Shizue Matsuda

May 14, 1921December 16, 2018

Shizue Matsuda was born on May 14, 1921 and passed away on December 16, 2018.


Shizue Matsuda

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Wen-ling Liu

March 17, 2019

Ms. Matsuda was my first supervisor at Indiana University.
Hard working, she was disciplined to herself as well as to her assistants. In addition to be an outstanding librarian, sh was also an accomplished calligrapher.

Born in Honolulu and educated in Japan with a bachelor’s degree in Library Science from Keio University, Ms. Matsuda was fluent with English, Japanese, and Chinese. She received a doctoral degree in Chinese literature from Columbia University in 1978.

She faced a difficult situation in 1972 when she became IU’s East Asian Librarian: a large uncataloged backlog and a shortage of staff. However,
through networking and fund-raising, Ms. Matsuda was able to modernize the library’s operations and at the same time develop a substantial Japanese reference collection. She expanded the exchange programs with prominent libraries in China and Japan and applied successfully for grants such as those from the Japan World Exposition Commemorative Association and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission for book acquisitions.

As one of the few female East Asian studies librarians in the early 1970s, Matsuda was genuinely respected by her peers in the Council on East Asian Libraries.

She remained active in academic pursuit and daily life even after retirement in 1986. She continued to work on writing projects, published many review articles in Library journals in Japan. took Spanish lessons through IU programs, and served as President of IU-sponsored Retirement organization at one point.

Her health became to deteriorate since summer of 2013, but she continued to manage her life independently until 2017. She then moved to the Golden Living Center, Bloomington. Thanks to the care of the staff members of the Center, especially one beautiful nurse-aid. They formed a genuinely warm friendship between them, and Ms. Matsuda passed away peacefully in sleep holding the hands of the kind nurse on December 16, 2018.

Sumie Jones

March 16, 2019

Shizue was among the first people I met when I moved to Bloomington decades ago. We soon became comrades in arms in our battle to get a larger budget and more books particularly for the Japanese part of the East Asian Collection. There was not even one Japanese daily newspaper in IU Library, which shocked me. I was told that one Japanese newspaper cost far more than all those from several Asian countries combined. My campaign to get free subscriptions to the Asahi and the Yomiuri having failed, Shizue and I organized a Japan bazaar in front of the library. The faculty and their families donated anything Japanese that they could think of--origami paper, folded fans, kimono and accessories, hand-baked sweets, books, etc. while some of them served as sales persons. What was most popular was Shizue's calligraphy on thick pieces of decorated Japanese paper. There was now enough money to subscribe to the Asahi for a year or two. One of my students then took a summer job with the Asahi in New York and managed to get IU's Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures added to the paper's complimentary subscription list. EALC faculty and students enjoyed the paper delivered daily for at least three decades. Shizue was a tough-minded, hard-working, and out-spoken fighter throughout her career. She expanded the East Asian Collection remarkably sometimes by fighting with the Library's administration. After her retirement, as I often ran into her at Borders bookstore sipping tea and reading all the journals she could read in one sitting, I formed a habit of inviting her to lunch. We usually went to China Gate but Shizuie's favor later shifted to Panera Bread . The topic of our conversation was usually what she had been reading at the Boarders on that day but we came to talk later more about our department and colleagues and, in the end, what each of us was doing lately. I will miss Shizue, a heroic librarian.

Hiromi Yoshida

January 26, 2019

Dr. Shizue Matsuda was my mother's PhD-seeking colleague at Columbia University's Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the early 1970s. She had babysat me during those years, and had generously hosted me at her home in Bloomington, Indiana when I first arrived at Indiana University as a PhD student in the Department of English. Dr. Matsuda's contributions to East Asian Studies librarianship are impressive, inspiring me to keep her spirit alive as I continue my academic librarian job search. I will always remember her as a tough, outspoken, and resilient person whom nobody and nothing could possibly defeat. Rest In Power, Dr. Matsuda!