Sumitomo Historical Archives can trace its lineage back to 1887 when staff exclusively assigned at the main residence of the House of Sumitomo in Osaka began compiling the Sumitomo family history by gathering papers documenting the development of Sumitomo’s business and the family.
In the postwar era, compilation of the family history continued as a project undertaken by Sumitomo Group companies and Shushi-shitsu (Historiography Office), an organization in charge of the archive, was established in 1950.
The office was relocated to its present premises in 1987 and renamed Sumitomo Historical Archives. As an organization dedicated to collecting, organizing, and preserving materials documenting the history of Sumitomo Group companies’ businesses, Sumitomo Historical Archives continues to vigorously fulfill its mission.
Notable historical materials possessed by Sumitomo Historical Archives are published under the Sumitomo History Library imprint and monographs are made available for Sumitomo Group companies, universities, libraries, research institutions, and the public in the Senoku Soko journal and the Sumitomo Historical Archives Journal.
Sumitomo Historical Archives comprise some 30,000 items from before the Meiji Restoration and some 60,000 items on the modern era. These historical materials constituting the documentary record for establishing Sumitomo’s history are repaired as necessary for semi-permanent storage and reference and are cataloged. Documents that have been repaired and cataloged are available for academic research. In order to protect the original documents, copies and digital versions are available for viewing.
If you are interested in viewing the documents, please refer to the website of Sumitomo Historical Archives and follow the instructions.
(Please note that Sumitomo Historical Archives has no exhibition facilities and is unable to accept requests for tours of its premises.)