Now You Can Download 2,500 Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress’s expansive digitization efforts makes more art available to a larger public.

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Jun 19 2017, 12:15am

Eerste beeld: Teahouse at Koishikawa, Hokusai Katsushika tussen 1890 en 1940. Beeld: Library of Congress. Prints: Japanse collectie voor 1915

The digital revolutionhas long been in the works, and now, count The Library of Congress as one of the standard-bearers of making old, new. The Library's comprehensive digitization project, makes public a store of facts, data, and history, previously collected in the stacks, full accessible online. The newest iteration of the project focuses on Japanese block prints from the 17th and 20th centuries.

According to the Library's description, the foremost areas of the blocks include actors, women, landscapes, and views of Western foreigners. The prints are completely free, opening up access to the formerly paid format of the Library holdings to the general public, releasing an unlimited store of knowledge.

Describing the breadth of the available files, the Library's webpage reads, "many schools, traditions, and genres are represented, notably surimono, privately distributed prints combining pictures and poetry, and prints from the Russo-Japanese and Sino-Japanese wars. However, the primary strengths of the collection are the Japanese art forms known as Ukiyo-e and Yokohama-e."

Senju great bride. Hiroshige Ando, 1856
Cherry blossom viewing month. Kiyonaga Torii, 1785-1789.
Teahouse at Koishikawa. Hokusai Katsushika, betw. 1890 and 1940.
Pressure from a heavy hand. Kiyochika Kobayashi, 1904
Amerika, Izumi Ichi (Izumiya Ichibei), 1861
Military maneuvers of French and English troops, Ōmeidō, 1879

Access all the Library of Congress's collection of Japanese block prints on their website, here.

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