4. How to search for information about periodicals

Table of contents:

4.1 About magazine information

A magazine is a periodical that is published in order of volume or year and month, without a scheduled end. Rather than book form, various forms such as microfilm, CD-ROMs, and electronic mediums such as online magazines are included. At the library, these are referred to as “serial publications.” This section introduces conventions that are useful to know when using magazines, as well as the main tools you can use to search for magazine information.

Talking about “magazine information” is rather vague, so this section focuses on magazine articles. Searching for magazine articles is different from searching for books. A clear distinction must be made between searching for certain magazine titles and searching for magazine articles. First of all, we should define the four levels of a magazine’s structure.

To search for magazine articles, these four items of information are required—the name of the magazine, the issue, the name of the article, and where the article is located. These are the four levels at which a magazine is organized.

  1. The name of the magazine corresponds to bibliographic information. In other words, this information pertains to all magazines published under the same title. Bibliographic information also refers to information other than titles, such as publishers, when the publications are launched and discontinued, whether they are weekly or monthly, and other information.
  2. Next, we cover the magazine issue. This includes information about a specific issue of a magazine, such as the volume and issue number, when it was issued, and what the special feature was.
  3. Finally, there is the article name information which shows which issue of which magazine an article is published in. This includes article titles, authors, the pages an article starts and ends on, and other information.
  4. When searching for magazine articles in a library, you must also verify another variable—whether that article is available in that library. This topic, which will be covered later, is another aspect of information about the issue. Information related to whether a magazine is kept at a library, such as what specific issues are available at that library and whether they are still accepting new issues fall under the topic of collection information. By finding out the collection information of an issue you are looking for, you can determine whether the issue is in the library.

4.2 Bibliographic information for magazines

It is difficult to find an article without knowing the title of the magazine. This tells us that titles are the most important item of bibliographic information. In addition to the title, searching is made easier if you know any other bibliographic information such as the publisher or when the publication was launched or discontinued. This is because there are a surprising amount of magazines that share the same title.

Another factor is the title changes unique to the bibliographic information of magazines. An example is Mizue, a periodical published by Shunchokai which was discontinued in August 1941, then subsequently relaunched as Shin-Bijutsu. It was then renamed Bijutsu, then renamed yet again after the war to its original name, Mizue. Title changes are common with magazines. Furthermore, publishers and the frequency of issues often change along the way. For these reasons, it is beneficial to have as much bibliographic information as possible.

a) Searching online

When you actually conduct a search using the MOMAT OPAC, you can see the bibliographic information of a magazine on the search results screen. You can identify a magazine from this bibliographic information. Additionally, you can check the OPACs and catalogues of other libraries to check for collections of magazines that are not available at the MOMAT Art Library. You may be able to find bibliographic information that could not be found using only the MOMAT OPAC if you check information held by other libraries.

If you are unable to find the materials you are looking for from the MOMAT OPAC, try using the ALC Cross-search System. For details, refer to “a) ALC” under “1.5.3 Exhibition catalogues.”

You can also search for magazine bibliographies using the National Institute of Informatics CiNii Articles and CiNii Books, NDL Online, NDL Search, and the OPACs of Tokyo Metropolitan Library and art university libraries.

  • CiNii Articles (http://ci.nii.ac.jp/)
  • CiNii Books (http://ci.nii.ac.jp/books/)
  • NDL Online (https://ndlonline.ndl.go.jp/#!/)
  • NDL Search (http://iss.ndl.go.jp/)
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Library (http://www.library.metro.tokyo.jp/)
  • Joshibi University of Art and Design Library (http://library.joshibi.ac.jp/)
  • Tama Art University Library (https://www.tamabi.ac.jp/tosho/)
  • Tokyo University of the Arts. University Library (https://www.lib.geidai.ac.jp/)
  • Tokyo Zokei University Library (https://www.zokei.ac.jp/)
  • Musashino Art University Museum & Library (https://mauml.musabi.ac.jp/)

For Western magazines, it may be useful to refer to OPACs for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Getty Foundation.

  • DADABASE. Museum of Modern Art, New York (http://arcade.nyarc.org/search~S8)
  • Getty Research Institute Search Tools and Databases. The J. Paul Getty Trust (http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/)

b) Searching by book form

Despite its book form,Tōkyōto bijutsukanzō bijutsu zasshi mokuroku is a very convenient tool that covers many art magazines and contains simple bibliographical introduction. Other similar library catalogs can also be useful for checking annotations without actually visiting a library.

There may be times when you want to conduct extensive research on a particular magazine. The following tools can help you research a magazine from multiple perspectives.

To see a bibliographical introduction of a magazine’s significance at the time and its contents, you can check a magazine dictionary. The first of the two sources below is a typical dictionary that covers magazines since the Meiji era. This dictionary originally covered modern literature, but it also covers many art magazines. If you cannot find the magazine you are looking for, you can use the second dictionary to locate literature written about the magazine.

