For a library, the collection of books is a benchmark to tell its capabilities and services. Aside from quantity, the collection quality also represents a library's competence in satisfying readers' demand. The number of electronic literatures provided for readers is a key indicator especially for libraries nowadays. Looking back at the century of the Tsinghua University Library, it precisely epitomized the history of not just the school but China as well in the past one hundred years.
The library began operation with only 2,000 books in 1912. Then, when National Tsing Hua University was formally established in 1928, the collection grew to 116,000. Before the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, that number increased to more than 360,000. Unfortunately during the disastrous 8-year war, 175,000 books were lost, including many rare editions of ancient books, which still pain the Chinese. After the war in 1946, the library recovered rapidly and increased to more than 1.35 million books by 1966.
The rapid growth of the library occurred in the 30 years after 1978. By 1990, its collection totaled 2.34 million, and in 2007, the electronic resources provided surpassed the print resources for the first time, covering all disciplines while leading the nation in resource utilization rate, comparable with top universities around the world. In 2011, the library reached 4.197 million in its collection with 500 different databases, 65,000 electronic journals, 2.461 million eBooks, and 1.902 million electronic theses. The library has become an important place for knowledge storing, processing, distributing, researching, and communicating on campus.
In 1929 from Yang's Fenghua Hall in Hangzhou, the library acquired 47,546 books, including rare volumes of Song and Yuan Dynasty. In 1936, the library owned copies of unique monographs of famous writers in both Chinese and foreign language editions. Currently the library has a special section with "literature works" from alumni as well as local history and literature, and designated areas for Diaoyu Island data, historical materials of China's Science and Technology, writings of Nobel Prize winners, and others to meet the readers’ demand. In addition, the library and Arts Library also collect Chinese cultural relics, publications, and treasures that are exhibited during the Tsinghua anniversary or other large events, letting visitors appreciate the glory of Chinese history and culture. The library is not only a place collecting an ocean of knowledge, but has also become a piece of important history of China.
Originality: Spotlight Group
Text: Adam Chiu
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Composition: Spotlight Group
Design: Spotlight Group