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Material Texts: Julie Nelson Davis (History of Art, Penn) and Alessandro Bianchi (Smithsonian Institute): “Presenting the Pulverer Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books in the Digital Era"
Monday, December 5, 2016 - 5:15pm to 6:30pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion
Sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library

Dear friends and colleagues, Please join us Monday, December 5th, for the next meeting of the Workshop in the History of Material Texts.

We will convene at our usual time and place: 5:15pm in the Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center on the 6th Floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. We will be welcoming Julie Nelson Davis (History of Art, Penn) and Alessandro Bianchi (Smithsonian Institute) for a talk entitled: “Presenting Japanese Illustrated Books in the Digital Era”

Julie and Alessandro write:

In 2007, the Smithsonian’s Museums of Asian Art—Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery—acquired a vast collection of Japanese illustrated books amassed over a period of more than thirty years by Dr. Gerhard Pulverer and his wife Rosemarie. Thanks to the gracious support provided by the Getty Foundation through the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI) and with additional provision from the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund, the Freer-Sackler began a large scale digitization process to make the Pulverer Collection available to scholars, researchers, bibliophiles, and art lovers around the world. In our talk we aim to introduce the online catalogue of the Pulverer Collection. First, we will retrace the steps that led to the creation and development of the Pulverer digital repository and of the various learning resources associated to it. Second, we shall discuss some of the major issues, both technical and theoretical, that we had to face while cataloging the collection. Finally, we will reflect on the benefit and disadvantages of a digital-humanities approach in working with Japanese rare books.

Alessandro Bianchi has served as a postdoctoral museum research fellow at the Freer and Sackler Galleries since spring 2015. He received a doctorate degree from the University of Cambridge (2015) as well as master and bachelor degrees in Languages and Civilizations of East Asia (Japanese) from the Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia in his native Italy. He has studied extensively in Japan and as a librarian has catalogued several collections of Tokugawa-period printed books and manuscripts.

Julie Nelson Davis teaches the arts of East Asia from 1600 to the present at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where her research focuses on ukiyo-e and the arts of the Tokugawa period. Professor Davis received her BA from Reed College, studied in Japan as a Monbushō fellow at the Osaka University of Foreign Languages and at Gakushūin University, and completed her PhD at the University of Washington. Her most recent books include Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty (2007), Partners in Print: Artistic Collaboration and the Ukiyo-e Market (2015) and Ukiyo-e in Context (forthcoming).