Dr. Yoshimaro Yamashina (1900–1989) was a Japanese ornithologist and the founder of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology. His two-volume “A Natural History of Japanese Birds”, published in 1934 and 1941, was an important contribution that had a major influence on the development of Japanese ornithology. One characteristic of the book is the use of figures printed from wood engravings. Indeed, this is thought to be the only Japanese bird book that includes figures made in this way. The Institute has been working on registration and preservation of the old unattended materials. The project revealed materials, such as original drawings, wood blocks and autographed manuscripts that Dr. Yamashina had used in preparing the handbook. A total of 527 related materials were registered, consisting of 51 autographed manuscripts, 448 original drawings, wood blocks, etc., and 28 miscellaneous items such as letters and envelopes. It was evident that Dr. Yamashina had shown a meticulous attention to detail in the preparation of his handbook. Furthermore, he had kept working on writing with a clear intention of publishing a third volume. The materials for the published and unpublished handbooks are important for studying the history of the development of Japanese ornithology, and they are also valuable as a means of showing that Japan at that time had a culture capable of producing such a book. Most of these materials are owned by the Institute.