Beautiful Historic Libraries: Book Stacks in China

There seem to be quite a number of memes referring to book stacks these days, but the idea is hardly new; you maybe surprised to find out libraries stored books as stacks as early as 1561 in Asia.

The Zunjing Hall located within the Tianyi Chamber by User:Gisling via Wikipedia
The Zunjing Hall located within the Tianyi Chamber by User:Gisling via Wikipedia

Tianyige Library, with beautiful gardens and outbuildings, is located on the bank of the Moon Lake in Ningbo, China. In Chinese alchemy, Tianyi is linked to the element of water; it was believed the name would provide protection against fire damage. The gold plated buildings, the garden bamboo groves, pool and rockery preserve an atmosphere of seclusion, contemplation and study.

Statue of Fan Qin, the founder of the chamber by User: Gisling Via Wikipedia
Statue of Fan Qin, the founder of the chamber by User: Gisling Via Wikipedia

Tianyige Library is the oldest private library still in existence in China; is also the oldest private library in Asia, and one of the three earliest private libraries in the world. It contains displays of old books and tablets, and was built between 1561 and 1566 by the Defense Minister Fan Qin during the Ming Dynasty. Fan Qin’s collection went back to the eleventh century and included woodblock and handwritten copies of the Confucian classics.

Tian Yi Chamber library book case by User: Gisling via Wikipedia
Tian Yi Chamber library book case by User: Gisling via Wikipedia

There are more than 300,000 volumes of books in Tianyige Museum. The collection is strongest in local histories and imperial examination records during the Ming period. It provides a unique example of the Chinese private book-collecting tradition as well as a symbol of the continuity of Chinese culture and civilization.

Ming dynasty antique books in Tianyi Chamber collection by User:Gisling Via Wikipedia
Ming dynasty antique books in Tianyi Chamber collection by User:Gisling Via Wikipedia
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