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National Library of China launches digital database of ancient books

Updated: 2016-09-30 08:49:20

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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The National Library of China recently launched two online services for readers — the Basic Database of the Registered Ancient Books Surveyed Around China and the Digital Library of Chinese Ancient Books.

As an important academic achievement, the Basic Database allows readers from all over the world to check online the catalog of existing ancient Chinese books that a survey, conducted by the NLC since 2012, has registered (www.nlc.cn/pcab/zhgjsmsjk).

By far, the Database has included the basic information of more than 3.5 million copies of over 380,000 titles of ancient books that have been kept in the 96 libraries nationwide, said Zhang Zhiqing, deputy director the National Library, at the launch forum.

Readers can also view and download the page photos of the ancient books that have been kept in National Library, from the Digital Library's website www.nlc.cn/pcab.

"It's really great news, because whenever you want to view an ancient book in the digital library or wherever you are, you can see it online, without limit of time and space," said Shen Naiwen, a researcher at Fudan University Chinese Ancient Books Preservation and Conservation Institute.

Now the Digital Library contains more than 6.1 million page photos of more than 10,000 titles of good-edition ancient Chinese books, such as 71 titles printed in Song Dynasty (960-1279), 148 titles printed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and 551 handwritten copies in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

"In the past, when people take the ancient books from shelves and read them, it's unavoidable that they will be impaired. People need to read the books, but we also need to preserve them well for the generations to follow. Now the digital library can solve this long-existing contradiction," Zhang said.

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