University Library


University Library

The University Library is located to the east of the Mejiro Campus. If you follow the tree-lined path running from the main gate, you will see the library building to your left. It was built in 1964 and was quite famous for its modern design at that time. Over the years, however, the building became rather outdated and the interior of the building was largely remodelled and the exterior also refreshed to give the library a lighter and brighter aspect.

Gakushuin's book collection

Gakushuin's collection of books dates back to 1877, when Gakushuin was opened as a school for young nobles, or rather to 1876, when The Peers' Club, the predecessor of Gakushuin established within itself a compulsory education sector for the children of the nobility. The long history of the collection is demonstrated by the fact that the stamps of The Peers' Club's book bureau appear in many of the books. There are also books contributed by the families of former feudal lords and peers, in which the family stamps can be seen.

Some of the books that had been owned by Old Gakushuin in Kyoto and then been transferred to the Kyoto prefectural government were returned to the university when Gakushuin opened in Tokyo, through the intermediary of the former Ministry of Education (present Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology). Several important books formerly owned by Old Gakushuin, however, are still in the collection of the Kyoto prefectural government. Those returned are mainly textbooks of that age, which are indeed unique historical materials.

Before the Second World War, Gakushuin was a government school under the jurisdiction of the Imperial Household Department and first-class teachers belonged to the school. As such, the school obtained materials from a wide range of fields, including new publications and documents published by governmental agencies. These materials, together with newly published foreign books purchased in the Meiji era, comprise a precious collection.

After the Second World War, Gakushuin made a fresh start as a private educational institution and established a university in 1949. Surviving initial financial difficulties, each faculty and department of the university made efforts to have its own collection of specialized books, which have become their own specialized libraries.

At present, Gakushuin University has about 1.8 million books and journals (as of March 2015). Of these, the University Library stores about 480,000 books. The rest are held separately by the university's faculties and departments, as well as by the auxiliary facilities of the university, such as its research institutes. Although the collection might not appear to be so extensive in terms of the number of books held by today's larger universities, it can be said that Gakushuin University has a relatively large collection of books compared with universities having a similar number of faculties and students.

Valuable materials

The history of the University Library dates back to the Meiji era. The library therefore has many precious historical materials, in addition to its contemporary collection. For example, it keeps the maps of Japan that Ino Tadataka created accurately based on his survey of the country. Also it has a copy of Ise-monogatari (an ancient Japanese tale) made by hand in the Tenpuku era (1233-34); a handmade copy of the Noin version of Makurano-soshi (a renowned Japanese essay from the eleventh century); and the entire collection of Shirakaba, a journal to which Mushanokoji Saneatsu and Shiga Naoya frequently contributed. Regarding important foreign books, the library has a copy of the "Fauna japonica", a book written by Siebold to introduce the animals in Japan to the world, and the "Corpus juriscanonici", a collection of laws established by the medieval Roman Catholic church, among others. Furthermore, the library has a collection of valuable materials, such as those manually copied or printed in and before the 18th century.

Information retrieval

To find the required documents from among the vast number of materials, users of the University Library utilize networked computer terminals. Using an Internet browser, they can retrieve information from the library's database wherever they are, regardless of whether they are within or outside the university, on a 24-hour basis. The catalogue of materials, however, is not completely computerized, users may need to refer to a physical catalogue to find the materials they need.

On the second floor, there is a computerized reading room, where library users can electronically retrieve the required information from the materials held by the university. Also, users can access materials possessed by other universities, educational institutions, and academic research institutes, and can even refer to materials held by overseas universities and research institutes. For example, library users can retrieve and collect information online and download it as reference materials while referring to the physical materials lent by the library. Then based on these materials, students can complete their assignments and send them directly to their tutors by electronic mail, which is available to all students and staff.

Use of the University Library

To Enter / Exit the library

Entrance:  Users must have a student identification card. Touch the card on the machine at the entrance, then the gate will open automatically.

Exit:  Leaving the library, users need a student identification card,too.Touch the card on the machine at the exit, then the gate will open automatically. Please notice that any books they are borrowing must be checked before exiting. Otherwise, users will set off the alarm and the gate will locked.

Within the library

Books on open shelves:  Users have free access to books stored in the open-shelf library room, reference room, journal room, and in the newspaper corner.

Books on closed shelves:  In addition to books stored on open shelves, a lot of materials are stored on closed shelves and in the research library room. For closed-shelf materials, users retrieve the required information using OPAC terminals or the index cards, and then request the materials at the counter located on the ground floor. This enables them to access the materials. By following the required procedures, they can even enter the room where such materials are stored.

Lending service

Procedures for using the service:  The library will lend out its materials to those holding a student identification card issued by Gakushuin University. The holders can make use of the lending service through the automatic ABC (Auto Book Circulation) machine or at the lending counter located on the ground floor.

Reference service


At the reference counter located on the first floor, library users can ask for help in finding the materials and information they require for their studies, research or surveys in the following cases:

・ When they want to find books or papers contributed to journals on a specific theme
・ When they do not know how to use the reference books or the OPAC terminals
・ When the required materials are not available within the university

Opening hours

On weekdays: 8:50 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
On Saturday: 8:50 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Inter-university consortiums

A consortium comprising a number of different universities enables students of Gakushuin University to utilize the libraries of these other universities.

Consortium organized by private universities located along the Yamanote Line

Member universities:  Aoyama Gakuin University, Gakushuin University, Hosei University, Kokugakuin University, Meiji University, Meiji Gakuin University, Rikkyo University, and Toyo University

Students of these universities can utilize the libraries of the other member universities just like the libraries of their own universities.

f-Campus libraries

Member universities:  Gakushuin University, Gakushuin Women's College, Japan Women's University, Rikkyo University, and Waseda University

By presenting their f-Campus cards and student's identification cards, students of the member universities can utilize the libraries of other member universities. Please note that this is limited to the libraries of the universities where they are attending classes under the f-Campus system, which enables the exchange of credits among the member universities.

Libraries of four universities

Member universities:  Gakushuin University, Musashi University, Seijo University, and Seikei University

Students of these universities can utilize the libraries of the other member universities just like the libraries of their own universities.

Japan Woman's University

Member universities:  Gakushuin University, Japan Woman's University

Students of these universities can utilize the libraries of the other member universities just like the libraries of their own universities.

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