3.Material types, media types, collection and hierarchical structure of bibliographies on NDL Search

In the National Diet Library Search, materials are expressed by a combination of material type and media type. These items can be used for searches and can also be used as clues to understand how to use them. In addition, collection items are assigned to the collection of materials, which can be used for searching.

3-1 Material type

This item indicates the type of information resource.
NDL Search includes the following types of materials:
If multiple material types are selected with the check box on the search screen, the search is performed as an OR search.

The information marked "*" is mainly for information about the materials in the NDL's collection. Please also check Research Navi for information on the use of each type of material at the NDL.

Table 1 List of material types
Material TypeDescription
BooksBooks, non-books (materials categorized into other material types such as Braille), reports under Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, materials from international organizations, electronic books to which the NDL subscribes, etc.
*Some yearbooks have been cataloged as journals since approx. 1986.
PeriodicalsIncludes magazines, magazines in microform, electronic journals and newspapers to which the NDL subscribes, online journals published in Japan and assigned ISSN, and other periodicals.
You can also search for articles in the Japanese Periodicals Index created by the National Diet Library from here.
*Some yearbooks have been cataloged as books.
NewspapersIncludes newspapers and newspapers in microform.
Japanese and Chinese Old MaterialsIncludes Japanese materials created before the end of the Edo period (1868) and Chinese materials created before the end of the Qing dynasty.
*Western classical books (old Western books) at the NDL are cataloged as "Books".
> Research Navi "Classical Books"(in Japanese)
>Research Navi "How to Search for Classical Materials"
> Research Navi "Important Cultural Property of the National Diet Library"
Doctoral dissertationIncludes Japanese-language doctoral dissertations, foreign-language doctoral dissertations.
  • ProQuest dissertations are cataloged as standards and technical reports.
MapsIncludes Japanese- or foreign-language single-sheet maps and residential maps produced during and after the Meiji period.
  • Atlases are cataloged as books at the NDL.
  • Japanese-language maps produced during or before the Edo period and foreign-language maps produced before 1830 are cataloged either as books or as Japanese and Chinese old materials at the NDL.
    > Research Navi "Maps"(in Japanese)
Music scoresIncludes music scores that contain multiple works, or music scores that is printed and sold one piece at a time.
Websites in JapanIncludes websites collected by [Web archiving Project (WARP)] (https://warp.ndl.go.jp/).
Online PublicationsIncludes online publications such as annual reports, yearbooks, directories, public relations magazines, bulletins, articles in journals, and other similar materials collected by the NDL.
You can also search for online publications articles in the Japanese Periodicals Index created by the National Diet Library from here.
Electronic ResourcesIncludes CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, etc.
  • Music CDs and LDs are cataloged as audio materials.
  • Electronic publications that were attachments to books are cataloged as books.
  • Electronic publications such as journals and newspapers are cataloged either as periodicals or as newspapers.
VideoIncludes video materials such as videotapes, DVDs, etc.
*Videos that were attachments to books are cataloged as books.
AudioIncludes recorded music such as CDs, phonograph records, etc.
  • Most analog recordings have not been cataloged by work name or artist name.
  • Recordings that were attachments to books are cataloged as books.
Standards and Technical ReportsIncludes specialized materials on science and technology such as standards, technical reports, papers from academic societies and associations, and UMI dissertations.
** For more information about these collection (feature, holdings, search hint), please refer to links below (Japanese only).
[Standards(Within Japan)(Overseas)]
International standards, national standards, and organization standards such as ISO, IEC, JIS.
[Technical Report]
U.S. Government Technical Reports (PB, AD, DOE, NASA, etc.), INIS report, RAND report, etc.
[Papers from academic societies and associations]
Mainly papers of four academic societies (AIAA, ASME, SAE, SME)
[UMI dissertations]
North American doctoral dissertations in the field of science and technology distributed by UMI.
Manuscripts and ImagesIncludes documents, correspondence, nishiki-e, posters, etc.
ArticlesInclues bibliography of periodical articles and newspaper articles. On the search screen, you can search by articles by checking "Periodical article etc."
*In the case of materials held by the National Diet Library, the Japanese Periodicals Index prepared by the National Diet Library, including articles on "e-books and electronic magazines".
*For a list of journals included in the Japanese Periodicals Index, please visit the NDL's website.

