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Japanese Literature Web Site Receives International

Award

October 11, 2000 -- The Japanese Text Initiative, based at the University of Virginia Library’s Electronic Text Center, has been named the winner of the second annual Digital Archives Award by Digital Frontier Kyoto, representing a consortium of the city and prefecture of Kyoto, Japan, and businesses and universities in Japan. The prestigious award, presented to a digital project that exemplifies cutting-edge technology and rich content in preserving world culture, went to the Library of Congress’s American Memory project last year.

The Japanese Text Initiative (JTI) is a collaborative electronic text project between the U.Va. Library and the University of Pittsburgh Library, with participation by scholars in the U.S. and Japan. The project puts on the Web authoritative editions in both Japanese and English translations of the masterpieces of classical Japanese literature, from its beginnings in the 8th century through modern novels and poetry. Among the online texts are "The Tale of Genji," classics of haiku poetry, Kabuki plays, and others. The JTI is at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese.

Usage of the Web site is growing dramatically, according to the project’s co-director, Deputy University Librarian Kendon Stubbs. The Japanese texts are now accessed 80,000 times per month by 22,000 visitors from all over the world, he said. An average of 150 readers from Japan come to the site each day. Recent visitors came from not only larger countries worldwide but also smaller ones including Peru, Bulgaria, Monaco, and Tonga, Stubbs said.

Lewis Cook, a professor of Japanese literature at Queens College of the City University of New York and a contributor to the project, said, "The JTI was a trail-blazer in putting Japanese texts on the Web. The capability of searching for any word in any of the JTI texts makes it indispensable to scholars."

Sachiko Iwabuchi, U.Va. Library coordinator of the Japanese Text Initiative, accepted the award in a ceremony Sept. 27 in Kyoto.

The Japanese texts are part of 51,000 online texts at the U.Va. Electronic Text Center site at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu. The Etext Center, founded in 1992, was the first electronic center of its kind, and provides Internet access to humanities-related XML texts.

Contact: Melissa Norris, (804) 924-4254

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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