Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation/Information Resources Center


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Company History(Shashi) Project
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Shashi Links

Below are some useful links related to the study of business history and research in business archives. All links are to English-language pages unless marked otherwise. We do our best to make sure our links are up to date, but since they are external we cannot guarantee they have not moved or disappeared. If you notice a dead link or have any suggestions for other links that should be included, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Last updated on November 7, 2012


Business Archives & Museums

Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan
The Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies (IMES) was founded in 1982 and carries out research activities on economy and finance. IMES holds the archives of the Bank of Japan, the central bank of Japan, and provides for public access to the bank's archives.

Matsushita Memorial Library
The Matsushita Memorial Library opened in 1994 and holds the Konosuke Matsushita archives, including a collection of shashi, books written by the founders of leading businesses, books related to Japanese-style management and management and economy in general, and other materials.

Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute
The Mitsubishi Economic Research Institute (MERI) comprises three divisions: the General Affairs Division, the Research Division and Library, and the Archives Division. The Mitsubishi Archives was established in 1996 and holds materials produced by Mitsubishi Group companies as well as the pre-war Mitsubishi zaibatsu.

Mitsui Bunko
One of the leading business archives in Japan, Mitsui Bunko was established in 1918. Mitsui Bunko holds materials produced by Mitsui Group companies and the pre-war Mitsui zaibatsu.

Nippon Mining Museum
The Nippon Mining Museum is a member institution of the Nippon Mining Holdings Group. The Museum was founded in 1986 at the site of the former Hitachi Mine and makes use of the mining facilities.

NYK Maritime Museum
The NYK Maritime Museum is a museum of maritime transport history and of the Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line).

Panasonic Konosuke Matsushita Museum
The Panasonic Konosuke Matsushita Museum was founded in 1968 and focuses on the life and work of Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic.

Toraya Bunko (Japanese only)
Toraya is one of the oldest makers of traditional Japanese confectionery (wagashi). The Toraya Bunko (Toraya Archives) website is only in Japanese but the company has an English website with information on their sweets and corporate history.

Toyota Automobile Museum
The Toyota Automobile Museum, opened in 1989, is dedicated to the history of automobiles. The web site includes a list of the cars owned by the museum.

Yamaha Communication Plaza
The Yamaha Communication Plaza, opened in 1998, is a multipurpose facility that showcases the activities, products and technologies of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. There is a list of products the company has manufactured over the past 60 years including motorcycles, engines and others.

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Associations of Business Archives

Association of German Business Archivists (Vereinigung deutscher Wirtschaftsarchivare) (German only)
Founded in 1957, the Association of German Business Archivists is dedicated to promoting business archives, supporting the study of company history, and carrying out education and training of archivists in Germany and German-speaking countries. Membership currently includes some 400 companies, institutions, and individuals. Some articles from the Association’s journal, Archiv und Wirtschaft (German only), are available in PDF form on the website, including a few articles in English.

Business Archives Association (Kigyo Shiryo Kyogikai) (Japanese only)
Established in 1981 in Tokyo, the Business Archives Association (BAA) is the only specialized network of business archives in Japan. It aims to raise awareness of the social and historical importance of business archives, enhance networking among members, and conduct research on collection, preservation and management of business archives, thereby improving the quality of business archives in Japan.

Business Archives Council
Established in 1934 in London, the Business Archives Council has been active in promoting the preservation of business records of historical importance, providing advice and information on the management of archives and records management, and encouraging interest in the business history of Britain.

Business Archives Council of Scotland
Established in 1960, the Business Archives Council of Scotland (BACS) is dedicated to the preservation of Scottish business and industrial records. BACS offers consultancy services to businesses on archival, records, and information management and publishes a journal, Scottish Business and Industrial History.

Business Archives Section, Society of American Archivists
The Business Archives Section (BAS) of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) is dedicated to promoting business archives and assisting business archivists in the United States and Canada. They provide education through workshops and meetings, increase knowledge and information on business archives, and create networking opportunities for professionals in the field.

