Asian Libraries - China

by Christina Gosnell, Jan 17, 2003 | Destinations: China / Beijing

Beijing Normal University


The Library of Beijing Normal University was established in 1902, on the basis of the reading-room of the normal school that was a department of Jing Shi Da Xue Tang. Now the library has a construction area of 22300 m2, including 16 stack rooms for books and newspapers, 15 reading rooms of 1530 seats, and 32 small study rooms. In addition, there is also a language laboratory, an audio-visual room and a lecture hall. The library is also equipped with modern equipment, such as a computer room, a microfilm duplication workshop and a copying machine room.

The library currently has 2.8 million volumes. It's one of the largest collections of university libraries in China. Among the holdings, there are 2.25 million Chinese volumes, including 20 thousand titles of thread-bound classics. There are also 22544 volumes of rare books with 1536 titles. The library has 370,000 volumes of books in foreign languages. There is a batch of valuable European sheepskin books which were published between 1529-1800. The periodical holdings consist of 14436 titles, approximately 240,000 volumes in both Chinese and foreign languages.

Based on the educational mission of BNU, the library focuses on collecting books. With its systematic and quantitative collection of books on education and humanities, it has become one of the national centers on education.

National Library of China


The National Library of China is situated in the West of Beijing. Its predecessor was the Capital Library established in 1909. In 1916 the Library started accepting the legal deposit copies of the national publications. In 1928 the Library got name of the National Beiping Library. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Library was renamed Beijing Library. From 1987 the name, National Library of China, has been used in the communication and cooperation with the libraries of other countries. In December 1998, the State Council approved that the Chinese name of the Library is changed to Zhong Guo Guo Jia Tu Shu Guan (the National Library of China).

The Library has the total floor area of 170,000 square meters, ranking first in the national libraries in Asia, and fourth in those of the world. The Library has a rich collection of 22,400,000 volumes, ranking fifth in the libraries of the world. In the collection there are 270,000 volumes of rare books; 1,600,000 volumes of general ancient books; 35,000 pieces of the scripted turtle shells and animal bones.

The Library not only has the largest collection of Chinese books in the world, but also the biggest collection of materials in foreign languages in the country. It has a strong collection in those materials, such as manuscripts of the notables, revolutionary historical materials, Chinese doctoral dissertations, the UN publications and the increased number of e-publications.

Peking University


Peking University Library was founded in 1902 under the name Capital University Book Collection Building. In 1975, a new library building was founded in the center of the campus. At that time, it was the best library with the greatest building area and the best building conditions in China. On May 4th 1998, the centennial anniversary of Peking University, the new library building was constructed, symbolizing the new beginning of the library's march towards modernization.

Through industrious endeavors by several generations of librarians and nearly a hundred years accumulating, the collection held by the library amounts to 4,610,000 items.

The new library building is located on the bank of the beautiful Weiming Lake. In harmony with its surroundings, the new building reflects the simplicity and dignity of the traditional style, yet it obviously plays a dominant role as the center of the campus. It has become a symbol of Peking University's architectural style. Two out of eight stories of the central building are underground, and two wings are integrated with the central building via corridor. A modular structure was adopted, forming a wide open space. The total building area amounts to 51,000 square meters, with 4,000 seats.

The collection capacity has reached 6,500,000 items, making it the biggest university library in Asia. Ancient rare books are very important in the Peking University Library collection. The library holds 1,500,000 ancient items, including 170,000 items of rare books. Among them are more than 1,000 one-of-a-kind and rare treasures of great value.

The ancient collection ranks third of all libraries in China. These ancient rare books not only have great academic value for preserving and doing research on Chinese traditional culture, but also important artistic and cultural value.

The library holds 11,547 periodicals published before 1949, totaling 27,650 issues. In addition, there are 605 pre-1949 newspaper titles, totaling 9,644 issues. Among them, thousands are rare or one-of-a-kind. These materials are very valuable for the research on modern intellectual and traditional culture. In addition, journals published during the 1911 revolution, the May 4th Movement, the early period of the Chinese Communist Party, the anti-Japanese aggression period, and the liberation period are all important documents for studying China's modern history.

Peking University Library also holds approximately 24,000 kinds, comprising 56,000 copies, of rubbings from inscriptions on ancient bronzes and stone tablets. These rubbings reflect many facets of ancient life and are very important for the study of ancient characters, calligraphy, and paintings. They also can be used to supplement history books. This collection now ranks first of all China's academic libraries.

The Library of Academia Sinica


The Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences (LCAS) is situated in the central area of Science Town in Zhongguancun, Beijing, spanning a floor area of over 40,000 square meters(430,600 square feet). The LCAS is a modern national science library that integrates programs of service, research and education. Following fifty years of development, the LCAS is the backbone of china's advancement for scientific and technical knowledge offering a central repository and global gateway for the collection and dissemination of scientific and technical information.

