By Rosalie Lack, CDL Digital Special Collections Director

The UC Merced Library and the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture collaborated to make more than a millennium of Japanese art available online. When complete there will be over 1,000 objects available online from the Ruth & Sherman Lee Institute for Japanese Art collection (housed at the Clark Center).  Currently, 655 digital images are available. These images are available in Calisphere [
view here] and the Online Archive of California (OAC) [view here].

The content covers a broad range of Japanese art, in diverse media and from multiple periods; among the highlights of the collection are Buddhist paintings and sculptures from the 13th and 14th centuries. QuickTime VR versions were created for some of the items which allow users to get a 360 degree view of three-dimensional objects.

The digitization was funded with a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project was managed by Emily Lin, Merced’s Digital Assets Librarian. 

The Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture houses one of the more significant collections of Japanese art and the largest collection of Nanga (Southern-style) paintings, calligraphy and related research materials in the United States. The collection includes screen and scroll paintings, sculptures, prints, ceramics, textiles, metalwork and woven bamboo art, with works dating from the tenth century to the present day. For more information on the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, visit or call (559) 582-4915.