Business, Labour & Corporate Archives Special Interest Group, Australian Society of Archivists
Established in 2000, the Business, Labour & Corporate Archives Special Interest Group (BLCASIG) of the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) aims to support and further the professionalism of business, labor, and corporate archives while also fostering understanding of and raising the profile of these archives within the ASA and Australian society in general.

Economic and Business Archives Section, Association of French Archivists (Section Archives économiques et d’entreprise, Association des archivistes français) (French only)
The Economic and Business Archives Section of the Association of French Archivists (AAF) (French only) consists of over 300 members, professionals in business and labor archives. The Section is active in raising awareness on the function of the dual dimensions of business archives Einformation and heritage, and an archivesEessential role in guaranteeing legal evidence.

Hong Kong Business Records Group, Hong Kong Archives Society
The Hong Kong Business Records Group was established in 2009 to encourage the establishment of business archives and promote the value of business archives, not only for business history, but also business in general as well as the economic, social, and political history of Hong Kong.

International Council on Archives Section for Business and Labour Archives
The International Council on Archives (ICA) is the professional organization for the world archival community, dedicated to promoting the preservation, development, and use of the world’s archival heritage. The ICA’s Section for Business and Labour Archives (SBL) works to promote professional and scholarly co-operation and communication between business and labor archives and archivists.

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Directories and Databases of Business Archives

British Library Help for Researchers: Company Histories
The British Library has many holdings related to British company history and the Help for Researchers page provides information on these holdings, namely a list of guides to British company histories, a select list of livery company histories arranged alphabetically by industry, and a link to an alphabetical list of more than 500 histories of British companies.

Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada
Originally compiled in 1997, the digital directory has been edited and updated numerous times over the years. The sixth edition was completed in the spring of 2012 and is available on the website of the Business Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists.

Museum of Japanese Business History Collection Database, National Institute of Japanese Literature (Japanese only)
The idea for the Museum of Japanese Business History was developed by Shibusawa Eiichi’s grandson, Shibusawa Keizo. Although the Museum never materialized, collections were gathered in preparation and these collections were later donated to what is now the National Institute of Japanese Literature (Japanese only). Part of the collections, including nishiki-e (woodblock prints), advertisements, and artifacts are available in the online database.

National Register of Archives, The National Archives (UK)
The National Register of Archives (NRA) was set up in 1945 to systematically collect information about manuscript sources and is now maintained by The National Archives. The Corporate Name Search page allows a keyword search of the listings in both the Business Name Index and Organizations Index.

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Academic Institutions with Business Archives (Japan)

Hitotsubashi University Library Collections (Japanese only)
The Hitotsubashi University Library houses a variety of collections, including two of note related to business archives: the Business and Industrial History Collection, which consists mainly of company histories published in Britain, the United States of America, and Germany; and a collection of accounting books from the NYK Line and other Japanese companies. The site also includes an alphabetical listing (navigational tools in Japanese, listings in the language of the individual work) of the Business and Industrial Collection (by company or author) and a guide (Japanese only) to the NYK Account Book Collection.

Kobe University Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration Integrated Center for Corporate Archives
The Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB) Integrated Center for Corporate Archives (ICCA) at Kobe University maintains a number of digital resources including the Multinational Corporation Database and Genealogy Charts and the Corporate Information Database, as well as a range of publications on economics and business administration.

University of Tokyo Library of Economics
The English language webpage of the Library of Economics provides only basic information about the library, but the Japanese language webpage (Japanese only) includes links to a range of catalogs, including those of the Ishikawa Ichiro Archives (Japanese only), and a number of databases, including the “subject gateway server” Engel (Japanese only).

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Societies and Institutions related to Business History

Business History Society of Japan (Keieishi Gakkai)
One of the leading academic societies of business history in Japan. The Society’s English language website includes abstracts of articles from the Japan Business History Review.

