Japanese National Diet Library


The Japanese National Diet Library is the national library of Japan and contains many go (and other) materials.

Public Domain books

You can view many of the library's Go books at their [ext] Digital Collection (English page).

Advanced Search by 'Available online' and NDC (Nippon Decimal Classification)=795 (Igo) produces ~600 results, from 1800 to 1942, with all copyrights expired. Excluding doubles and Renju and (misclassified) Shogi books, ~300 old Go books are available online as of 2022. For examples, use the "Referenced by" links on the left column of this page.

Transmission Service

In 2022, the library started the "Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals/Libraries", though its use is limited to residents in Japan and registered libraries in or outside of Japan. This service adds ~800 more Go books (up to 1972) and ~750 old magazine issues available. Examples:

Note that these publications are generally copyright protected, at least partly. In other words, some parts of them may be in the public domain. When a work is confirmed as in the public domain from cover to cover, it is transferred to the 'Available Online' pool above.

English page on the service for Librarians overseas: [ext] https://www.ndl.go.jp/en/library/dcts/index.html

In addition to more than 1,300 libraries in Japan, the following overseas libraries participate in the service (as of October 2022):

  • USA: C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley
  • USA: University of Iowa Libraries
  • Belgium: Library of Arts and Philosophy - Ghent University
  • Italy: Istituto Giapponese di Cultura Biblioteca, Roma
  • Spain: Biblioteca de Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

In these libraries, only viewing is allowed. Making hard copies on the spot is prohibited at the moment (there are plans to allow printing in the future). Meanwhile...

Photocopying Service

You may request the Diet Library for hard copies of these digitized materials by mail or e-mail. They are delivered by mail or courier services. See [ext] https://www.ndl.go.jp/en/copy/remote/overseas.html.


The library contains about 300 old Go books donated by Segoe Kensaku as the "Segoe Igo Library", most of which are accessible through above services.

In addition, its website hosts [ext] an article on Go literature with many photos of books and picture scrolls (Japanese, five pages in all).

See also

Japanese National Diet Library last edited by hnishy on November 16, 2022 - 02:01
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