About us

The Center for Historical Social Science Literature, Hitotsubashi University, is a rare book library established in April 1978 for the purpose of contributing to the advanced study of the social sciences. The history of the Center itself goes back to 1875 when Shohokoshujo, the predecessor of Hitotsubashi University, was first established. For over a century since then the collection of historical social science literature in Western languages has been continuously expanded. The University Library was particularly enriched by the acquisition of some notable private libraries such as the Otto von Gierke, Carl Menger and Soda Kiichiro Libraries in the 1920’s and the Franklin Library and the Bernstein-Souvarine Collection in the 1970-80’s. It soon became clear that the rare materials deserved, as well as necessitated a facility of their own: hence the establishment of the Center in 1978 when the pre-1851 books, periodicals, and other materials generally, and some of the previously mentioned private libraries in particular, belonging to the University Library were transferred to a new building specially constructed for the care and servicing of those rare materials. Since then the collection has steadily been increasing and currentry it reached approximately 76,200 volumes of scarce and valuable materials in Western social sciences.

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