National Library of China
|National Library of China|
|The old buildings of the library, now (since 1987) the branch of the National Library of China that houses historical and ancient books, documents and manuscripts|
|Size||26,310,000 volumes (by 2007)|
|Access and use|
|Circulation||library does not publicly circulate|
|Population served||members of the public|
The National Library of China (simplified Chinese: 中国国家图书馆; traditional Chinese: 中國國家圖書館; pinyin: Zhōngguó Guójiā Túshūguǎn) or NLC in Beijing is the largest library in Asia, and one of the largest in the world with a collection of over 26.3 million volumes of books by 2007. It holds the largest and among the richest worldwide collections of Chinese literature and historical documents.
The forerunner of the National Library of China, the Imperial Library (京师图书馆, Jīngshī Túshūguǎn), was founded on 24 April 1909 by the Qing government. It was first formally opened after the Xinhai Revolution, in 1912. In 1916, the library received depository library status. In July 1928, its name was changed to National Peiping Library and was later changed to the National Library.
The National Library of China's collection inherited books and archives from the "Imperial Wenyuange Library" collection of the Qing Dynasty and that, in turn, included books and manuscripts from the library of the Southern Song Dynasty.
The library also contains inscribed tortoise shells and bones, ancient manuscripts, and block-printed volumes. Among the most prized collections of the NLC are rare and precious documents and records from past dynasties in Chinese history, and it also houses official publications of the United Nations and foreign governments and a collection of literature and materials in over 115 languages.
Notable collections and items
- a collection of over 270,000 ancient and rare Chinese books, and over 1,640,000 traditional thread-bound Chinese books
- over 35,000 inscriptions on oracle bones and tortoise shells from the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th–11th century BC)
- surviving tablets of the Xiping Stone Classics created by Cai Yong (132-192) of the Eastern Han Dynasty
- more than 16,000 volumes of precious historical Chinese documents and manuscripts from the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang
- old maps, diagrams, and rubbings from ancient inscriptions on various materials
- copies of Buddhist sutras dating to the 6th century
- original draft of Sima Guang's Zizhi Tongjian
- books and archives from imperial libraries of the Southern Song Dynasty (c. 1127), including the works of Zhu Xi
- oldest extant printed edition of the Huangdi Neijing, dated between 1115-1234
- the most complete surviving Ming Dynasty copies of the Yongle Encyclopedia ("Great Canon of the Yongle Era")
- a copy of the Siku Quanshu ("Complete Library of the Four Branches of Literature") of the Qing Dynasty
- essential literary and books collection from Qing Dynasty's imperial colleges and renowned private collectors
- List of libraries
- List of national libraries
- Chinese Library Classification (CLC)
- Archives in the People's Republic of China
- Introduction of National Library of China. National Library of China.
- Harvard College Library, China Form Pact - Harvard-Yenching Library collection to be digitized. The Harvard Crimson.
- "National Library of China to Add Its Records to OCLC WorldCat". Information Today. 2008-03-06.
- "The National Library of China (NLC) Advancing Towards the Twenty-first Century". National Library of Australia.
- "National Library of China to add its records to OCLC WorldCat". Library Technology Guides. 2008-02-28.
- "From Tortoise Shells to Terabytes: The National Library of China's Digital Library Project". Library Connect.
- "The Development of Authority Database in National Library of China". Science Links Japan.
- "Columbia University Libraries and the National Library of China Sign Cooperative Agreement". Columbia University Libraries. 2008-11-25.
- Hwa-Wei Lee
- National Library of China. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
- National Libraries. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
- "The Xiping Stone Classics". World Digital Library.
- Zhou, Mi and Ankeney Weitz (2002). Zhou Mi's Record of Clouds and Mist Passing Before One's Eyes: An Annotated Translation. Brill Publishers. p. 278. ISBN 9789004126053.
- "The Four Books in Chapter and Verse with Collected Commentaries". World Digital Library.
- "The Su Wen of the Huangdi Neijing (Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor)". World Digital Library.
- "China mega-book gets new life". CNN. 2002-04-18.
- David H. Stam, ed. (2001). International Dictionary of Library Histories. Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 1579582443.
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