This paper elucidated the useful scope of archival processing for architectural materials regarded as research materials in architectural history after the modern age in Japan, where the way of processing architectural materials has not been established yet, and therefore, many unprocessed materials may exist as hidden collections. First, records surveys and records processing from the 1980s to the present were summarized (Chap. 2–4). Subsequently, the records were characterized into architectural material types by comparing architectural research material types to research material types from history and archaeology (Chap. 5). Finally, the usefulness of the archival processing was examined for each type of architectural material (Chap. 6).
2. Phase 1 (1985–1996): Systematic surveys
First, Terunobu FUJIMORI conducted two location surveys on architectural publications and drawings of “Modern Japan” from the first year of the Meiji era in 1868 to the 20th year of the Showa era in 1940. Both surveys focused on Japanese architects who first appeared during the Meiji era.
3. Phase 2 (1997–2007): Systematic processing and Interest in archival science
Second, the research records by Chuta ITO, the pioneer of architectural history in Japan, were processed in the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ). His work included more types of records than that of any of the abovementioned architects. In 2000, the National Museum of Nature and Science in Japan commissioned a survey by the AIJ on “architectural materials.” The AIJ continued this survey as its own project and conducted the study tour to the US in 2013. The tour led Japanese architectural historians to show a keen interest in collection policies and archival processing for managing and preserving architectural research materials.
4. Phase 3 (2008–): Expanding surveys and studying processing
Subsequently, the AIJ conducted a national survey on “modern architecture materials,” commissioned by the National Archives of Modern Architecture, which opened in 2013. Some educational institutions had begun both processing architectural materials and studying their processing during Phase 2. These differ from archival processing in that they focus on architectural drawings, and one drawing was considered a basic unit.
Then, the targets of the surveys and the processing were characterized. Before Phase 1, research material types related to architectural history were mainly remains and documents. In 1930, Saburo HORIKOSHI classified architectural research materials made in the Meiji era into six types; however, it was only after the war in 1945 that serious studies on the Meiji era as the modern age were conducted. In this chapter, those architectural material types were systematically categorized by being compared to research material types from history and archaeology. Based on the architectural material types, the targets of the survey and the processing were characterized.
After examining the usefulness of the archival processing by referring to four types of architectural materials, it was found that archival processing was highly effective for research records by historians or design records by designers. Those records are called “secondary architectural materials” or “architectural design materials” in this paper.
Archival processing was highly effective for architectural materials such as architectural records by historians or designers, after the modern age in Japan. However, exceptions may occur depending on (i) the activity of the records’ creator, (ii) the records’ owner, and (iii) the age of the records’ creation.