To learn about the relationship between a magazine and the period in which it was published, the following chronologies printed in catalogues may be of use.

Taishōki shinkō bijutsu shiryō shūsei is a compilation of materials about art that developed during the Taisho period. The picture edition includes images of the magazine covers from the era. In the chronological edition, the text and table of contents are transcribed in detail for the years that the magazines were first published.

Sōkangō no panorama is a compilation of magazine covers from 1867 to 1956.

Utopia of Images and Letters is an exhibition catalogue that introduces major Japanese modern art magazines. This source focuses on the aesthetic value of the magazines themselves.

Art and Printed Matter from the 1960s to the 1970s is a document on an exhibition held at the MOMAT in 2014. The exhibition showcased art and intimate prints from the 1960s and 1970s. It encompassed a variety of materials such as magazines published in the United States and Germany in addition to those published in Japan.

The 70s in Japan 1968–1982 is the catalogue for an exhibition that was held at the Museum of Modern Art, Saitama in 2012. This exhibition covered many Japanese magazines that strongly reflect 70’s society.

Matsumoto Shunsuke to “Zakkicho” no gaka is the catalogue of an exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, Kanagawa in 1986. The exhibition dealt with the relationship between Matsumoto Shunsuke and related figures with the magazine Zakkicho.

4.3 Information for each issue and collection information

4.3.1 How to read information about each issue

Information for each issue includes issue number, issue dates, and edition names. Among these, the issue number and issue date are most important. For example, suppose that the literature list makes a reference to “Geijutsu shincho.49(7) 1998.7.” You can see right away that the name of the magazine is Geijutsu shincho. You would gather that “1998.7” refers to the year and month of publication, but what do the other numbers represent? 49(7) refers to the 7th issue of the 49th volume.

To avoid referring to the issue as the “the 7th issue of the 49th volume,” libraries abbreviate it so that the issue number is written in parentheses next to the volume number. Some magazines use only a serial number. For such magazines, only the number of the serial number is indicated without parentheses. It is helpful to remember the volume/issue notation as it can be applied when looking at collection information, which is explained in the next section.

4.3.2 How to read collection information

Collection information is viewed from the perspective of the library, and refers simply to whether or not something exists in the library.
Let’s take a look at some collection information. Bibliographic information and collection information can be checked from the OPAC. Pay attention to the entries for year of holding and holding of volumes/issues under collection information. These entries are subject to a few rules.

The year of holding is written so that the year of the oldest issue collected and the latest issue collected at the library are joined with a hyphen. 1980–1995 would indicate that the oldest issue was from 1980, whereas the latest was from 1995. However, this does not mean that every issue within that period has been collected. To check which issues within the period are collected, check the available volumes/issues.

The notation described in the previous section using parentheses is used to indicate the available volumes/issues. For example, “33 (5–6, 8)” would indicate that the 5th, 6th, and 8th issues of the 33rd volume are available, with the numbers in parentheses representing available issues. If no issues are missing, it would simply be marked “33”. Note that some magazines are only indicated by a serial number. In such cases, the serial number is used as is. A volume/issue number with a “+” at the end means that new issues are still being accepted. The method of viewing collections introduced here is common to many library catalogues.

4.3.3 Searching through catalogs of other libraries

For magazines that are not available at the MOMAT Art Library, check the OPACs and catalogues of other libraries to see if they are available in other libraries. In addition to collection catalogues that deal with only one library, there are comprehensive catalogues that enable you to search the collections of multiple libraries at once. To start with, here is a list of collection catalogues that deal with only one library.

The National Diet Library Catalog of Japanese Serials contains bibliographic and collection information. You can check whether a work exists (indicated by a star) in the tables of contents in the “list of combined tables of contents/combined indexes” at the end of the catalog. You can also check whether a work is compiled (indicated by a diamond) in The Japanese Periodicals Index. The National Diet Library has other available collection catalogues in addition to the National Diet Library Catalog of Japanese Serials [Addendum January–December 1987]mentioned above, such as catalogues of foreign serial publications. The catalogue of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum was listed in 4.3, but this catalogue is newer. In the old version, the descriptions of each magazine are more detailed.

In addition, you can use the Internet to search NDL Online as well as the OPACs of the Tokyo Metropolitan Libraryand the libraries of art universities. However, the use of university libraries is often restricted to university-related person and you are often required to submit a letter of introduction.

The following are comprehensive catalogues of the National Institute of Informatics, which can be used to search the collections of multiple libraries at once. These can be used mainly to check collections of materials in national and private university libraries. CiNii Books is an online version of these sources. We recommend that you use CiNii Books to find the latest information.

