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The Japanese Historical Map Collection contains over 2,300 early maps of Japan and the world, acquired by the University of California from the Mitsui family in 1949. The maps date from the mid-17th century and include many visually stunning examples of woodblock printed and manuscript maps. The online collection of over 600 images is available to us through Luna Insight software (available to all Yale faculty and students.)
Finding and Using Maps
Maps can be highly informative and useful sources, whether as the primary subject of a paper or as supporting evidence for other research projects. Yale has an extensive collection of Japanese maps and maps of Japan by European visitors, spanning some four centuries. Most of Yale's maps are contained in the Map Department, although there are also compilations of maps in the SML stacks and in other Yale collections.
To search for maps, use an advanced search in Orbis. Select 'More Limits', and highlight 'Maps' and 'Globes' in the 'Medium' dialog box, as well as 'Archives and Manuscripts', 'Printed Maps', and 'Manuscript Maps' in the 'Item Type' box. After setting the limits, perform a keyword search; a search for 'Japan', for instance, returns 197 results.
Lanman Collection (SML Map Collection)
A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Jonathan Trumbull Lanman was a professor of pediatrics at Down State Medical College of the State University of New York. With his life-long interest in the Far East, he collected Japanese and Chinese maps, early travel accounts of voyages to the East, and prints as well as maps from other parts of world. Japanese maps in this collection are woodblock printed maps mainly of the Edo period, several early European maps of Japan, and a few manuscript