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Research Guides

Japan Special Collections: Paine Collection

A bibliography of our special collection materials.

Paine Collection

Painee Collection Stamp 1 of 2 Painee Collection Stamp 2 of 2 


"The East Asia Library purchased the Robert T. Paine Collection from his estate in 1968. Robert T. Paine (1900-1965) was the Curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and his professional interests led him to develop a personal library. The collection in his library includes a variety of Japanese language materials in fields such as Art History,Archeology, Buddhism, Literature, etc. A fascinating portion of the Paine Collection consists of art reproductions and folio-size artbooks published in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Visiting Japanese scholars have taken great interest in these materials. Part of the collection includes images of Japanese architecture and artifacts destroyed by natural disasters and armed conflict. Only a few copies of these materials had survived these disasters and their rarity has been confirmed by the Cataloging Project beginning in 2010. To have images of things and places now destroyed is vital to historical scholarship. Approximately 250 items from the collection are now stored in preservation boxes, and in a climate-controlled room, in order to protect them from ongoing degradation." (East Asia Library Newsletter, Winter Quarter 2014, p. 8)