Revealing the uniqueness of Oya Soichi Library, a Japanese magazine library through editing Wikipedia

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On November 19, 2022, an editathon named “WikipediaOYA” was held at Oya Soichi Library, a Japanese magazine library. This article describes the details.

Magazines in Oya Soichi Library (Eugene Ormandy, CC BY SA)


The timetable is as follows.

11:00〜11:20Lecture on how to use “Web OYA-bunko
11:20〜13:00Library Tour
13:00〜14:00Lunch time
14:00〜16:00Searching, Editing and Shooting for YouTube

Management team consists of

We held this event only by invitation to prevent the spread of Covid 19 and because of limited working space.

Veteran Japanese Wikipedians such as Dr. Sae Kitamura and a member of Student Wikipedian Community in Waseda Uni Tokyo joined this event and edited the articles about sweets.

It was the second time we held WikipediaOYA. FYI, the report of WikipediaOYA vol.1 is as follows.

Lecture of the unique search system

Firstly, a staff member of Oya Soichi Library explained how to use “Web OYA-bunko” which is an original search engine of this library. They introduced four functions and original index system.

Library Tour

After the lecture, we took a tour of Oya Soichi Library. This library applies a closed-stack system, so usually we cannot see the stacks. However, participants of this event were allowed to tour them.

Stacks of Oya Soichi Library (Eugene Ormandy, CC BY SA)

Participants were overwhelmed by the large collection of magazines. Wikipedia editors were delighted that there were all the magazines they wanted to use for Wikipedia editing. Librarians were surprised at unique bookshelves. Some participants said that they want to live there.

You can watch the bookshelves on Oya Soichi Library’s YouTube channel (Japanese language).

Searching, Editing and Shooting for YouTube

After the tour and lunch, some participants started to edit Wikipedia articles about sweets using Web OYA-bunko. Some editors created new articles and the others added sentences to the articles. Their results are posted on the project page (Japanese Language).

While Wikipedians edited articles, the other participants took a video for YouTube. They shot an interview with a staff of Oya Soichi Library. This video will be uploaded to Araisyohei’s YouTube channel.

FYI, the video we had took at WikipediaOYA vol.1 is as follows (Japanese Language).

The video taken at WikipediaOYA vol.1 (Japanese Language)


Finally, we had a discussion with some staff members of Oya Soichi Library. We shared the Wikipedia articles we had edited and how to have used the library. Comments from participants are as follows.

  • I was very surprised at the large collection.
  • I was happy that all the volumes of my favorite magazine are available.
  • I can trace the trend through magazines.
  • Oya Soichi Library is helpful for Wikipedia editors.

I was especially impressed that staff members of Oya Soichi Library offered Wikipedia editors another way of searching. For example, when an Wikipedia editor said that they had referred to the Oya classification “16 Social Condition > 009 sweets” to collect information on French chocolate cake, a staff member added that they can also refer to “04 World > 084 Social Condition in France > 004 Food, Clothing, Shelter and Cosmetic“. Moreover, when another Wikipedia editor pointed out that the way magazines feature sweets differs depending on the type of magazine, a staff member advised that they can search limiting the type of magazines.

This discussion highlighted Oya Soichi Library’s abundant materials, unique research system, and excellent reference system. A staff member of Oya Soichi Library commented, “I’m very happy because I don’t usually have many opportunities to hear the voices of users.”


The goal of WikipediaOYA is to satisfy all the participants, Wikipedia editors, Librarians form other libraries and staff members of Oya Soichi Library.

Through this event, Wikipedia editors can learn useful tools and improve Wikipedia articles. Librarians from other libraries can learn the unique system of Oya Soichi Library and give an interview Wikipedia editors, who are very active library user.

Then, what are the benefits for Oya Soichi Library? Our answer is “Highlighting the charm of OYA Soichi Library through editing Wikipedia and archiving them”. So, we edited Wikipedia articles using OYA Soichi Library’s system, shared them at discussion and wrote this report.

I think we achieved the goal. We hope we can hold WikipediaOYA again.

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