The Iwao Kobori Arid Land Research Collection (Part 3)

Yoshihiro Nishiaki
The University Museum
The University of Tokyo

The present volume concludes the publication in three parts of the catalog of the Iwao Kobori Arid Land Research Collection. Following Parts 1 and 2, which covered archeological and ethnographic materials (2017) and natural geographic materials (2018), respectively, the documents in Part 3 are archival materials left by the late Professor Iwao Kobori (1924–2010), including his field notebooks, research documents, collected maps, and photographs. It also provides materials serving as addenda to the preceding two volumes.

The materials documented in Part 3 include detailed records of the field investigations by Professor Kobori, a geographer who devoted his academic career of more than half a century since 1956 to research the interactions between human communities and their surroundings through the lens of water management. The hand-drawn maps, descriptions, photographs, and 8-mm movie films documenting the distribution and types of water-irrigation systems in the Middle East and North Africa, matching his research interest, would be particularly useful for those interested in the water management systems in the regions. At the same time, the great number of postcards and governmental/non-governmental posters obtained from across the world also draws our attention. These materials, whose scientific value may not be apparent at a glance, were also collected through Professor Kobori’s geographer’s eyes and thus can be considered significant evidence documenting the changing societies at a particular moment in the arid lands.

On the occasion of publication of the present volume, all of the related archival materials and photographs of the Kobori collection were digitized to promote their availability as well as to ensure their preservation. The three volumes of the present catalog and the digital data are expected to enhance the multi-faceted values of the collection for the research and education of arid land studies.