From the Imperial Library to the ILCL

This Western, Renaissance-style building of the Meiji era, designated as a historic building by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, was first constructed in 1906 as the Imperial Library. In 1929 (Showa era) some additional building was done.

After World War II, the Imperial Library ceased to exist, and in 1947 it was renamed the National Library. In 1948 the National Diet Library was established and this library was reorganized as a branch of it.

In 2000, the building was born again as the International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL).


Titles with asterisk (*) link to Japanese page.

Mar. 1906 Construction of the Imperial Library building completed
Aug. 1929 Construction of the Imperial Library building (Phase II) completed
Dec. 1935 Construction of the library training school completed (on the premises of the Imperial Library)
Dec. 1947 Renamed “The National Library”
Jun. 1948 National Diet Library (NDL) opened
Apr. 1949 Reorganized as a branch of the NDL, called “The Ueno Library”
May 1995 “National Liaison Committee to Promote Foundation of an International Library of Children’s Literature” established
Jun. 1995 “League of Diet Members for Founding the International Library of Children’s Literature” established
Nov. 1995 Report of the investigation committee on establishing a new facility of the NDL facility to provide children’s books and others submitted
May 1996 Basic Plan of the International Library of Children’s Literature (ILCL)*” formulated
  1996 Aging reinforced concrete stacks dismantled
Jan. 1997 Planning Office of the ILCL established
Apr. 1999 The NDL Law amended to stipulate establishment of the ILCL
Jan. 2000 ILCL officially founded
May 2000 ILCL partly opened to the public (Phase I)
May 2000 ILCL’s website opened
May 2000 “Union Catalog of Children’s Literature” started
May 2000 Picture Book Gallery” released
Mar. 2001 The Window: the journal of the International Library of Children's Literature” first issued
Jun. 2001 The number of visitors to the ILCL tops 100,000
Apr. 2002 Collecting school textbooks started
May 2002 ILCL fully opened
Nov. 2002 Book sets lending service to school libraries*” started
Mar. 2003 "ILCL liaison conference" opened.
Apr. 2003 “Digital Library of Children's Literature” released
Oct. 2004 Lecture Series on Children's Literature” first held
Aug. 2005 Database of Japanese Children's Books translated into Foreign Languages*” released
Sep. 2006 Centenary of the former Imperial Library building
Oct. 2006 Start of providing color microfilm of children's books of the postwar occupation period included in the Gordon W. Prange Collection at the University of Maryland
Nov. 2007 Liaison meeting on services for children started (continued to 2009)
Oct. 2008 Number of visitors to the ILCL tops 1 million
Nov. 2009 Mutual visit program with the National Library for Children and Young Adults in Korea started
Mar. 2010 Website for mediators between children and books*” opened
Mar. 2010 Email magazine of ILCL*” started
Apr. 2010 National Diet Libray kids' website*” opened
Sep. 2010 Support plan for the promotion of children's reading activities 2010” formulated
Feb. 2011 “Digital Library of Children's Literature” integrated to “Digital Library from the Meiji Era
Mar. 2011 "Cooperation forum for children's services*" opened (continued to FY2012)
Mar. 2011 Second Basic Plan for the ILCL” formulated
Apr. 2011 ILCL’s website renewed
Sep. 2011 ILCL Research Series” first issued
Jan. 2012 ILCL Online Public Access Catalog for Kids*” released
Jan. 2012 "Union Catalog of Children's Literature" shifted to "NDL Search"
Apr. 2012 Children's books of the Gordon W. Prange Collection became searchable on the NDL-OPAC
Mar. 2014 "Forum for cooperation on children's reading" opened (continued to FY2014)
Mar. 2014 Children's books from the Prange Collection* were added to the National Diet Library Digital Collections
Mar. 2015 "Support Plan for the Promotion of Children's Reading Activities 2015" formulated
Jun. 2015 Arch Building completed
Sep. 2015 Arch Building open
Mar. 2016 ILCL fully renewal open