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Harvard Yanjing Library is how to make it
Dec 06, 2017

At Harvard University, there is a well-known library - Harvard-Yenching Library. There are more than 800,000 volumes of Chinese books here, of which the rare books are of special quality. The world is famous for its high quality and large quantity. It can be said that this is one of the largest and best Chinese rare collections in the western world.


From the founder and successor of the library to many famous scholars, the Harvard-Yenching Library has an indissoluble bond with China.


In July 1879, Ge Kunhua, a translator and Chinese teacher at the British Consulate in Ningbo, was recommended by American student Edward Bangs Drew and a Harvard-taught teleconference by a Chinese student who served as a tax officer at a Ningbo port. , Carrying family and a group of Chinese books went to Boston. On October 22 of that year, wearing a five-officer uniform of the Ningbo poet Ge Kun Kun, officially opened in Harvard teaching.


The appearance of the Chinese teacher was quite sensational at the time. The Harvard Records contains: "The graduation ceremony of 1880 opened a new chapter in the history of Harvard University, and there was a veritable teacher from the ancient Chinese empire who attended the ceremony, and any sensitive observer was certain Will realize that the appearance and work of Ge Kunhua, a Chinese lecturer, is creating a miraculous connection between the ancient kingdom from which he came from and the young nation to which we belong. "Ge Kunhua also won with his honesty, elegance, earnestness and humor Boston's respect.


Unfortunately, in February 1882, Ge Kunhua died suddenly of pneumonia in Boston, a few months after his three-year tenure. Subsequently, his body was escorted back by Dude and his family. The books he brought were left at Harvard and became the first collection of books now owned by the Harvard-Yenching Library.


Harvard Yanjing Library is how to make it


Today, on both sides of the main entrance to the reading room of the Yenching Library in Harvard, there is a picture of Ge Kunhua. Into the reading room, the door is the first Harvard Yenching Library Director Qiu Kaiming, the second director Wu Wenjin photos. From Ge Kunhua, Qiu Kai-ming to Wu Wenjin, this is a brief history of Harvard Yenching Library. From a collection of poems to a library of today, the first curator Qiu opened a clear path to success.


Qiu Kai-ming was born in Zhenhai County, Zhejiang Province in 1898 and was admitted to Wenchang University in Wuchang in 1918. In 1920, he studied at Library Science with Ms Wei Dihua and Mr Shen Zurong, pioneers of education in modern Chinese libraries. After graduating in 1922, he served as the first curator of Xiamen University Library. In the autumn of 1924, Qiu Kai-ming was sent by Xiamen University to go to the New York Public Library School in the United States to study for a master's degree in library science. The following year autumn, he also admitted to Harvard University Institute of Arts and Sciences, studying economics.


In January 1927, Qiu Kai-ming graduated from the New York Public Library School and received a master's degree in arts from Harvard University. At the same time, he started his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. At that time, through continuous procurement and acceptance of donations, 4526 books in Chinese were hidden in Room 91 of the Wyndham Library at Harvard University, and 1668 in Japanese. As a result, Professor Coolidge, curator of the Harvard College Library and a research expert in Boxer, decided to hire a 29-year-old Qiu Kai-ming as head of Hanwa Library at Harvard University, the founding of the Harvard-Yenching Library.


As head of Hanwa library, Qiu Kai-ming soon began to purchase and catalog the books of Hanwa Bookstore. On the one hand, he continued purchasing new books through agents in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo; on the other hand, he started cataloging the existing books in Hanwa Bookstore. In the cataloging of Han and his collections, Qiu mainly based on the "bibliographic questions and answers" compiled by Zhang Zhidong and Miao Quansun. In the category of books, they collected books by Qing Dynasty scholar Sun Xingyan, Miao Quansun, American scholar Carter (Cutter Ammi) ) And Dewey (Melvil Dewey), who invented the "Han and book taxonomy" to guide readers to find the book. Hu Shi booked it.


So far, books on the bookshelves of the Yanjing Library in Harvard, you can also see the "Han and Book Taxonomy."


In 1927, the Hall Heritage Board agreed to implement a cooperation plan between Harvard University and Yanjing University in China. January 4, 1928, Harvard Yenching Institute as an educational institution formally incorporated. The former Harvard College Library Han and library, will also become Han and library, attributed to Harvard Yenching Institute. At that time, mostly engaged in the Harvard Yenching Institute historians, such as the first president Chen Yuan, followed by Wu Leichuan, Rong Geng, Gu Jiegang, etc., Qiu Kaiming served as the first director of Han and library .


After that, the purchase of books has almost become the primary task of Han and library. In order to get a good book, especially the rare book and some rare books, curator Qiu Kaiming can make concerted efforts. In 1965, 68-year-old Qiu Kai-ming retired. Looking back over thirty years of library buying history, he divided it into three stages: the first from 1928 to 1936; the second from 1937 to 1945; the third from 1946 to 1964 .


