This Institute is the result of a merger of two organizations, the Canadian Center chiefly run by Rev. Conrad Fortin (Professor, Faculty of Literature) and the American Book Collection organized by the late Rev. Donald Mason (Professor, Faculty of Foreign Studies). By this merger, it was expected that more cohesive studies on North America could be conducted and that educational cooperation of the two faculties be realized.
Basic design was laid down by professors Ken Akiyama (American Literature) and Kazuyuki Matsuo (American History). The Institute of International Relations of Sophia University kindly provided necessary personnel and know-how for running the early days of the Institute. The US-Japan Friendship Commission made generous contribution for three years.
There are numerous possibilities for the Institute. It can strengthen the journal, have better cooperation with academic associations, sponsor better cooperative research projects and/or establish graduate school level education. Besides these academic activities, it also can continue collecting periodicals and provide book loan services for the undergraduate students.
The institute conducts research on the history, politics, economy, society and culture of the American and Canadian regions. The results of the research are to be reflected in various university courses and will be disseminated to the general public, thus asking significance of these areas in contemporary world.
The various activities of the institute are not confined to any particular department or discipline. They are interdisciplinary and general, and a special effort is made to cooperate with other research organizations. Thus, the institute will function as a place of academic interchange.