PHILADELPHIA, PA, February 4,2014 – Penn Libraries recently joined the Japan-US Global ILL Framework (GIF) Project, facilitated by the North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC). Participation in the GIF Project will benefit both Penn and Japanese academic libraries by establishing ease of lending and document delivery and enabling closer collaboration and stronger reciprocal relationships between institutions.

Membership in the GIF Project will also allow faculty and students engaged in Japanese studies at Penn to obtain materials related to their research that previously required travel to Japan in person, thereby vastly increasing opportunities for specialized and advanced research at Penn.

The GIF Project is a reciprocal InterLibrary Loan (ILL) agreement between North American and Japanese academic libraries and research institutes to provide North American researchers with access to materials not available through normal ILL channels, and Japanese researchers access to materials not held in Japan. More than 160 Japanese libraries and 90 North American libraries participate in GIF.

Penn’s newly established participation in the GIF Project comes at a time when Japanese Studies at Penn have been increasing in popularity. Established at the University in 1952, courses in Japanese studies are now offered through the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as through the Center for East Asian Studies.

The Japanese collection at the Penn Libraries has grown to support the research needs of the Japanese studies programs and contains unique materials held by no other libraries in North America, and some not even in Japan. The Penn Libraries offers more than 65,000 volumes of monographs and subscriptions to 179 journals in Japanese. Today, the scope of Japanese studiesresearch at Penn includes the humanities and the social sciences, with particular strength in literature, religion, performing arts, political and diplomatic history, medieval studies, the history of philosophy, and women's studies.