A comprehensive science collection of over 5.2 million items that span the fundamental disciplines of sciences and applied technology. The library offers information services such as reference, management information decision support, bibliographic information research, current awareness services, and information consulting.

Tsinghua University


Tsinghua University Library was established in 1912; just one year after the university was built. The new building of Tsinghua University Library, which was finished in September 1991, signaled a new stage in the Library's development. Presently, the Tsinghua University Library building has 28,000 square meters of floor space and provides 2,800 seats.

During the 1990s, the Library has made great progress in automation and networking. An advanced and fairly complete information infrastructure has been established. Two integrated library systems, ILIS of Fujito Co. of Japan, and INNOPAC of Innovative Interfaces Inc. of the United States of America, have gradually been installed. Now, under the integrated management of the INNOPAC system, users can access the Library's Chinese and Western language book and periodicals collection, and librarians can work on acquisitions, cataloging, serials management and circulation functions.

The Library has also created a CD-ROM network to provide access to electronic databases through the campus network. In recent years, an increasing number of electronic resources and virtual resources have been made available in the Library or online.

Zhejiang University


On September 15, 1998, a new Zhejiang University was established on the basis of the amalga-mation of the four former individual universities, namely Zhejiang University, Hangzhou university, Zhejiang Agricultural University, and Zhejiang Medical University, which were all located in the garden city of Hangzhou.

The libraries of the former universities were correspondingly merged together into the unified Zhejiang University Libraries (ZUL). ZUL consists of five branch libraries, i.e. the Libray of Science and Technology in Yuquan Campus, the Library of Arts and Science in Xixi Campus, the Library of Agriculture in Huajiachi Campus, the Library of Medicine in Hubin Campus and the Library of Zhijiang College in Zhijiang Campus. ZUL headquarter is in Yuquan Campus Organizations.

There are 5 library buildings in the university, with a total floor space of 58 000 square meters. ZUL's collection consists of 5.2 million volumes, including 2.47 million volumes of Chinese books, 710 000 volumes of foreign language books, 20 000 titles (320 000 volumes) of Chinese periodicals and 20 000 titles (440 000 volumes) of foreign language periodicals, 20000 non-book materials such as audio-visuals, microforms, and CD-ROMs.

ZUL has introduced dozens of important databases of abstracts and indexes in the world, such as Chemical Abstracts, BIOSIS (BA), Compendex (EI),INSPEC (SA), SCI, MathSci, ISI-IP, Medline, CAB-CD, AGRICOLA and so on. The collection covers almost all the subject fields, especially in the fields such as machinery engineering, instruments, electrical and electronic engineering, chemistry, medicine, agriculture, biology, psychology, local documents, and Dunhuang documents. ZUL now is one of the biggest academic libraries in China.

Nanjing Agriculture University


In 1952, the library was founded with some staff and literature from the former Central University and Jinling University. The 8093 sequence meter library building was constructed in 1983. Now, it has 7 departments staffed with 60 employees. They boast 680,000 volumes centered on agriculture and also cover some other subjects.

In addition, they have rich special collections, most of which are editions before 1949 including the dissertations for master's & bachelor's degrees from the two universities. "Agriculture" starting in 1897 and a complete collection of "Journal of China Agricultural Institute" starting in 1918. They have installed CABCD and are in data exchange relations with 700 units scattering all over the world. The library also holds publications of FAO of the United Nations.

Nanjing University


Nanjing University, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China, is located in Nanjing, a beautiful city known for being China's capital of six ancient dynasties and having a rich cultural heritage. Nanjing University is a key comprehensive university directly under the State Education Commission.

The University dates back to 1902 when Sanjiang Normal School was founded. The School then evolved as Liangjiang Normal School, Nanjing Higher Normal School, National Southeast University, National Fourth Zhongshan University, and National Central University. In August 1949, it was named National Nanjing University.

Today's Nanjing University is formed mainly on the basis of the merging of the arts and sciences schools of National Nanjing University and the University of Nanking (a well-known university founded in 1888) during the nationwide institutional and departmental restructuring in 1952.

The University publishes more than 10 national or provincial journals and has its own publishing house.

Since 1978, the University has won 48 National Science Conference Awards, 21 Awards of National Natural Sciences, 17 Awards for Advances in Science and Technology, 5 Awards of National Creation and Invention, 1 National ""Xinhuo"" Award, 288 provincial or ministerial Awards Advances in Science and Technology, and 197 patents as well.

In the fields of philosophy and social sciences, it has won 240 national, ministerial and provincial awards since 1985.