4.4 Article information

4.4.1 Searching by subject/name of person

When searching for magazine articles, the first step is find the location of the article. We will first introduce you to tools for searching by subject and name of person.

a) Searching by book form

Each source has a legend at the beginning of the volume, but the volume can be read in the same way described above. You can search by name of person or subject in the index at the end of the volume. While Subject Guide to Periodical Literature 1975–1984 Fine Arts is a simple magazine index based on Japanese Periodicals Index. Humanities and Social Science, the latter includes books and exhibition catalogs. You can use these two sources to find major magazine articles on art published after the war.

b) Searching online

1) Japanese

We would first like to introduce you to The Japanese Periodicals Index. The National Diet Library magazine article index was previously published as a magazine from 1948 to 1995, and in 2002, the OPAC of the National Diet Library was completely opened to the public. This enabled the public to search the entire magazine article index from an online database. You can use this tool to search for important magazine articles collected at the National Diet Library. You can conduct a search using NDL Online or NDL Search. A list of collected magazines can also be viewed on the National Diet Library website.

  • About The National Diet Library, Journal Article Index (http://www.ndl.go.jp/jp/data/sakuin/sakuin_select.html)
  • Journal article index, the list of record journals (https://www.ndl.go.jp/jp/data/sakuin/sakuin_index.html)

This next section introduces the bibliographic information search services offered by the National Institute of Informatics (NII)—”CiNii Articles Search for Japanese Articles” and “IRDB (Academic Institutional Repository Portal).” “CiNii Articles” offers information about articles with a focus on Japanese academic papers. IRDB enables you to search education and research findings from universities and research institutes (scientific studies, dissertations, research reports, academic conference materials, teaching materials, etc.) that have been registered in Japan’s institutional repository.

  • CiNii Articles (http://ci.nii.ac.jp/)
  • IRDB (https://irdb.nii.ac.jp/)

2) Foreign

ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) is the only specialized source for bibliographic information about modern and contemporary art. The information covers all forms of art from painting to sculpture, photo and video art, body art, and even graffiti. ABM offers complete abstracts and indexes of articles created since the late 1960’s.

The Arts & Humanities Database is a compilation of several hundred titles related to art, architecture, design, history, philosophy, music, literature, drama, and cultural research. This database is designed to supplement the following indexes. ABM, DAAI, British Humanities Index, MLA International Bibliography and Philosopher’s Index, etc.

The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (Avery) is an index of articles relevant to the fields of architecture and urban planning. This is an index of journal articles related to architecture published since 1934 and covers topics such as architecture, architecture history, landscape design, urban planning, historical preservation, interior design, interior decoration, etc.

The Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) is a compilation of various articles related to design and crafts. Users can search journal articles, exhibition reviews, and news entries published between 1973 and today. This index covers a wide variety of fields including crafts, graphic design, fashion, interior, architecture, web design, animation, and landscape gardening.

The International Bibliography of Art (IBA) is a public online database of the successor to the most reliable source in the field, the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA). It continues to follow the BHA editorial policy. This database includes records created by the Getty Research Institute between 2008 and 2009 as well as a record newly created by ProQuest using the same thesaurus and reference files.

The databases above are provided by ProQuest and use a common platform, allowing you to search across databases. The search screen is available in both English and Japanese, but data such as abstracts are only available in English. Search by entering the name of the artist in the field at the top left. After you’ve found an article, check the “Document Type” field indicating the type of publication. “Journal article” refers to a magazine article. Check the title and volume of the magazine and search the MOMAT OPAC again to check whether it is available.

BHA and RILA are general databases of Western art. Abstracts can be read in English. Articles indicated as “Articles (journal)” in “Document Type” are magazine articles. Bibliography of the history of art (BHA) (1990–2007) and Répertoire de la littérature de l’art (RILA) (1975–1989) have been integrated and can be searched simultaneously. The same process is used to check collections of articles on the MOMAT OPAC.

  • Bibliography of the history of art (BHA). And Répertoire de la littérature de l’art (RILA), The Getty (http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/bha/index.html) 

JSTOR is an academic archive containing over 170 titles (as of September 2019) of art magazines managed by an American nonprofit foundation.

OAO is an online version of The Dictionary of Art previously published by Grove. In addition to Grove Art Online, which contains the full text of The Dictionary of Art, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, and Benezit Dictionary of Artists can also be cross searched.

4.4.2 Searching from the combined tables of contents of magazines

If you can identify a magazine, you can try searching for the article from the combined tables of contents or index of the publication. However, not all magazines have a combined tables of contents. Furthermore, some magazines publish a table of contents for a year in the year-end issue, or in the form of a separate book or magazine issue.

