Library History

1905
The library is established when The Kyoto School of Law and Politics takes on the name Ritsumeikan University.
*At the time, the library was 357㎡. Now it is approximately 23.8 larger at 8530.46㎡.
1924
New library storeroom is constructed.
1925
The library's name is changed to "Ritsumeikan Collection."
*This collection is different from that in which the materials from faculties, staff, and alumni members are displayed.
1937
The Saionji Collection is established.
The Saionji Collection contains items passed down from the Saoinji family, Prince Saionji Kinmochi's private collection, items donated to him, and items purchased and collected at a later date by Ritsumeikan.
In addition to books and serial publications, the collection also contains writings such as letters.
1940
The library receives a donation of 2423 poetry books and 1056 journals from Professor Koizumi Touzou.
The library receives a donation of 2423 poetry books and 1056 journals from Professor Koizumi Touzou. This collection would later be called the Hakuyoso Collection.
Materials for this collection were systematically collected from the Meiji and Taisho eras up until 1945.
An explanatory guidebook that forms the base of this collection is also included.
In addition, here one can find valuable pieces of modern literature such as "Myojo" and "Subaru" from Yosano Akiko/Tekkan.
1942
The library receives a donation from Professor Kako Yujiro of 7181 books and the Kako Collection is established.
Although Professor Kako Yujiro passed away in 1937 at the age of only 33, his tireless efforts produced a multitude of results in the 5-6 years he was actively researching.
Other than his expert level writings on the philosophy of law、Professor Kako's collection contains numerous materials he produced in the fields of policy science, social science and other fields, resulting in the donation of over 1300 books to Ritsumeikan University in 1942.
1945
The Ritsumeikan collection becomes "Ritsumeikan Library"

A view of the library at Hirokoji Campus.
1946
The library extends its operating hours to 8pm.
1947
Ritsumeikan Library changes its name to "Ritsumeikan University Library"

A look inside the library at Hirokoji Campus
1954
Facilities for open shelf browsing are established.
*It may seem obvious to have a system whereby students may browse books freely, but at the time this was a groundbreaking system. The number of users per day impressively increased to over 500.


A view of the reading room in 1953. At the time, the Kinugasa Library had not been established, and the library was on the 2nd floor of the Kenshinkan building.
1957
Establishment of the Suekawa Collection.
This collection contains more than 12000 books from Former Chancellor Suekawa Hiroshi including a complete collection of his own literary works and additional materials on the study of Civil Law from the Taisho and Showa eras.
Finally, among the western books in the collection are a number of older materials obtained while carrying out studies overseas.
1959
Establishment of the Ritsumeikan Collection (contains materials from Ritsumeikan University faculties, staff, Ritsumeikan Publishing Group, etc.
1961
Release of "Toshokan-Tayori".
1962
Extends opening hours until 9pm.
Release of "Toshokan-Tayori".
1967
Completion of the new central library at Kinugasa.
This becomes the Ritsumeikan library which remains today as the main library at Kinugasa, containing browsing rooms on floors 1 and 2.


View of the front of Kinugasa Library. Construction of the library was completed in 1967, and all of the materials were moved from the Hirokoji library by 1981. Currently there are over 1,800,000 books in the Kinugasa Library.
1974
Release of "Toshokan-Dayori".
1977
Completion of the 3rd floor browsing room.
1978
The library begins operating on Sundays.
1981
Hirokoji branch library closes to coincide with the completion of the transfer of books to the new library at Kinugasa. Audio-visual room is established.
All university resources are focused in one location and moved to Kinugasa.
1986
Implementation of a computerized circulation management system.

Library users are able to borrow materials by bringing a book and their library card to the library counter.
*Until this system was implemented, library users were required to fill out a form where they write their student number and the book's number for each book they borrow, therefore with the implementation of this system, borrowing became much simpler.

1990
Library search database RUNNERS is implemented.
The card catalog system ends and students are able to search the entire library database by providing information about the book title and author.
In the beginning there was a database consisting of 90000 books, with 21000 journals and annuals.


Here is the introductory screen for the first version of RUNNERS in 1990. Because computer mice were not used at the time, navigation was done completely by keyboard.
1994
Establishment of the BKC Media Center

The BKC Media Center was completed along with the expansion and relocation of the College of Science and Engineering.
Here, all materials are open to library users to browse freely and quickly.
1995
The multi-media room opens at Kinugasa Library. Library items are stored underneath Gakujikan building.
1996
Kinugasa library increases its operating days, and operating hours are extended until 9:30pm.
Before increasing its operating days, the library was originally closed during summer and winter holidays.
The library reforms its operation policies in an effort to correspond to the 5 day class schedule and revised learning system, thus providing better support for learning and research at Ritsumeikan.