According to the statistics of China's Scientific and Technological Information Institute, Nanjing University is a leader among the nation's universities in the entries of SCI, ISR and ISTP, the world authoritative scientific research paper indexes.

East China Normal University


The Library of East China Normal University was established on October 16, 1951. It is now composed of the main library on the campus in Northern Zhongshan Road, the branch library I on the campus in Huaihai Road, and the branch library II on the campus in Guoshun Road.

The total floor space of the library is 28,274 square meters, of which 12,660 square meters comprises Yiefu Building which came into use in October, 1989. Through several decades of construction and development, the library has gradually become a typical normal university library with featured collections and services.

As of September 2001, the collection of the library has exceeded 3,550,000 volumes. The collections covers both natural and social science fields, being typically rich in Education Science, Psychology, Geography, Economic, Classical Philosophy, History, Literature, Reference Books as well as Local Chronicles. Now the library has an increasing number of electronic resources including 12,600 E-books, 7,800 kinds of E-journals and over 20 kinds of databases.

The library makes every effort to provide various services to readers, including lectures and symposiums about service and resource, culture and arts exhibitions, document resources networks with other libraries, and reference services to patrons both on the campus and outside.

Fudan University


The collections include ancient books, books of Mingguo period, foreign language books, newspapers and periodicals, specialty literature and non-book data.

Up to the end of 1998, the collection of the library was 3660 thousand volumes, dealing with arts literature, social science, natural science, science of technology and science of management. Among these, Chinese literature account for 2890 thousand while foreign literature account for 770 thousand. On the whole, it satisfies the need of school education and scientific research. It has the obvious characteristic.

There are 370 thousand precious ancient books together with the pith of collection by Tongyu Wang, Gongsong Li, Qingcheng Pang, Yi Gao, Fubao Ding, Chenggan Liu, Xinfu Wang, Jingshen Zhao. The famous four ancient books are intact.

Such kinds of ancient books are more than 7000 and the amounts of it are near 60,000. Among them, block-printed edition of Song Yuan Period account for more than 1000 hand-copied edition and manuscript account for near 2000, exclusive books, peculiar books, bound editions and recension of Qing Period account for more than 3000.

More systematic are collections of poem, corpus of Periods Qing, books on talking and singing, books of ancient coins and legend. The collection of this period are in quite abundance, with more than 33 thousand kinds and 80 thousand volumes. The essential literature productions are integral, especially from 1920 to 1940. In this period, the amount of collection is more than 7000. Most of the production are intact, and some of which are the first edition.

The collection of this kind is numerous, totaling 770 thousand. Foreign literature occupies most. English novels alone are more than 10 thousand. Each edition by Shakespeare is more than 400 in order to study the precious information of Shakespeare. Books on Asian history are more than 3000.

More than 8000 old French books which were moved from Zhendan University in 1950 are productions about philosophy and social science before the Second World War. Among these, the works about China written by French scholars are the important reference for the research on Chinese modern history.

Foreign science collection is also in abundance in maths. Now there are more than 20,000 kinds of Newspapers and periodicals here. Within the 10000 Chinese newspapers there are more than 5,000 which were published before 1949.

Shanghai Fisheries University


The university library was evolved from Wusung Fishery school library established initially in 1912. It has a long history, its collection is rich in the field of fishery sciences and its service is good.

It has a collection of 360,000 volumes including books, periodicals, papers and magazines and is generally recognized as information center of scientific documents in fisheries.

The current library has a floor area of 4,970 square meters with the area for stack rooms 2,900 square meter and reading rooms 1,090 square meter. There are ten reading rooms of various kinds seating over 540 readers, which are open for service 78 hours per week.

The library has translated and edited Fisheries and Food News for many issues which are supplied for exchanges within relevant institutions in China.

In addition, such consultant services as Disc Index, Database Index, Typical Follow-up Services, etc are also supplied. Lending desks have been set up in various subsidiaries in each department. In recent years the library has introduced a software of library management system. ILAS developed by Shenzhen library. All Chinese version are managed by computer for circulation and catalogue. A reading room for audio-visual material amd microficha amd microfilm, material has been open for teachers and students.

In addition to China Biology Abstract Data Index, Titles of China Scientific and Technological Periodicals, China Commercial Communication Database, and China fishery Science Date Index, there are ASFA, FSTA, and FHN in disc available in the library.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Shanghai Jiaotong University was established in 1896, and in the same year a small reading room was opened. In Sep.1999, Shanghai Agricultural college was formally emerged into Shanghai Jiaotong University, so the university's library system now consists of three parts: Pao Sui-Loong on Xu Hui Campus, Pao Yue-Kong on Min Hang Campus and Library on Qi Bao Campus with a total addition of over 43,000 square meters of space and more than 4,000 reading seats.