For major Japanese magazines, the MOMAT OPAC indicates where a combined tables of contents can be found next to “Note.” However, a combined tables of contents may not be available for all magazines. Use the following reference books for magazines that do not have a combined tables of contents.

Although these are somewhat different sources, the following materials are the tables of contents of the 53 major art magazines from the Meiji period to the end of the war in the order of publication name. There is also an index of names of people, which can be useful for searching for information about people in pre-war magazines.

History of Avant-Garde Movements is a collection of magazines and ephemera related to futurism, Dada, and constructivism from the early 20th century. A foreign edition and Japanese edition have been published. Each is divided into two volumes—text and images.

Sōsaku hangashi no keifu is a table of contents and catalog of images from creative print magazines that are indispensable for reviewing modern Japanese prints. This source contains annotations in addition to bibliographic information. The magazines included in this source were published between 1905 and 1945, and are arranged in order of publication date.

A separate combined tables of contents may be published for magazines that are reproduced in the form of CD-ROMs or microfilms. You can use these to check the volume (or page) where an article can be found. The following two sources are examples.

4.4.3 Finding articles from a specific year 

Year book of Japanese Art is the most comprehensive source to use if you can determine the period. The search method may be confusing because the editing policy was changed slightly at a certain point. Be aware that there is a one-year difference between the year of the edition and the actual year of recording. For example, the 2000 edition covers January to December 1999. Note that the MOMAT OPAC bibliographies are separated by period. For details, refer to “1.4.4 Yearbooks.”

4.4.4 Essay and theory

In the previous section, you were introduced to how to search magazine articles. The next section is an introduction to collections of articles compiled by specific themes and authors. Many of these first appeared in magazines.

Kaigai shinkō geijutsuron sōsho is a compilation of discourses about futurism, cubism, and expressionism in the Taisho and early Showa eras. It is made up of 22 volumes.

Korekushon Nihon Shururearisumu is a compilation of discourses about surrealism published in pre-war books and magazines. It is made up of 15 volumes.

Bijutsu hihyoka chosaku senshu is a compilation of valuable discourses by art critics and journalists. The editors also cover the art critics and themes that are featured in each volume. It is made up of 21 volumes.

Below are collections of essays and selections compiled by prominent art critics.

From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989 is a collection of studies about postwar Japanese art that have been translated into English.

The following are collections of reviews and theories about art from overseas. Some have been translated into Japanese.

4.5 About art-related institutions

This final section lists institutions other than art museums such as academic societies and research institutes that deal with art, and introduces some of their major publications. We have focused on institutions that have a relatively large number of publications in the MOMAT Art Library, as well as those that are closely related to the world of art.

a) Societies

The Japan Art History Society (http://www.bijutsushi.jp/)
Covers general art history of all periods and regions.

The Japanese Society for Aesthetics (http://www.bigakukai.jp/)
An academic society that researches aesthetics from a broad perspective.

The Society for the Study of Japonisme (http://japonisme-studies.jp/ja/)
This society deals with Japonism. (Japonism refers to the Japanese-influenced art movement popular in the West from the 19th century to early 20th century.)

Société franco-japonaise d’art et d’archéologie (http://www.francojaponais504.jp/)

This academic society aims to promote French art research in Japan and conversely, Japanese art research in France.

Association for the Study of Modern Japanese Art History (http://www.meibikai.org/)
This academic society focuses on fine arts from the Meiji period, dealing with topics such as the relationship between modern Japanese art and Western art, and the process through which the concept of art formed in Japan.

Japan Art Documentation Society (http://www.jads.org/)
This society deals with information related to art.

Japan Association for Arts Management (http://ja-am.org/)
This association conducts research on theories and practices such as political policies related to arts and culture, as well as facility management.

Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences (http://jasias.jp/)
This association conducts research on photography, film, and television.

b) Art-related research institutes

Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (http://www.tobunken.go.jp/index_j.html)
This research institute is involved in the research, preservation, and restoration of cultural properties and cooperates internationally in the conservation of cultural properties. Its predecessor is the Institution of Art Research which was established in the Kuroda Memorial Hall in 1930. This institution has published literature including The bijutsu kenkyu: the journal of art studies (magazine) and Year book of Japanese art (book). The institution also provides the full text of issues 1 to 90 of the magazine Mizue online. There is also an index of authors.

Art Restoration Studio 21 (http://www.ars21.co.jp/)

This studio was formerly known as the Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design Art Restoration Studio.

c) Various organizations

Japan Foundation (http://www.jpf.go.jp/j/index.html)
This foundation was created with the purpose of promoting international cultural exchange. They organize and sponsor many exhibitions.

The Kajima Foundation for the Arts (http://www.kajima-fa.or.jp/)
As one of Kajima Corporation’s corporate patronage efforts, this foundation publishes research on art as well as The Kajima Foundation for the Arts annual report.

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