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National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 193, April 2014

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Hinagiku: NDL's continued efforts to transmit records of
the Great East Japan Earthquake to the future generations

Hinagiku top page
<<Top page of the NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive Hinagiku>>

1. Introduction

It is about one year ago that the NDL Great East Japan Earthquake Archive “HINAGIKU" went into full-scale operation in March 7, 2013. In the third year after the massive earthquake which severely struck Eastern regions of Japan on March 11, 2011, the NDL will enhance its efforts to collect and preserve records of the disaster through Hinagiku.

Hinagiku serves as a portal site to transmit all kinds of records of and lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake to the future generations. In order to contribute to disaster-prevention and damage control measures in the future, it enables an integrated search for records and reports created by public institutions, private organizations and news media, as well as results of academic research conducted by universities, academic societies and research institutions. For the background and the details of Hinagiku, please refer to the paper “National Diet Library's efforts to build the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive and its current status” submitted to the IFLA WLIC 2013.

In this article, we will introduce recent improvements and developments of Hinagiku and our activities regarding archiving of the disaster records and related information.

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2. Enlargement of Hinagiku contents

Since its release last year, Hinagiku has been enlarging search targets and making additions of new records and items in cooperation with related institutions. Started with 21 databases of 16 partner institutions, it now makes searchable about 2.5 million items from the databases of not less than 22 institutions (as of February 2014). Here are some of the databases which recently became available through the Hinagiku website:

<<The East Japan Great Earthquake Sound Archives of the NHK>>
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) has been recording voices of people who experienced the disaster as oral testimony to hand them down to the future generations as well as introducing them through NHK radio programs. The linkage with this sound archive enables access through Hinagiku of 47 voices and 4 recordings of daily life in the affected area as of March 2014.

<<Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center Digital Archives>>
Information and data about nuclear power plant accidents have been collected and accumulated to formulate guidelines on Red Cross activities including voluntary work covering prevention, aid and rescue, and recovery and reconstruction, in preparation for a future nuclear accident. The archive includes records of rescue conducted by the Japanese Red Cross Society after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, and interviews with doctors and nurses of Fukushima Red Cross Hospital, rescue team members from other prefectures, and staff members of the Japanese Red Cross Society branches. 482 documents, 191 photos, 5 videos and others are available as of February 2014.

Photo from the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center Digital Archives: Red Cross relief team helping residents temporarily visiting their homes

<<Red Cross relief team members helping residents temporarily visiting their homes. (from the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center Digital Archives)
Copyright © 2014 Japanese Red Cross Society All rights reserved.>>

<<Aerial photographs (Diagonal photographs)>>
Photographs taken by aircraft from above of coastal areas from Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture to Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, where the earthquake and the tsunami caused heavy damage, are available through Hinagiku. Captured by Aero Asahi Corporation on March 12, 2011, the day after the earthquake, the scenes show clearly the damage caused by the disaster. 344 photos are available as of March 2014.

Photo from the Red Cross Nuclear Disaster Resource Center Digital Archives: Red Cross relief team helping residents temporarily visiting their homes

For the whole list of searchable databases including the above, please see http://kn.ndl.go.jp/static/db.

<<Mouth of Kyu-Kitakami River: buildings around the gulf of Ishinomaki suffer direct damage from tsunami which led to a fire. (Photo provided by the Aero Asahi Corporation) >>

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3. NDL activities and cooperation with other institutions

The NDL has been keen to conduct several kinds of events including symposiums, workshops and meetings on the collection and preservation of records related to the disaster.

A working group consisting of the NDL and university libraries has been discussing promotion of preservation and use of disaster-related records to widely share the experience of affected university libraries. An open session to give the interim report of the working group was held on November 1, 2013. For the details, please see the page in Hinagiku.

On December 13, 2013, the NDL held a workshop on the organization and preservation of documents, photos and videos regarding the disaster. 27 participants from volunteer groups, staff members of local governments and university libraries, etc. learned about the significance of archives and how to treat paper and digital documents, photos and images to construct an archive.

On January 9, 2014, "Seminar about the archives of earthquake disaster: From experiences of New Zealand Canterbury Earthquake and Great East Japan Earthquake" was held in the NDL Tokyo Main Library as a related event to the symposium held two days later. A report of this seminar is available in the same issue of this NDL Newsletter. On January 11, 2014, “International Symposium on the Great East Japan Earthquake Archive: Community memories for the future” was held at Tohoku University, cohosted by the NDL and International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University. Also, presentations including moving images of the symposium and handouts and the record of questions and answers at the seminar are available in Hinagiku.

The NDL has also been cooperating with ministries and agencies to promote coordination between Hinagiku and information held by each ministry and agency as well as with prefectural libraries in the affected area, to enhance the collection, provision and preservation of the records in each library.

“Archives of the Great East Japan Earthquake” is raised in our Objectives 2012-2016. Objective 5 proclaims that “we will continue to develop the Great East Japan Earthquake Archives in order to convey to future generations the records of and the lessons learned from the unprecedented disaster.” To fulfil this goal, we continue to work on improvement of Hinagiku.

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