In 1928, the Han and Libraries and Yanjing University Library began to buy Chinese books in Peiping Union. This cooperation did not end until the outbreak of the war of resistance in 1937. During this period, the Han and Libraries entrusted the right to purchase the Peking University's Yanjing University Library and set up a Harvard-Yenching Library Information Center at Yenching University, led by cataloger Gu Tinglong. At that time, specifically responsible for the procurement of books is graduated from Columbia University Hong Lian lotus. Today, most of the Ming and Qing dynasties literary books, large collections, local dictionaries of various provinces, and various kinds of classic and historical books hidden in the Yanjing Library at Harvard were purchased during this period. In 1936, Liu Man-xian mentioned in an article published in Oriental Magazine that there were about 70,000 books in Han and library at that time.


The second phase coincided with the war of resistance against Japan. In Beijing and Shanghai, many families had to sell their books because of the difficulties they encountered. Many ancient books and manuscripts appeared in the bookshops in Shanghai and Beijing. Han and the Library took the opportunity to acquire a large number of ancient books on woodblock printing in the Ming and Qing dynasties and autographs by some authors.


After the War of Resistance against Japan ended, Han and library books entered the third stage. At that time, Japan was in ruins and the economy was extremely sluggish. A large number of ancient books began to appear in the Japanese book market, including some shipped from China, very good version of the precious books. As a result, Qiu Kaiming shrewdly moved the place of purchase from China to Japan.


He wrote: "Around 1950, we went directly to well-known bookstores in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and other Japanese cities to compete with various organizations and individuals to buy ancient Chinese books, especially the Japanese Oriental Library and the National Diet Library. As soon as we receive the catalog and the fax, we check the catalog and purchase order immediately, and we often check late into the night and send a telegram to order immediately so that the Japanese bookstore can put the book on the night or next morning Send it to us. "


"Even if we place an order at this rate, there is still no way to guarantee that we can buy the books we want." We found that many of the ancient Chinese books bought in Japan came from northern China. In short, most of the books Harvard bought Was brought to Japan by Japanese or Chinese tourists from Beijing or other cities occupied by Japan during the war.


During this period, the Han and Libraries purchased many rare books and rare books from Japan, such as the Buddhist Scriptures of the Great Wall of Sorrows printed in the Song Dynasty, the Ming Xin Bao Jian printed in the Ming Dynasty, the Zheng Xiao Pavilion and the Spring and Autumn Complex, , And contains more than 700 letters of the "Ming all famous ruler."


After three periods of purchasing, Han and Library quickly emerged as the famous East Asian Library of China and other countries. Historian Yu Yingshi once commented: "The reason why Harvard's collection of Chinese and Japanese books occupy the leading position in the American university library system for a long period of time is the greatest credit to Mr. Qiu, so anyone working in China or East Asia at Harvard, Or outside visitors, whether professors or graduate students, how many have a kind of gratitude to Mr. Qiu.


Corresponding to Han and library names, at first, the library only included Chinese and Japanese books. With the continuous expansion of Harvard's East Asian curriculum, the Harvard Library also extends its collections to Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchu publications. In 1951, the library added a collection of Korean books; in 1973, Vietnamese books were also added to the library.


In terms of collection of books, at first, Han and the library only collected books on the history of literature and history. After World War II, they started to collect publications on social sciences. In this way, the Han Chinese Library has gradually developed itself from an original Museum of Cultural History into an academic research library covering all subjects of East Asian studies, and even books on natural sciences and the use of science.


In 1965, Han and Library officially changed their name to the Harvard-Yenching Library in order to better reflect their collections. Also this year, the first director Qiu Kai-ming officially retired, former Stanford University Hoover Institute of East Asia Library Director Wu Wen-Jin took over. Wu Wenjin is a modern library expert, to collect modern Chinese, Japanese information known. In 1998, after Wu Wenjin retired, Zheng Jiongwen, curator of the East Asia Library of the University of Chicago and director of the East Asia Library of the University of California, Los Angeles, succeeded him as the third curator until now. This period, Harvard Yenching Library, like all the world's libraries, entered the digital era.


From the first collection of poems to today's academic research libraries, over a hundred years, the Harvard-Yenching Library has collected more than 1.4 million books, of which 836,523 are Chinese books, ranking the second in the nation after the United States Congress library. Its collection of Chinese rare books and rare books about 4,000, 3,500 Japanese rare books, 1,500 rare Korean books, more than the United States Congress Library and other East Asian libraries.


Taking local books of local culture as an example, there are 1,500 locally sourced local chronicles collected in the Yanjing Library of Harvard, 189 of which are not available in more than 800 libraries in China (2,800 local chronicles).


Apart from the most celebrated collection of local chronicles, rare rare books related to Chinese culture here include the collection of early Chinese Christian literature, the collection of early Chinese photography, various kinds of timely materials such as brochures, postcards, posters and leaflets, Files, etc., which makes Harvard Yenching Library became an academic energy base.

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