Kyushu University Collections: Asian academic exchanges during foundation of the university and old atlas

Since its founding as an imperial university in 1911, Kyushu University has amassed a huge collection of books, documents, specimens, and other items. Among its collection are many items of great academic value. To mark Kyushu University Asia Week 2020, the University Library, Kyushu University Museum, and Kyushu University Archives have joined forces for a special exhibition featuring digitized versions of precious archival documents not usually on show to the public.

Asian Academic Exchange at the Time of Kyushu University's Founding

Thanks to its location in northern Kyushu, close to continental Asia, trade has flourished in Fukuoka—the home of Kyushu University—for centuries. Since its founding, Kyushu University has produced many eminent researchers in a variety of disciplines and has been the seat of thriving academic exchange with researchers overseas. This exhibition features precious documents amassed in the course of their work by a handful of researchers from the fields of medicine and agriculture, whom we have selected from among the distinguished researchers who achieved great things in the early years after Kyushu University’s founding.

A Huge Selection of Old Asian Maps!

The history of maps has been an effort to verify the shape of the planet and fill in gaps across the globe where unfamiliar and imagined lands existed. Through the extraordinary wisdom and efforts of our ancestors, they developed into early modern maps, but maps through the ages still have a variety of things to teach us, as they reflect the technologies, perspective on the world, and religious views of the times in which they were made.

Kyushu University has numerous old maps produced since the 16th century and we have digitized about 40 old maps of Asia from the collection for this exhibition.
This offers you the chance to view these precious old maps, which are not easily accessible in real life, in tremendous detail online, no matter where you are in the world. We hope that you will enjoy the world of maps that unfolds before you in this digital exhibition.

*Many old maps other than those highlighted on this page are also on show. You can view them here.
*This digital exhibition is based on a reconstruction of the 43rd Kyushu University Library Special Exhibition: Asia, Japan, and Kyushu as Seen from Old European Maps (2002). As you browse, please feel free to refer to the illustrated catalogue from that exhibition, which you can view here.

Co-host: Kyushu University Library, Kyushu University Museum, Kyushu University Archives

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