eBeijing, the Official Website of the Beijing Government

The History of Beijing Public Library

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The National Library of China was formerly known as the Jingshi Library, was established during the rule of Qing Dynasty. It had been allotted as a major construction project under the Qing rule and had started constructions in 1909, the year the Qing government first established rule. It first officially opened to public visitors after the Xinhai Revolution, on August 27th in 1912. In August of 1929, Jingshi Library had merged with Beiping Beihai Library and was still named as Beiping Public Library. In 1931, an additional building was constructed on Wenji Street to be included with the library (it now houses ancient manuscripts). On December 12th, 1998, the State Council of China authorized that the library changes its name officially to National Library of China.

The National Library of China has a collection of nearly 30 million pieces of literature and materials, and is ranked fifth in the world for being a national library with a huge and diverse archive. 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 over 3,000 years old. The National Library of China is also naturally the only library in the world with the largest collection of Chinese-language literature and manuscripts; it houses hundreds of audio and video data/products in different languages and archives over 8,000 digital publications.

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Date: 2010-11-25