3-2 Media Types

This item indicates the recording format of the information resource.

Table 2 List of material forms
Material FormIconDescription
DigitalThis is a material that can be used using electronic devices such as computers and smartphones. It is a form of material that includes digitized materials from paper media, e-books, and papers published in PDF. Some materials can be available via Internet, but others need to be purchased to use them, and some materials can only be viewed by visiting a specific library. It does not include items recorded on storage media.
PaperThis is a paper document. This includes printed books, periodicals, newspapers, maps, etc. It may not be available depending on the state of preservation. Please check the information of the holding institution before using it.
MicroThis is the material recorded on microfilm, microfiche, microopaque, etc. Special equipment is required for use. Please check the information of the holding institution before using it.
Recording mediaIncludes documents that are not stored on digital, paper, and micro media. This includes CDs/DVDs, USB sticks, records, tapes, game software, etc. Special equipment is required for use. Please check the information of the holding institution before using it.

3-3 Collection

A collection is an item that represents a specific group of materials.
In addition to the collection, which consists only of materials available at the NDL, there are also collections that are commonly granted to other libraries in Japan.
Some collections are organized according to a specific purpose or content. Even if it is difficult to narrow down the materials by selecting the material type alone, you may be able to narrow down the list to a specific material by specifying a collection.

Table 3 Collections common to the National Diet Library and other libraries in Japan
Collection NameDescription
Children's BooksBooks, magazines, and other materials created for children. Materials organized by the NDL as children's books, materials from libraries participating in the former Children's Book Catalog, and materials classified as children's books by organizations affiliated with NDL Search are eligible.
Materials for the DisabledElectronic materials for persons with print disabilities, such as DAISY held by the National Diet Library, audio tapes for persons with print disabilities, Braille books, large-print and enlarged manuscripts *About Mina Search
Table 4 Collection consisting only of materials available at the NDL
Collection NameDescription
Modern Japanese Political History MaterialsCollection of library materials available in the Modern Japanese Political History Materials Room, which originally belonged to political leaders, senior civil servants and military officers. Some of these materials have been used in the NDL's digital exhibitions. Individual collections are named after their former owners.
Research Navi 「憲政資料」の検索・複写申込ガイド」(in Japanese)
Materials on the Allied Occupation of JapanCollection of library materials related to the Allied Occupation of Japan.
Research Navi 「日本占領関係資料」の検索・複写申し込みガイド」(in Japanese)
Prange CollectionDuring the occupation period after World War II, Japanese publications were censored by the Allied Forces. The Gordon W. Prange Collection consists of newspapers, magazines and books submitted to the Allied Powers for censorship, and the originals are now preserved at the University of Maryland in the U.S.A. The NDL now holds some books and magazines from this collection.
Research Navi "Gordon W. Prange Collection"
Materials on Japanese EmigrationCollection of books and periodicals published in North, Central and South American countries, private papers in original and in microfilm, and government documents in microfilm related to Japanese emigration.
Research Navi "Finding Aids for Materials on Japanese emigration"(in Japanese)
Ashihara Collection Collection of the late Eiryo Ashihara, famous researcher of performing arts including ballet, chanson, and circuses.undefined
Research Navi "Eiryo Ashihara Collection"
Music ManuscriptsThis collection has been partly digitized from music manuscripts and documents collected by the NDL.
Research Navi 「手稿譜及びその関連資料」(in Japanese)
Dramatic Scripts This collection includes TV and radio scripts written before 1980 which were donated to the NDL by the Consortium for the Promotion of Broadcast Script Archives in Japan. Part of the collection has been digitized and made available via the Internet.undefined
Research Navi 「日本脚本アーカイブズ推進コンソーシアム寄贈の放送脚本」(in Japanese)
Historical RecordingsThe Historical Recordings Collection comprises digital audio of music, speeches, and other sound recording originally issued on 78-rpm records and metal discs produced in Japan during the first half of the 20th century. The original recordings were digitized by the Historical Records Archive Promotion Conference (HiRAC).
Recordings that are still subject to copyright protection are available only on the premises at the NDL or its partner libraries. Recordings for which copyright has expired are available via the Internet.
>[Reference: 音の歴史を残す(国立国会図書館月報606号 p.4~)] (https://dl.ndl.go.jp/pid/3192241)(in Japanese)
List of participating libraries
Historical Recordings Collection special website (Rekion)
Scientific FilmsThis collection includes materials produced between the 1950s and the 1990s, which were collected and digitized by the Society for the Support of the Science Film Museum (Incorporated NPO)Leave the NDL website. .

