Round Tables

Rescuing and Preserving Historical Documents and Materials during and after Natural Disasters
Session code
Date Time
Thursday, August 25th / 09.00-12.30
Hiroaki Ozawa; Hiroshi Okumura
Collegium Minus, Sala Senatu

In Japan, many historical documents and materials remain in the local community. However, historical data in these areas is in danger of disappearing due to the succession of large-scale disasters such as large earthquakes and floods, and social transformation due to globalization. In the wake of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake in 1995, historical researchers, historical and cultural stakeholders, and residents began working together to address this crisis. For this collaboration, Japanese scholars and citizens established the Network for Preserving Historical Documents and Materials. Moreover, after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, this research became an essential part of Japanese historical research. Similar research methods are being developed internationally, such as in Chinese Taipei.
The purpose of this session is the following four. First, we examine such research trends and ask their significance in historical science. Secondly, we report practical studies on the rescue and preservation of historical materials in the event of a large-scale natural disaster and the preservation of materials of the large-scale disaster itself, and to preserve the memories of local communities in the future as the local historical culture. Third, we will make case reports on international research trends concerning research practice during large-scale disasters. Finally, we would like to deepen the discussion on a new area of historical research called "history of survival" that emerged from this research practice.