By Lisa Mix, Manager, UCSF Archives & Special Collections

The UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management is pleased to announce a new website featuring the Japanese Woodblock Print Collection at http://asian.library.ucsf.edu/.

Visitors to the website may search for prints by keyword or artist, view prints by theme, and read essays about five themes in the collection: Contagious Disease, Drug Advertisements, Foreigners, Religion and Health, and Women’s Health.

Funding from the California Digital Library (CDL) supported the project to create digital images of the prints and make them available on the web.  The website uses CDL’s Interface Customization Tools to perform searches and display the images.

The UCSF Japanese Woodblock Print Collection has drawn interest from scholars of Asian medicine, the history of medicine, and Japanese art, as well as current health care practitioners.  Consisting of approximately 400 prints, it is the largest collection of woodblock prints related to health in the United States and an important component of the Library’s East Asian Collection.

The prints offer a visual account of Japanese medical knowledge in the late Edo and Meiji periods.  The majority of the prints date from the mid- to late nineteenth century, when Japan was opening to the West after almost two hundred and fifty years of self-imposed isolation.

Images of the prints can also be accessed through Calisphere and the Online Archive of California.

For more information, contact Lisa Mix at lisa.mix@library.ucsf.edu.