chapter  16
15 Pages

Primary Manuscript and Printed Sources for Studying the Yatoi: The William Elliot Griffis Papers and Related Special Collections at Rutgers University

WithClark L. Beck

For sixty years Rutgers University has attracted scholars who have conducted research on the yatoi phenomenon. During the first half century, they came primarily to use the William Elliot Griffis Papers bequeathed to the University in 1928 and augmented substantially in the mid-1960's. Griffis is known largely for his work on Japan, but his interests went far beyond what contemporaries considered the distant and exotic land on the other side of the world. He wrote also on European and American history, theology, Korea and China. One of the largest and most significant groups of resources in the Griffis Papers consists of notes, jottings, and drafts of innumerable writings (both published and unpublished) on Japan. These are perhaps the most difficult for the archivist to arrange and describe, because Griffis wrote about almost anything on whatever scrap of paper he could find. A large category of miscellaneous materials rounds out the Japan portion of the Griffis Papers.