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The Institute of Cetacean Research Library, specializing in cetaceans, started out as a reference room with a computer in a corner for checking data when the Institute was reestablished as a foundation in 1987. The bookmarks in some of the books indicate that the library existed as “The Whales Research Institute Library” when the Institute was located in Tsukishima, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. The prototype of the current library was completed around 1991-1993, when the Institute began to maintain a full-fledged collection of materials with a qualified librarian, gradually laying the groundwork for a library database and organizing books, journals, articles, and video materials.

Around 1997-2002, the volume of information in the form of not only books and journals, but also video materials, newspaper and magazine articles grew dramatically, further expanding the range of materials handled by the library and the scope of its administrative work.

Thereafter, the library remained closed for various reasons, but in April 2024, the Institute opened the Taiji Office, located within the International Cetacean Center, that was built in Taiji-cho, Higashimurogun, Wakayama Prefecture, and the library was reopened for public access.

The library can be accessed as follows.

Access to the library

Terms of use

Use of the library is by prior appointment only.

Please contact ICR’s Taiji Office (Library) in advance.

Application for use

Before using the facilities, please fill in a ‘user card’ at the counter.

Opening hours

Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm (except 12pm to 1pm).

Closure days

Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, year-end and New Year holidays, temporary closures*.

* The library may be closed depending on the working conditions of the institute.


Please feel free to take any material you wish to read from the shelves.

Photocopying service

Photocopying service is available in the library.

Reproduction of library materials is allowed only for the limited purposes specified under the Copyright Law.

There is a charge for photocopying:

20 yen per black and white copy (all sizes), 50 yen per color copy (all sizes).

Requests to users

Please refrain from writing on, damaging or taking materials out of the premises without permission.

Please refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, loud talking and other acts that violate public order and morals.

The use of games on game consoles, smartphones, etc. is not permitted.

If you would like to take photographs inside the library, the person in charge will decide whether is possible to take pictures in order to protect privacy, so please let us know.

Please follow the instructions given by the library staff.

If you do not comply, we may restrict your use of the library in the future.

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