The Freer|Sackler Library, Smithsonian Libraries, has a collection of illustrated Japanese books, which includes over 1,100 volumes, most from the personal collection of Charles Lang Freer (1854-1929), the founder of the Freer Gallery of Art. The Library’s collection also includes a group of sixty-seven more recently added Meiji-period Japanese rare books collected by Robert O. Muller and bequeathed to the Arthur M.Sackler Gallery.
Thanks to the generous support offered by the Anne van Biema Endowment the Freer|Sackler Gallery and the Freer|Sackler Library have completely digitized the Library’s holdings of Japanese illustrated books.
As part of a collaborative endeavor, the Galleries and the Library are digitally uniting their respective collections. This provides a useful tool for researchers and book enthusiasts to easily access the Freer|Sackler holdings, as well as study and compare different editions and imprints of illustrated books produced in the Edo and Meiji periods.
In addition to this link to the Freer|Sackler Library’s digital collections page, individual related volumes within the Pulverer and Library collections will link to each other. Currently scholars have identified and linked ten books that have a copy in each collection.