Persons who attended the Valenciennes Conference may ask the chairman for the full (electronic) version of the minutes.
(as of 21.10.2003)

Minutes of the General Meeting of the 14th Annual Conference of the European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists (EAJRS)

Venue: Le Musée des Beaux Arts, Valenciennes
Date: Saturday 27 September 2003

Chairman Prof. Dr Willy VandeWalle
Secretary Paul Wijsman

Digest of the minutes of the general meeting of the EAJRS closing the 14th conference of the EAJRS at Valenciennes.

1. Approval of the minutes of the 13th conference held in Paris, September 2002.

We can find the minutes of the Paris conference in the Newsletter 11. Are there any omissions additions or corrections to be made?
No reaction from the audience is noted. The minutes are therefore approved.

2. Financial situation of the EAJRS and rules for funding.

At the Paris meeting Peter Pantzer dwelt on the rule for funding. The general rule is that those who can get funding from their home institutions are not eligible for reimbursement from the Association. Those who are in need of funding, because they do not receive any support from their home institution, or at least not enough, can apply for partial reimbursement of expenses incurred. They have to apply to the chairman and are eligible for reimbursement of up to 50 percent of the expenses incurred. In principle reimbursement could only be repeated for three consecutive years. Beyond that, we can continue reimbursing someone else from the same institution, but not the same person. Besides, as a thumb rule, priority goes to those who make a presentation, and to participants from Eastern European countries.

This year there are no participants from the former Eastern European countries. This is to be regretted and is attributable to several reasons. The first one is that the EAJS conference at Warsaw was a competitor for our conference. The next reason no doubt is that we have not expressly and individually solicited participants from Eastern Europe. In order to remedy this problem, and certainly in view of the location of the venue of next year, we intend to launch our calls for papers earlier than last year, and expressly state in the announcement that people who are in need of financing can apply to the chairman for partial refunding. Of course identifying prospective participants, especially prospective contributors, is a tough job. We are still new in the business, and we cannot know where interesting collections are still hidden away, or where an expert is wasting in oblivion. The chairman therefore calls upon all participants to make suggestions as to which institution would be interesting for us to invite. We also need to widen our mailing list, possibly asking the European Association of Japanese Studies for their mailing list, and send our call for papers to all members, so that our reach is much further. If you do all this, we reach a considerably larger body of prospective participants and this will hopefully include persons from Eastern Europe. We also need to increase participation from the Mediterranean countries.

3. Appointment of a new treasurer.

The problem of the treasurer has already been dwelt upon in the former point of the agenda. We will now wait until the account is fully cleared, expected to happen at about the end of November, and then hopefully to start with a new slate and with a new treasurer.

4. Definition of membership.

The definition of membership that is current in our association is that everyone who has attended the conference at least once is a member, and is therefore entitled to receiving the newsletter. In the past there have been times that membership fees or participation fees were being charged, but somewhere along the way the practices was abandoned. We still have two conflicting views on the merits of charging membership fees.

5. Confirmation of the Board.

The Board now consists of the following members:
Koyama Noboru, Bruce Lambert, Morimura Etsuko, Peter Pantzer, Izumi Tytler, Willy Vande Walle, Paul Wijsman, and Nobuo Yajima.

6. Venue of next year's conference, local organiser and central topic of the conference.

Professor Yajima from Salamanca university has expressed his willingness to organise the conference next year at his home university. He is very eager to organise the conference because the time is right. The faculty of philosophy at Salamanca is starting a Japanese Studies program as of next academic year, a four year licentiate in Japanese Studies, reputedly the only such diploma in Spain. Professor Yajima says that the conference will be construed as a boost for the fledgling Japanese studies programme.

7. Possible extension and reorganisation of the EAJRS.

This point is somewhat overstated. Paul has heard rumours that the participants to the conference held a fourthnight ago in Bonn and Königswinter are interested in joining our association. This conference was organised by Joseph Kreiner and assembled about 20 art historians and curators of museums. They do not have an organisation and would apparently like to have an organisation where they can meet and exchange ideas. Hamish Todd remarks that originally art historians and curators of museums were also targeted by our association, and Peter Pantzer confirms this. He also notes that in the past some of the presentations were devoted to art, and that the excursion certainly during Matti Forrer’s time was also often directed to a museum or something that had to do with art.

8. Nacsis-Webcat Union Catalogue of Japanese Books in European Holdings.

Izumi Tytler makes a proposal. The Nacsis Webcat union catalogue has now been developed into a Great Britain union catalogue of Japanese books. Her proposal purports to set up a union catalogue of Japanese books for Europe. This would actually become an autonomous branch split off from the Nacsis Webcat union catalogue. All she needs is the permission of the responsible persons in each of the European Japanese libraries that have joined Nacsis Webcat. With these permissions she will secure from the Nacsis Webcat union catalogue in Japan the permission to define this European union catalogue. It is a simple technical switch, doesn't require any effort or money from the European libraries who will have given their permission. The merit basically is that the hits to appear on screen are then limited to European locations. This would be a first step towards a further integration of an European online catalogue, which subsequently will also have to include smoother interlibrary loans and the agreements on purchase strategies of expensive multi-volume books, as presently practised by the NCC United States.

9. Organisation of a commemorative exhibition on the occasion of the centennial of the demise of Lafcadio Hearn. Proposal to set up a Yôroppa no dejitaru Nihon kankei kojashin dêtabêsu.

Two proposals made by Dr Joseph Dubois. The EAJRS is prepared to give its moral support to any possible initiative taken by a third party, but lacks the resources to do anything itself.
The second proposal is a huge undertaking. It first and foremost requires as a preliminary step the identification and discovery of the photographs in European possession, private and public collections, and next the work of photographing them. This cannot be done by any institution in Europe and will require a heavy investment from a Japanese institution. The chairman is prepared to talk about this proposal to the Nichibunken but cannot go any further than that. Sebastian Dobson is presently involved in digitising the collection of the Japan Society of London which contains about 2000 photographs. This may be considered as a test case for the venture proposed by Dr Dubois, which allegedly would involve the digitising of some 80.000 photographs. Sebastian Dobson who is presently involved in the digitising the 2000 photographs of the Japan Society London is prepared to give a report on the progress of his work next year at Salamanca.

10. Report from the secretary.