RUNNERS V.2 is released.
The new Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) is released on the internet.
Library users are now able to check online for books that are being ordered or organized at the library.

The library extends its operating hours to 9:30pm and operating days are also increased.
1998
Establishment of the BKC Media Library. Operating hours of the library are extended to 8pm.

The BKC Media Library is completed with the expansion and relocation of the College of Economics and the College of Business Administration.
1999
An open computer room is put in place on the first floor of Kinugasa Library.
Core database provision service is started.
2000
APU Library established. The Media Center's first floor newspaper/journal reading room is expanded. Kinugasa Library's hours of operation are extended until 10pm.

RUNNERS version 3 begins operation.
RUNNERS is integrated with the APU academic information system.
Users are now able to make online reservations and back order requests.
2001
The Shugakukan Research Library is established, and the Shugakukan 1st floor communal reading room is expanded.
Reference librarian assigned. Shugakukan and the Arts & Humanities Library are open on Saturdays. Student library staff members are introduced.
2003
Renewal of all computers in open computer rooms. As part of library renovation, the Kinugasa reading room receives 240 new seats and the group reading rooms are outfitted with plasma displays.


Current view of the 2nd floor reading room at Kinugasa Library.
2004
Media Center automated stack system put into operation(Contains 350,000 books.

←View inside the automated stack system



Retrieving a book at the counter.
Rules of use updated.
University-wide recall system introduced.
RUNNERS version 4 begins operation.
RUNNERS cell phone access begins operation.
Begins provision of My Library service(Cross-Search functions including databases purchased by Ritsumeikan, and an online service for creating your own personal online journal list.)
Library users are able to search library databases from their cell phone.

Users are able to connect to NACSIS-Webcat and more easily search items outside of the university.
Kinugasa Library and the Media Center are equipped with automatic book loan machines.

Similar to taking out books at the counter, when using the machine you need only your student/faculty/staff ID card.
However, when returning books, please be sure to return them to the counter.
2005
Ritsumeikan Library holds its 100th anniversary memorial symposium: "The future of university libraries, the future of books" and the exhibition "Shirakawa Shizuka and Ritsumeikan."
The library publishes a special 100th anniversary edition paper, "Sogo-Joho Center Dayori."
2006
The library begins sending out advance notices to faculties and graduate students regarding book returns. The Suzaku Research Library is established.
The library begins sending out advance notices to faculties and graduate students regarding book returns. The Suzaku Research Library is established. Introduction of electronic journal management tools. Media Center and Media Library is open to middle and high school students who are on holidays.
"Sogo-Joho Center Dayori" is remained "Toshokan Dayori" after issue 102.
2007
The Ritsumeikan University library 100th anniversary exhibition and symposium is held, entitled "Ritsumeikan and its Writers" "Ritsumeikan Dayori" issue 104 acquires the new name "Library Navigator."
Establishment of "Dokugaku" books
2008
RUNNERS version 5 begins operation. A network-type entrance gate is introduced. Ritsumeikan Research Repository "R3 (R-Cube) " begins operation.
OElectronic journal search function from OPAC and cell phone loan extension function are implemented.
"Dokugaku" book selection by students is started.
The exhibition of "Recommended Books by Faculties" is started.
2009
The budget execution system of research books is changed.
The Saeki Chihiro Collection is established.
"Life Science Academic Lounge" is established in Media Center.
Extends opening hours from 8:30am.
The stack of Kinugasa Library is opened to undergraduate students.
2010
Reserve books system is started.
E-DDS(Electronic Document Delivery Service) is started.
E-Guidance on information retrieval "RAIL(Ritsumeikan Academic Information Literacy)" begins operation.
The Shirakawa Shizuka Collection is established, and the memorial exhibition is held.
The links to library map from RUNNERS results are added.
The drink policy is adopted.
2011
Learning Commons "Peer Learning Room" is established at the Kinugasa library.

The library mascot "Yomurisu" is designed.
The valuable books at the library is digitized. (Digital Collection)
An audiovisual corner is renewed.
2012
Learning Commons "Piara" opening in Media Center, Media Library.
6th term of operation of RUNNERS. Japan's most advanced academic information search service "Discovery Service" started.
Information management tool "Refworks" service started.
Large touch panel display introduced in Piara at Kinugasa Library, Media Center, and Media Library.
"Newspaper Display Panel" installed in Kinugasa Library.