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Basic Policy for Digitization of National Diet Library's Collections

The National Diet Library (NDL) shows below the basic policy for the digitization of its collections, recognizing that this activity will be increasingly important in the future.

1. Concept of the digitization of the material of the NDL

The NDL aims to build a foundation of knowledge and culture in the society as a whole in cooperation with relevant institutions, in addition to widely collecting and preserving the rich cultural assets of our country which people will be able to utilize in the future. The NDL contributes to creative activities through these efforts.
As part of these efforts, the NDL strives to ensure the financial resources, and promotes the digitization of its collections. The NDL saves the original source material by providing it in digitized form, increases its availability to all people including people with disabilities, and provides convenience of search to build a foundation of knowledge and culture by organic coordination with relevant institutions.

2. Scope of the material to be digitized

Among the NDL’s holdings, the material to be newly digitized is domestic material. As far as books are concerned, the target for the time being is books published before 1980. However, very rare foreign materials and those relating to Japan which have high historical value will also be digitized.

3. Selection of the material to be digitized

Evaluation factors in selecting the material to be digitized are; uniqueness/rarity of the material; material at risk because of its physical condition, urgent need of conservation; expansion of opportunities to use the material; social needs for digitization; contribution to the systematic digital collection development at the national and international level.

4. Method of digitization

For the time being, the NDL creates the image data. However, it converts the table of contents information into text data to be searchable. The suitability of the method of digitization will be reviewed.
In addition, with a view to taking advantage of the minutes of the Diet before World War II and providing text data to the visually impaired, etc., the NDL will carry out experiments for converting the body of the contents into text data and aim to provide access in a phased manner.

5. Utilization of the results of digitization

As cultural assets of our country, the NDL strives to widely and socially utilize the results of the digitization of its holdings. To this end, the NDL endeavors to obtain public understanding in respect of the copyright law, etc.

6. Efforts for building the NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive

The NDL strives to digitize the records of disasters, including the records of the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred in March 2011, to pass them on with certainty to future generations as a lesson to humanity for both home and abroad in cooperation with relevant institutions.

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