The Shanghai experience

Dr. Wu Jianzhong, Director of Shanghai Library

Dr. Wu Jianzhong, Director of Shanghai Library

19 September 2012

Dr. Wu Jianzhong, Director of Shanghai Library – one of the ten largest libraries in the world - will return to Aberystwyth University on Monday 24 September to talk about Shanghai Library being ‘a source of creativity’.

Dr. Wu gained a PhD in Library Science from Aberystwyth University in 1992 and was also a cataloguer at the National Library of Wales before working his way up the ranks at Shanghai Library.

The Aberystwyth alumnus will deliver a highly anticipated public lecture as part of his brief visit to the UK.

He was appointed Director of Shanghai Library in 2002 as well as Director of the Institution of Scientific and Technical Information of Shanghai.

Dr Wu was made a Fellow of Aberystwyth University in July 2011 and will have his Fellowship conferred at the conclusion of the lecture.

The lecture is open to the public and will be delivered at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Cinema at 5pm on Monday 24 September.

Shanghai Library
Shanghai Library is one of the ten largest libraries in the world in terms of its floor space as well as its collection.  It is home to extensive holdings of altogether 50.95 million items, ranging from the latest technical reports, patent and standard files, to ancient artefacts; from paper copy, sound and video recordings, to digital databases.

The historical documents constitute the special treasures of the library, including 100,000 manuscripts and letters, around 5400 local records dated before 1949, 18,000 titles of genealogical files (342 family names), over 8,000 copies of imperial test papers, 150,000 pieces of epigraphs and rubbings, and 1.7 million old books (25,000 titles amounting to 170,000 volumes are rare editions).

The Library holds more than 300 titles of block-printed editions prior to the Song Dynasty, 224 titles of ancient hand-written sutra before the Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties Period, and the earliest item dates back to the year 518 AD (“The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra”).

More than 50,000 pieces of letters, diaries, inscriptions, pictures and rare documents from a galaxy of famous Chinese people since late Qing Dynasty, including Ba Jin, Xiao Qian, and Fu Lei, are housed in the “China Cultural Celebrities Manuscripts Library”, many of them digitized.