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A Talk by Robert Hegwood (University of Pennsylvania) is now available on YouTube

Mr. Robert Hegwood

We are happy to announce that the lunchtime talk by Robert Hegwood, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and recipient of a 20th Century Japan Research Award, is now available on the Prange Collection’s YouTube channel.   His talk is entitled “Rebuilding Japan’s Image: Japanese Americans and Japan’s Postwar Grassroots Diplomacy.”   It was delivered on September 21, 2017 at the University of Maryland.

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Report from an annual conferences of AAS/CEAL

On March 21 through 25, 2018, several Prange Collection staff members attended an annual conference of Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL) as well as an annual conference of Association for Asian Studies (AAS), held in Washington DC.

At the CEAL conference, Prange Collection Curator, Yukako Tatsumi, presented in two panels.  The first one was entitled, “FAQs on the Gordon W. Prange Collection.” See her presentation slides below.  She then presented with other two Japanese Studies Librarians in the North America for the second part of presentation.  The presentation was entitled “Constructing a Comprehensive Scope of Allied Occupation Resources.”

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In addition, the Prange Collection offered a tour of the Prange Collection to the CEAL members and researchers on March 23.  A total of 22 people visited the Prange Collection in the afternoon for the stack tour, a visit to Nichimy Cooperation’s digitization room (Prange Collection scanning vendor) and the chance to view several original materials.  Thank you very much for those who took time to visit us!

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“Bringing the Archives of Wartime and Occupied Japan to Life: Perspectives from the Public and Private Sectors” – Panel Discussion @ UCLA

On Monday, April 30, at 12-2pm, the UCLA East Asian Library will host a panel discussion event on Japanese archival materials.  This event is sponsored by UCLA East Asian Library and UCLA Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies.  This is also a part of UCLA East Asian Library’s 70th anniversary celebration program.  The title of the panel discussion is “Bringing the Archives of Wartime and Occupied Japan to Life: Perspectives from the Public and Private Sectors.

If you are interested in, please register at http://bit.ly/2qnBLjj.

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Victor Delnore Exhibition at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum

Celebrating the University of Maryland Libraries’ donation of the digital copies of Victor Delnore Papers to the city of Nagasaki, the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum is holding an exhibition, “Victor Delnore Exhibition” between March 9 through July 31, 2018.

For more details, please visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum’s website (Japanese only).


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Visit us on Maryland Day 2018!

Saturday, April 28 is Maryland Day!

It is the University of Maryland’s annual open house event, and we’re celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.  We will offer Origami and Calligraphy tables at the 1st floor of Hornbake Library North from 10am to 4pm.  Come visit us!

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Reports from the iSchool Intern – Processing Mead Smith Karras Papers

[This is a guest post written by Ashley Victoria Haddix, an iSchool Field Studies Intern for Fall 2017 in the Prange Collection.  Also see her personal reflection blog post.]

Mead Smith Karras

During my time with the Prange Collection, I was given the opportunity to process the Mead Smith Karras Papers, a gift collection of her personal and profession papers given by her husband George Karras.

Mead Smith Karras was an Economist for the Labor Division of the Allied Occupation Forces in Japan from 1946 to 1949. Her work helping to establish the Women’s and Minors’ Bureau, as well as working with others to develop policies that enforced the Japanese Fair Labor Standards Act, offer a unique intersection of Women’s History, Labor Rights, and Post-War Japan.

The collection contains official monthly reports that were produced for the General Headquarters for the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, and contain information about wages, labor legislation, union members, labor disputes, and various other details that illustrate the growth and change of the labor force during the rebuilding of Japan.

The collection also contains unique materials like the kamishibai (“paper theater stories”) and posters created by the Labor Division to illustrate safety in the workplace to minor workers and promote conferences for women to attend to learn about advocating for themselves to their unions. There are also letters written to Mead Smith Karras by the women field representatives of the Women’s and Minors’ Union when she departed Japan in 1949 that express their gratitude for the support she had given them during her time in Japan. These pieces show that not only was she effective in developing and implementing policy, but also in developing relationships with the women and workers in the field.

The Mead Smith Karras papers offer an in depth look at an important facet of Post-War Japan and complement several other gift collections within the Prange Collection.

More information about the collection can be found in the finding aid:


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Featured labor-related item: “Fujin mondai ni tsuite”

In conjunction with the exhibition, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America,” we will be featuring labor-related materials from the Prange Collection. The exhibit, which draws upon materials from the labor collections in Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Maryland, will be on display in the Maryland Room Gallery on the 1st Floor of Hornbake Library North through July 2018.

March is Women’s History Month.  Today, we’re featuring Fujin mondai ni tsuite/婦人問題について [About women’s issues] by Yamakawa Kikue/山川菊榮 (Prange Call No. HD-0674).

The Chiba Prefecture Labor and Labor Education Department/千葉縣勞政課勞働敎育係 published this short pamphlet in 1948.  It was the first issue in the Chiba-ken Rodo Kyoiku Pamphlet/千葉縣勞働敎育パンフレット series.  It contains a lecture by Yamakawa,  Head of the Women and Minors Bureau of the Ministry of Labor, which she gave in 1947.  In the talk, she addressed issues that affected women and offered practical advice.  For example, on page 5, she regretfully stated that it was to some degree each person’s fault that Japan was in such a miserable state, saying:


Then, she claimed that it was women’s responsibility to recover from the current situation by unifying and by working together for better working conditions.

婦人は政治の動き、社會の進む方向をよく注意し、よく理解して選擧權を行使し議員を監視しなければなりません….. 婦人は婦人の地位の向上のため、勞働條件の改善のため、組織の力をもち、政黨や勞働組合や婦人團體を通じて活動しなければなりません

In addition, when asked about the different culture and responsibilities between working women and women staying at home, she answered:


“Fujin mondai ni tsuite” has been digitized and is available onsite in the Maryland Room in Hornbake Library and onsite at the National Diet Library of Japan (NDL) through NDL’s Digital Collection.