Toshiyuki Takamiya

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Toshiyuki Takamiya
Born (1944-02-23) 23 February 1944 (age 75)
Tokyo, Japan
EducationBA (Economics), Keio University, BA and MA (English Literature), Keio University
OccupationProfessor Emeritus at Keio University, Antiquarian book collector
Notable work
Author, co-editor: Aspects of Malory, 1981.
Co-editor: Medieval English Studies Past and Present, 1990.
Co-Author: New Science Out of Old Books: Studies in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, 1995
Chaucer in Perspective, 1999.

Toshiyuki Takamiya (高宮利行, Takamiya Toshiyuki, born 23 February 1944) in Tokyo, Japan is a Japanese academic and author. Emeritus Professor at Keio University since 2009, he is an authority on medieval English literature, medieval English manuscript studies and a collector of antiquarian books.

As Director of Keio University's Humanities Media Interface Project (HUMI) he has led the digital documentation, facsimile reproduction, and distribution of many rare medieval books and manuscripts including the Gutenberg Bible and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Takamiya was born in Tokyo in 1944.[2][not in citation given] He graduated from Keio University with a BA in Economics in 1966 and subsequently studied at the same university for both a BA and MA in English Literature, graduating in 1968 and 1970 respectively.

Academic research and professional positions[edit]

Under Takamiya's direction, the HUMI team at Keio University has made digital reproductions of sixteen sets of the Gutenberg Bible at seven institutions, including in 2000, both full-text facsimiles held in the collection of the British Library.[3][4] The high resolution images have facilitated comparative bibliographical research on early movable type printing methods and are available for public access on the respective library websites.

Since 1986 Takamiya has been a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.[5] Professor Takamiya has been awarded honorary degrees by the University of Sheffield (1998) and the University of Glasgow (2011).[6][7]

From 2000 to 2004 Takamiya served as a trustee of the New Chaucer Society.

In 2004 a festschrift was published in his honor: The Medieval Book and a Modern Collector: essays in honour of Toshiyuki Takamiya. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer ISBN 978-1-84384-405-1.

Loan to the Beinecke Library[edit]

In 2013 Takamiya deposited on long term loan his private collection of rare medieval books and manuscripts at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.[8] Assembled over 40 years, the collection includes 51 items, including three copies of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a copy of Chaucer's A Treatise on the Astrolabe, and several Wycliffe's Bibles.


  1. ^ "Gutenberg Bible: The HUMI Project". The Morgan Library and Museum. The Morgan Library and Museum. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  2. ^ Horobin, Simon, ed. (2014). Middle English Texts in Transition: A Festschrift Dedicated to Toshiyuki Takamiya on his 70th Birthday. York: York Medieval Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-1-903153-53-6.
  3. ^ Pearson, David (2006). Bowman, J (ed.). British Librarianship and Information Work 1991-2000: Rare book librarianship and historical bibliography. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-7546-4779-9.
  4. ^ "HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible". Keio University News. Keio University. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Fellows Directory, Society of Antiquaries, London". Society of Antiquaries, London. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  6. ^ Horobin, Simon, ed. (2014). Middle English Texts in Transition: A Festschrift Dedicated to Toshiyuki Takamiya on his 70th Birthday. York: York Medieval Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-1-903153-53-6.
  7. ^ "Six honorary degrees presented to celebrate University's Commemoration Day". University of Glasgow: University News. University of Glasgow. 16 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Unprecedented Collection of Middle English Texts on Deposit at the Beinecke Library". Yale University Library. Yale University. Retrieved 13 May 2016.