University of Southern California. Japanese Studies Librarian
University of Southern California. ONE National Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives. Director
USC libraries' Japanese gender and sexuality cataloging and digitization project
While LGTBQ studies has not traditionally been an area that Japanese studies collections outside Japan have paid attention to, it is increasingly becoming an area of interest. By rethinking resources for Japanese studies to include historical and rare Japanese language LGTBQ materials we can open up new avenues of research in the field. This paper will give an overview of a project at the University of Southern California to catalog and digitize Japanese language materials held at ONE Archives, the oldest existing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization in the United States, and the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. It will also highlight how collaboration between institutions that are traditional strongholds of resources for Japanese studies, such as the USC East Asian Library, with institutions that are not known for their Japanese studies resources, such as ONE Archives, can be a successful way to rethink resources.
In 2017 USC Libraries began a project to catalog and digitize Japanese language materials held at ONE Archives. The Japanese language materials were primarily collected by ONE Director, Dr Joseph Hawkins, over several years of living in and traveling to Japan. Due to budget constraints and other priorities they remained unprocessed and therefore undiscoverable until the current project began. The project is digitizing and cataloging Taishō (1912-1926) and early Showa period (1926-1989) materials such as Fuzoku zasshi, and Kasutori hon. These magazines contain important essays that speak of women’s issues, homosexuality, fetish behaviors and desire that are currently very popular in gender studies. Other materials included in the project include a full run of the longest running LGBTQ publication from Japan, Barazoku, which began in 1971 and was published until 2004, and Adonis, an extremely rare homophile publication from the immediate postwar period.