Japanese National Diet Library

    Keywords: Culture & History

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

Online viewing without login

You can view many of the library's Go books at their [ext] Digital Collection (English page, new interface with much better full-text search from Dec 2022).

Advanced Search by 'Available without login' and NDC (Nippon Decimal Classification)=795 (Igo) produces ~550 results, from 1875 to 1947. Excluding doubles and Renju books, ~400 old Go books are available online as of 2022. For examples, use the "Referenced by" links on the left column of this page.

Note on Copyright: Publications in this category are in the public domain (PD) except for some materials. On the material's page, click the lower-left "Metadata" and see "Use" field on the right. If the field contains the word "満了" (expiration), the material is in the PD. "許諾" (permission by the author) or "裁定" (government-licensed orphan works) means the material may not be in the PD.

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 on Copyright: These publications are generally copyright protected, at least partly. In other words, some parts of them may be in the PD. When a work is confirmed as in the PD from cover to cover, it is transferred to the 'Available without login' 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 Nov 2023):

  • USA:
    • C.V. Starr East Asian Library, University of California, Berkeley
    • Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • University of Iowa Libraries
  • Belgium: Library of Arts and Philosophy - Ghent University
  • Ireland: University College Cork Library
  • Italy: Istituto Giapponese di Cultura Biblioteca, Roma
  • Spain: Biblioteca de Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Israel: Bloomfield Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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 21, 2023 - 03:50
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