All about Rare Books

by Jing Liu ~ May 11th, 2011. Filed under: Professional Development, Tech Trends.

Just found time to record the last sessions of AAS/CEAL conference. April 1st Panel 289: Chinese Ancient Classics Publishing: Trends & Challenges attracted not only librarians but also scholars including our BC profs.

The NCL director, Ms. Zeng presented the work they have done on the over 50,000 rare titles in Taiwan. They have also funded LC and UW thousands of digital rare books, and uploaded their own rare images to WDL.

President Li Yan, Ancient Classics Publishing Committee of Publishers Association of China, provided us an overview of classics publishing. The government funding was increased up to 20 million Renminbi in 2008. Besides the 80 institutes and thousands of professionals, the annual program has trained over 500 librarians.

Professor Wu Ge talked about his union catlog of Chinese ancient classics. He emphasized the plan of investigating classic collections overseas and getting the rare content back to China. “海外調查, 引歸流失文獻”. I told Prof. Wu over the buffet dinner what I have gained from studying our rare items. They brought me back to Ming Dynasty with full of historical connections. I feel calm, peaceful and am eager to check out all the related sources. He was happy about my progress and 漸入佳境的自我感覺.

I also enjoyed the April 2 panel titled “Who writes the local history”, organized by our own Haihui and Zhaohui as one of the presenters. Prof. Carlitz used Jiading as an example to verify that gazetteers are crucial sources of local information, but they are far from neutral or value-free. Prof. Dennis from Wisconsin introduced the Pelliot gazetteer collection housed at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

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