The library's mission, the provision of integrated information and academic support for the University's instructional and research activities, is supported by collections totaling 2.2 million volumes, about 4,800 kinds of Chinese and foreign languages current periodicals. Their collection of electronic resources is growing rapidly and now includes over 30 CD-ROMs and 20 online databases, covering more than 13,000 full-text E-journal titles of Chinese and foreign languages, as well as approximately 100,000 E-books.

Shanghai Library


Shanghai is a metropolitan city with well-developed business and industry, and it is also a city that holds the leading place in China's arts, sciences, and education. The city has a relatively short history, but its first library dated back as early as 150 years ago. Shanghai East Library, the first library run by Chinese opened in 1925. The Shanghai Library has hence become the second largest comprehensive public library in China, on account of its collection, its services and the librarians' professional skills.

When first established, the Shanghai Library was located in the former ""Racecourse Building"", which had an area of 30,000 m2. There were altogether 150 library staff, serving the needs of the general readers as well as the industry, business and government organizations.

The library also provided the Union Catalog of Chinese Books and interlibrary loan services, offering professional training to smaller libraries, and held various activities such as exhibitions, book discussions, seminars, etc. The library published many reference books, too. As a result, the Shanghai Library has greatly helped the development of library profession in China and the scientific research in this field.

With the rapidly increasing number of publications, the library acquisitions exceeded the capacity of the building in the 70s, which affected the shelving, and hence, the circulation. In 1983, the Shanghai Cultural Bureau began to make research and proposals for the construction of a new library building. In 1990, Shanghai Mayor Zhu Rongji urged the leaders of the Shanghai Library to focus their attention on the planning of the new library construction. With this great concern of the municipal government, the new building laid its first foundation stone on September 1, 1993.

Shanghai Medical University


Shanghai Medical University Library (SMUL) was founded in 1927. It is one of the medical libraries with extensive collections in China. The current building with 8118 square meters of usable space and 665 reader stations was completed and started using in the end of 1991.

The total collection is in excess of 390,000 volumes, with 1600 journal subscriptions. There is a staff of 57. Admissions to the library totals about 607,000 per year.

The library provides modern services, such as bibliographic access through Campus Network, CD-ROM network, on-line retrieval, INTERNET, E-mail and Fax services, audio-visual and multimedia services, and microform production besides common library services.

The library also offers a course ""Medical Literature Retrieval and Utilization"" for students and postgraduates, and a base of graduation field work for the Medical Information Department of the Bethune Medical University. SMUL is the central library of East China in the National Medical Literature Resource Sharing Network, the vice chairman of the Chinese Medical University and College Libraries Association, and the member of Shanghai Literature Resource Sharing Cooperation Network.

Tianjin University


Nearly 75% of the whole collection is in natural science, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering etc. The other 25% of whole collection is mainly in Marxism, language, literature, and industrial economics.

The library holds extensive collection in proceedings, especially those international conference papers and academic society publications. Now there are 19,000 volumes of proceedings, and among them 18,000 are foreign materials, almost 8% of all foreign language collection of the library. Except the 25,000 volumes thread-bound books which were transferred to other universities in 1950's, the Tianjin University Library now houses about 1,141 kind of thread-bound books in 5,021 volumes, some of them were precious early editions, for example the zhou yi zhe zhong printed in 1715 and the xian qing ou ji printed in 1671, the others were mostly modern photocopy editions.

The major part of periodical collection of the library is in natural science too, account for approximately 72.3% of all ordered periodicals. And the library keeps the whole issues of several world famous journals from their first issues. With the widely applications of modern technology in library, the electronic publications such as audio-visual materials and CD-ROMs have increased year by year.

China University of Geosciences


The library of China University of Geoscience was founded on the basis of the library of Beijing Institute of Geoscience which was founded in 1952 and moved to Wuhan in 1975; now it has 8000 square meters of floor space.

The library of China University of Geoscience is affirmed as ""excellent library"" by Hubei Province College Library Committee after evaluated twice, as ""Hubei province research lever literature collect unit"" by Hubei Province Books and Information Coordination Committee for it's rich collection, as ""the index center of geological books and information in central and southern China "" by Corporation of Science & Technology of the former Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources.

In recent years, with the increasing support from the university, the collection of literature held by the library amounts to more than 270000 items 820000 copies, including 670,000 copies of books and periodicals in Chinese, 150,000 copies in foreign languages, and the Collection of present issue 1,500 kinds, including 240 kinds in foreign languages (41 kinds in original edition), and 1,100 kinds in Chinese. The collection is mainly on science and technology literature, features in geoscience, and the collection on the arts, economics and management has been growing, too.

* * * * *