving directly in archiving multi-lingual records on the disasters.

The event also welcomes Professor Okumura Hiroshi, a distinguished historian of modern Japan at Kobe National University; he has been centrally involved in efforts to create an archive of materials related to the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. As head of the Kobe University's "Community Outreach Center" (Chiiki Renkei Sentā), he has also spoken and written on a number of issues related to the preservation of historical materials after major disasters. Since 3.11, he has also been working on lessons from Kobe and comparisons between the two disasters, especially in relation to issues of archiving and preservation.   


2:15-2:30        Introductory remarks by Haruko Nakamura (Yale University Library)
2:30-3:10        Overview of Documents and Japanese Disasters and Case of Kobe Disaster by Prof. Hiroshi Okumura (University of Kobe)
                        *Presentation will be in Japanese followed by translated summary in English
3:10-3:30        Coffee break
3:30-3:50        History and Overview, Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters by Helen Hardacre (Harvard University)
3:50-4:30        Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters project Konrad Lawson (Harvard University)
4:30-5:00        General discussion led by Daniel Botsman  (Yale University)  

In conjunction with the symposium, there is a small exhibition featuring Japanese language materials on the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in the East Asian Reading Room (Sterling Memorial Library Room 222). Visual materials on display have been selected from the Yale Library collections. The exhibit was prepared with the assistance of TSUNODA Takuya, a PhD student in Film Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures, Yale University. The East Asia Library at Yale University is committed to acquiring a variety of resources on all aspects of the disasters of March 11th, 2011.


Subpages (1): 日本語