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Collaborative Cataloging Japan is an international, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of Japanese experimental moving image produced from 1950s through 1980s, including fine art on film and video, documentations of performance, independently produced documentaries, experimental animation and experimental television. 

The mission of CCJ is to preserve, document and interpret these works, and enable their appreciation by a wider audience. Without this effort, this unique sector of Japanese cultural heritage, which historically has been underrepresented and unsupported, would remain available to only a very few. Buried in artists’ studios or independent archives, many works additionally are in danger of literal disappearance as film and video mediums continue to deteriorate. 

WHAT WE DO & how we operate

The central activities of CCJ are:

CCJ helps collection holders with metadata extraction, maintenance of intellectual assets, and assessing preservation conditions of their collections. 
CCJ hosts educational events in Japan, focussing on case studies and implementation of contemporary professional practices.
CCJ offers translated texts on media preservation and related topics, from English into Japanese.
CCJ organizes screenings, exhibitions, and panel discussions to promote emerging scholarship on Japanese experimental moving image works, and the exhibition of underrepresented films and video works. 
CCJ supports preservation projects of collection holders through fundraising and administering/overseeing the preservation process.
CCJ is working to create a bridge platform for researchers and existing collections. 

In partnership with institutions specializing in archiving, media preservation, and presentation, CCJ will provide information, education, and expert assistance to institutional and private collections holding Japanese experimental moving image works. CCJ programs and services are available to those museums, universities, libraries, archives, and artists whose mission includes the preservation, documentation, and open-access of their collection. 

The Collaborative method

A collaborative method for the cataloging and preservation of postwar Japanese experimental moving image offers potential for helping to resolve the issues of: 1) the lack of a physical, specialized archive, 2) raising significant financial support and finding technical resources for preservation, and 3) opening access to important cultural material. Collaboration on cataloging and preservation efforts allows an alternative to the administration of a centralized brick-and-mortar archive, utilizing the digital as a platform on which multiple collections are assessed and documented together in one extensive master catalog of existing Japanese postwar moving image work.

As a collaborative group, institutions and individuals may partner resources to work together on preservation projects, meeting each institution's programs, priorities, and budget. Moreover, through the form of a public digital archive, this collaborative method can offer fertile ground for those in arts administration, archives, and research to work together to preserve culture and open resources for new scholarship. Collaborative Cataloging Japan facilitates preservation and access by a collaborative group of providers and users.

types of moving image work

The programs and services of Collaborative Cataloging Japan center around experimental Japanese moving image works that may require proper preservation and archiving in order to document and provide information on the legacy of postwar Japanese experimental moving image history. The period of focus is 1955—1979; research and preservation efforts cover:

  • postwar experimental film works on 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm formats (single-channel, multi-screen, and installation works)
  • early activities of the Japanese video art movement (single-channel, multi-screen, and installation works)
  • experimental animation closely related to art history
  • documentation of performance related to art history (music, theater, performance, events, etc.)
  • independently-produced documentaries
  • television programs of experimental and artistic nature