Preservation Project of Great East Japan Earthquake-Related Materials
The Institute of Library, Information and Media Science is engaged in conservation work and a research study of materials related to the Great East Japan Earthquake jointly with Futaba Town, Fukushima.
Former inhabitants of Futaba Town have been excluded from the town since it was devastated by the earthquake and the nuclear power plant accident. Ninety-six percent of the area has been designated as “difficult-to-return (uninhabitable zone), and shelters are still left as they were on that days. Based on the First Stage of Town Planning and Reconstruction, Futaba Town is adopting a strategy for collecting and preserving records and memories of the earthquake. In June 2013, the Institute of Library Information and Media Science and Futaba Town’s Board of Education concluded an agreement for cooperatively preserving and studying materials that Futaba Town holds in connection with this unprecedented disaster.
Based on this agreement, the Research Center for Knowledge Communities, which is a research institution affiliated with the Institute of Library, Information and Media Science, has been proceeding with a project to research and preserve earthquake-related materials under the initiative of Professor Tetsuya Shirai. The biggest difference between this approach and other conventional retrieval and digital archival methodologies for cultural assets is on that our focus is on preserving human memories and records of the disaster, which tend to fade from our collective memory. The fundamental mission of the library and information science and archival science is, we believe, to select and preserve valuable records and information for future generations. Therefore, as Japan’s biggest education and research institute in this field, the University of Tsukuba has invested considerable efforts in adapting this project to the university’s programs for reconstruction and support.
For more stories, be sure to visit the “Preserving Futaba Town’s Archive Materials of the Great East Japan Earthquake for Future Generations” website.