Books about ‘literary museums’ provide an introduction and summary of literary museums scattered across Japan in the form of a guidebook. Eighteen of such books have been published to date. The museums in these books were classified into 4 categories, namely independent literary museum, funded literary museum, converted literary museum, and non-literary museum. Upon discovering the individual characteristics of such classifications and after comparison studies were made, their history was roughly divided into 4 transition periods (before 1980’s, 1980’s to early 1990’s, the mid-1990’s, and the late 1990’s to present) as follows: The “Era of the Bunko Library” where the term ‘bunko library’ was commonly used, the “Era of the Memorial Hall” where the term ‘memorial hall’, which was also referred to as bunko library, was adopted as nomenclature, the “advent of the Era of the Literary Museum and end of the Era the Bunko Library” where the nomenclature use of ‘bunko library’ was declining while the widespread use of the term ‘literary museum’ was rising, as well as the “Era of the Literary Museum” where the term ‘literary museum’ was established as the standard nomenclature. These were the 4 stages of development shown. In other words, the widespread adoption of the term ‘literary museum’ as standard nomenclature, in place of the term ‘bunko library’, can be viewed to have taken place in just barely over 10 years.
2010 Japan Society for Information and Media Studies