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Shashi Publications

The Industry Club of Japan (Nihon Kogyo Kurabu) (Japanese only)
The Industry Club of Japan was established in 1917 by leading figures in business in order to promote The development of industry in Japan. The first chairman was Takuma Dan, manager of the Mitsui zaibatsu. The collections of the Entrepreneurship Library (Japanese only) contain entrepreneurs’ biographies, shashi, and histories of economic organizations.

Japan Business History Institute (Nihon Keieishi Kenkyujo) (Japanese only)
The Japan Business History Institute was established in 1968 with the aim of facilitating The compilation of shashi. The institute assists the production of shashi, collects books and records related to business, and honors accomplished shashi publications with testimonials and commendations.

Kanagawa Prefectural Kawasaki Library (Japanese only)
Opened in 1958, the Kawasaki Library and its collections focus on the fields of science, engineering and industrial technology and include approximately 15,000 shashi publications. Users can search shashi by company name from the shashi collections page (Japanese only) or by title or other keyword from the library’s OPAC site (Japanese only).

National Diet Library (Japan): How to Search for Shashi (Japanese only)
An annotated guide on how to search for shashi, including those held by the National Diet Library (NDL). The NDL’s English website includes an overview of services available, including reference services for individuals and institutions outside of Japan. There is also a list of information on histories of foreign companies (explanation in Japanese only, some links in English).

Shashi Wiki
The Japanese Company Histories (Shashi) Wiki was begun by the Shashi Interest Group; academic librarians, researchers, and others dedicated to increasing understanding on the potential of shashi for use in a range of research. Entries in the wiki vary in the amount of information they contain, but all entries contain basic corporate information and shashi titles with links to holdings information.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries Japan Collection Company Histories (Shashi)
An overview and access information for the shashi collection in the Japan Collection of the University of Hawaii Libraries.

The University of Kansas East Asian Library Shashi Bibliographies
Bibliographies of the shashi collection in the University of Kansas East Asian Library (EAL). The EAL started to collect shashi in 2002, focusing on specific industries such as agriculture, electric machinery, fisheries, food, and trading.

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ARMA International
Established in 1955, ARMA International now has more than 11,000 members, making it the largest organization for records and information management in the world. ARMA chapters exist in well over 30 countries world-wide, including the Tokyo Chapter (Japanese only) in Japan.

Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology
The Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology was launched by the National Museum of Nature and Science in 2002. The Center aims to investigate the location of materials illustrating the development of industrial technology in Japan, research the systemization of technologies, and preserve a disappearing national heritage by selecting and registering important items.

Culture e impresa (Culture and Enterprise)
Culture e impresa is an Italian/English bilingual e-zine put out by the Ansaldo Foundation with support from the International Council on Archives Section for Business and Labour Archives. Articles look at the use and preservation of business archives from a global standpoint.

H-Business is a discussion list for the Business History Conference and provides a forum for dialogue on the history of business and commerce.

Japan Art Documentation Society (Japanese only)
The Japan Art Documentation Society is dedicated to issues surrounding art documentation in libraries, museums, and related institutions in Japan and around the world. The website includes a List of Institutions Related to Art Documentation (Japanese only) and a digital database of publications related to art documentation (Japanese only) (based on the International Bibliography of Art Librarianship: An Annotated Compilation by Paula A. Baxter).

Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs (Keizai Koho Center)
The institute, established in 1978, aims to build bridges of communication between different sectors of society, and between Japan and the rest of the world. The database (Japanese only) of museums, archives, and galleries established by business organizations is particularly useful.

Managing Business Archives Best Practice Online
The Managing Business Archives Best Practice Online site is a practical guide for managing business records and archives. The site was developed in accordance with the National Strategy for Business Archives (England and Wales) [PDF 342 KB], which was launched in 2009 by a consortium including The National Archives of the United Kingdom and the Business Archives Council.

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