Obituary: Tane Matsumura (née Takahashi): First Director of the ICU Library, holder of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters

Update: July 9, 2018

Tane Matsumura (née Takahashi), first Director of the ICU Library, holder of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, died on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at the age of 100. She was Director of the ICU Library for 17 years. The university wishes to express its sincere condolences. In accordance with her wishes, the funeral was held privately by her family.

After graduating from Keisen Jogakuen Senior High School in 1937, Matsumura studied at Western Maryland College (presently McDaniel College, Maryland). She graduated from the college in 1941 and went on to study at Pendle Hill, a Quaker school in Philadelphia. After the outbreak of World War II, she returned to Japan aboard an exchange ship.

She taught English at Keisen Jyogakuen until 1946. From 1946 to 1950, she served as secretary and interpreter to Mrs. Elizabeth Gray Vining, who tutored Emperor Akihito while he was Crown Prince. From 1951, Matsumura went to Drexel University in Philadelphia and acquired a master's degree in library science in 1952.

In 1954, she accepted the offer to become the first Director of the ICU Library. She played a pivotal role in organizing the books in the new library that was completed in 1960, devoting herself to providing superb service to users. Until 1971, she served as Director for a record 17 years. She introduced the latest in library science from the U.S. and contributed much to the education of all students at ICU. In 1972, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from ICU.

In 2017, the ICU Library Archives and Special Collections held an exhibition entitled Mrs. Vining and Tane--Educators for the Realization of Peace.


Matsumura (second from right) explaining the library card catalog to students.

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