3-4 Hierarchical Structure of Bibliographies in NDL Search

In addition to the material type and media type of materials, NDL Search searches and displays the hierarchical structure of materials at three levels: title, volume, and article. In the basic operation, you can use it without any problems without being aware of these three levels. However, depending on the purpose of the search, it may be easier to find the information you are looking for by being aware of the hierarchy.

Table 5 Hierarchical structure of materials in NDL Search
TitleA hierarchy that is created when there is a unit for organizing volume issues, such as the title of a serial publication or a series of books.
VolumeVolume is the basic unit for using materials such as each volume of a magazine, books, and maps, and is also the basic unit of search in NDL Search.
ArticleArticle is a hierarchy with articles and papers published in the volume issue. In some cases, it is linked to the volumer, but in other cases, the article is established on its own.

For example, if there is a journal called "A Journal" and there is an article "Natsume Soseki's Research" in the February issue, the title: "A Journal", the volume number: February issue, and the article: "Natsume Soseki's Research".
The hierarchical structure differs depending on the type of material. In the case of newspapers, there is no hierarchical structure.

Hierarchical structure of bibliographies in search

In NDL search, volume issues are used as the basic unit for searching and displaying. In the search, the title information and article information are also searched together, but the title is displayed in the form of a bundle of individual volume issues, and the article is displayed as a table of contents of the volume issue. For example, if you search for Natsume Soseki, if there is an article that includes Natsume Soseki in both the February and March issues of a magazine called "A Journal", the February and March issues will be linked under A Journal, and the articles will be highlighted under each.

Sample hierarchical structure of materials in the search result list

  • Title (1-a)
    Displays a title-level bibliography. By clicking on it, you will be taken to the title-level bibliographic records screen, where you can check the volume issues in a list.
  • Volume (1-b)
    The information of the volume number is displayed in conjunction with the title-level bibliography.
  • Article (1-c)
    If there are any hits for the search term, they will be highlighted below the volume issue. It is not possible to transition directly from the search results list to an article-level bibliography. Click the title of the article from the bibliographic records screen at the volume level to move to the article.

If you check "Articles" in the material type, the article-level bibliography will be searched and displayed directly. In this case, the article-level bibliography is displayed in the search results list.
Some articles are not linked to volume issues and may not be found in the default search. If you want to search for article-level materials in detail, please check "Articles"

Hierarchical structure of bibliographies in the use of materials

When requesting for materials at the NDL, you can request without being aware of the hierarchical structure of the materials. Please check the display in the "Reading at the Library" area and request. If you request remote photoduplicaion service from an article-level material, the article will be automatically designated as the copy location.
If you open the article-level bibliographic records screen, you may not be able to display the usage status of other organizations properly. Even in that case, if you use the "breadcrumbs" area to transition to a bibliography at the volume level, you may be able to display information on the holdings of other libraries in Japan.