Collection Development Policy

            Manga are collected at the Ohio State University Libraries as part of holdings in two areas: the general circulating collections and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.  The purpose of this document is to define broadly the manga acquisition strategy for each.

 A.    Manga in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.

 i.            History.  The original founding collection from Milton Caniff includes some volumes of manga, as do other collections acquired by the BICL&M, such as those of the San Francisco Academy of Cartoon Art as well as archives of individual cartoonists.  Starting from the mid-1980s Japanese language manga were purchased from Japan as representative samples of Japanese cartoon art.  In 1997 a systematic approach to developing a broadly representative collection of manga began, which was endorsed by a Japan Foundation grant in the following year.  Until 2012 the manga collection formed part of the special collections of the BICL&M.

By 2012 circumstances relating to manga in the United States had changed fundamentally.  Since about 2000 manga came to be translated in large numbers and “scanlations” by fans made even greater amounts available to English-speaking audiences on the Internet, so the need for a “broadly representative collection of manga” had become an outmoded approach.  Responding to requests from scholars for easier access to manga as primary resources for research, and acknowledging space constraints for the primary collecting areas of the BICL&M, the Libraries decided to move many of the manga books out of the BICL&M and into the general circulating collections, while at the same time establishing a more specific focus for collecting manga within the BICL&M.

At the heart of the history of manga in the twentieth century are the newspapers and magazines in which manga were published before being reprinted as books for fans to collect and treasure.  Therefore a decision has been made to collect manga newspapers and magazines within the BICL&M to preserve manga in the original format in which they were introduced to readers.  Another major focus of collecting will be original artwork by Japanese cartoonists and other materials suitable for exhibit in the BICL&M.  Acknowledging the influence manga have had on American cartoonists, English translations of Japanese comics are also being collected as part of the BICL&M.

ii.          Focus of manga collecting in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum.  Complementing the primary collecting areas of the BICL&M, the manga collection focuses on manga magazines and newspapers, original artwork by manga artists, and translated manga.

Gifts-in-kind in these areas are welcome.  Manga acquisition funds are used to make selective purchases, especially in support of BICL&M exhibit agendas and to support research.  Contributions to the Friends of the Libraries (“Friends of the Libraries/Japan” designated fund) have frequently been used to purchase materials for this collection, in accordance with expressed preferences of donors.  Grant funding has also helped to support this collection.   Donations to support the work of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, which houses and cares for these materials, help to support this collection.

  1. Manga magazines and newspapers.  Full runs of manga serials (magazines and newspapers) are collected selectively, as feasible.  Includes reprints, as appropriate.  (Note: Japanese magazines and newspapers that include cartoons but do not primarily focus on this kind of visual content are collected as part of the general collections.)
  2. Original artwork. The BICL&M seeks to collect representative samples of original and production artwork by Japanese cartoonists, complementing its extensive collections of works by American cartoonists.
  3. Limited edition prints, reprinted artwork, posters, and similar materials that are suitable for exhibits of manga are collected selectively.
  4. Translations of manga into English and other languages.  In recognition of their influence on American cartoonists, translated manga are collected as widely as possible.
  5. Manga and works about manga published before 1990.  In recognition of their relative scarcity outside Japan, works published before 1990 are generally held in the BICL&M rather than in the circulating collections. Exceptions are made in the case of popular titles that do not require treatment as part of a special collection.
  6. Manga and works about manga that are rare books requiring special treatment as part of a special collection or that were received as part of another collection in the BICL&M.
  7. Secondary sources.  How-to-draw-manga books are collected in all languages. Exhibit catalogs of manga are collected as widely as feasible.  Selected reference works are held in BICL&M, as needed.
  8. Licensed products.  Products that illustrate cartoon characters are only collected in support of exhibits.  Collections consisting only of these products will not be added.

B.  Manga in the general circulating collections.  Manga are collected to support research and teaching across the curriculum, especially in Japanese studies, and contribute to cooperative collection development efforts regionally and nationally.

 Japanese studies funds are used to add volumes to this part of the collection.  Gifts-in-kind that do not duplicate holdings are accepted if they meet collecting needs.  Contributions to the Friends of the Libraries (“Friends of the Libraries/Japan” designated fund) as well as grant funds have also helped to build this collection.

i.            History.   Until 2012 most manga were held in the BICL&M collections.  Second copies of selected titles were purchased for the circulating collections.  For the most part, these were held in the Book Depository.  In 2012 a decision was made to make most manga and works about manga published from 1990 to the present available for circulation, so as to improve access and support use of these materials for research. In general, only one circulating copy of each volume is now retained.

ii.            Focus of manga collecting for the circulating collections:

  1. Manga.  Broadly representative collection focusing on well-known manga titles and examples of various genres.
  2. Secondary sources on manga and anime.  History and criticism monographs, cartoonists’ biographies and autobiographies, reference works, guides to manga, and related works are collected extensively.
  3. Translations of manga into English are collected selectively as duplicates of holdings in the BICL&M.

April 18, 2012

Maureen Donovan