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    In 1908, the 34th year of Guangxu Emperor, Qing Dynasty, Mr. Luo Zhengjun from Hunan Province, Education Director of Shandong Province proposed the setting up of Shandong Library.

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On January 25, 1909, the first year of Xuantong Emperor, Qing Dynasty, Mr. Yuan Shuxun Governor of Shandong Province made a report to the Imperial Court about establishing Shandong Library which shall combine the function of library and museum, aiming to enlighten nationals and preserve the quintessence of Chinese culture. On February 20, the report was approved by the Ministry of Education. On March 20, Mr. Luo Zhengjun presided over the construction of the library. In September, the construction was completed. Mr. Sun Baotian wrote "The Founding of Shandong Library". On December 13, the Shandong Library Regulation was issued, on December 16,the library officially opened, the Governor inscribed the name Shandong library .

The location of the library was in the southwest corner of Daming Lake where the current "Xia Garden" monument stands. The library enjoyed reputation of "the South Pavilion (Tianyi Pavilion) and North Park (Xia Garden)". Senior statesman Mr. Yu Youren wrote a poem to praise its beauty. At the beginning, the title Curator was called Zuoban instead and the first Zuoban (Curator) was Mr. Zhang Baicheng from Shè County, Anhui Province.

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In 1910, the second year of Xuantong Emperor, Qing Dynasty, Mr. Chen Rongchang acted as Education Director of Shandong Province after Mr. Luo Zhengjun, appointed Mr. Bao Lidong as Zuoban (Curator) and built a museum. In 1911, the first book catalogue after the found of the Shandong Library -- Bibliography of Shandong Library Collection in 1911 was compiled.

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In September 1913, the Zuoban System of Shandong Library was changed into Curator System. Mr. Wang Shoupeng, the Education Director of Shandong Province also acted as the Curator of Shandong Library. In that year, Mr. Xia Jiquan, a middle-class official of Shandong Province sent 1872 copies of classic collection of Zhanhua Ancient Temple to the library for preservation. In March 1914, Mr. Liu Baotai from Shè County, Anhui Province took over the post of curator. In August, the library accepted 110 boxes of books from Shandong Higher Education Institute and some local records of Shandong Province from Provincial Bureau of Comprehensive History, plus the donation and acquisition over the past years, until 1916 Shandong library had a collection of 130 thousand volumes in total.

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In April 1916, the " Revised Bibliography of Shandong Library Collection" edited by Mr. Yuan Shao’ang from Nantong County, Jiangsu Province was compiled, including records of 130 thousand volumes of books. The compile of the bibliography lasted for more than a year and published by the library in January 1917.

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In October 1917, Mr. Liu Baotai the Curator resigned. In the next eleven to twelve years, the governmental fund for education couldn’t be put in place for several months which became a norm. In addition, the May 3 Massacre made situation worse. The provincial government moved to Tai'an County. The development of Shandong Library was at a standstill.

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In March 1928, Mr. Ma Huijie a banker of Ji’nan used his collection of books to compensate a debt of public fund, the government then moved all his collection to the library for preservation. The collection had two hundred and eighty-six kinds, six thousand eight hundred and seventy-five volumes of books, including abundant fine selected block-printed edition books in Ming Dynasty which were carefully organized; different kinds of preliminary block-printed edition books in Qing Dynasty; some thirty to forty wooden tablets of writing, transcript edition, proof edition and rare edition books in Song and Yuan Dynasties. The new collection was unprecedented and was the beginning of Shandong Library's collection of rare books.

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On August 2, 1929, the Provincial Department of Education believed that Shandong Library played a very important role in social education and needed a reform urgently, so Mr. Wang Xiantang was appointed as the curator of the library. As soon as Mr. Wang took office, he reorganized and revised the plan and policy of the library.

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On January 1, 1930, Shandong Library hailed readers with a new look. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of Mr. Wang Xiantang, the collection of Shandong Library increased from the previous 62770 copies to 218000 copies before the 77 Incident. Collection of rare editions, such as the hand written sutra by people of Tang Dynasty, wooden tablets of writing in Song and Yuan Dynasties, fine block-printed edition books and Tibetan Buddhism and Taoist manuscripts in Ming and Qing Dynasties had reached more than 36000 copies.

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At the beginning of 1930, the Historical Sites Preservation Committee of Shandong province was established and its meeting place was in the Bureau of Civil Affairs , Mr. Wang Xiantang was one of the committee members. Until the 77 Incident in 1937, the bronze and stone collection of Shandong Library has amounted to more than 17000.

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In March 1931, in order to further academic exchange in the library field, Mr. Wang Xiantang started the publication of Shandong Library Quarterly, which was the earliest library science publication in Shandong province and one of the few earliest library science publications in China.

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In 1932, Mr. Wang Xiantang and his colleagues of the Department of Catalog and Preservation worked together completing the Shandong Library Classification. Shandong Library had been using it to catalog nearly 500 thousand books, which also influenced the compilation of the New Shandong Library Classification (Shandong Classification) after the liberation of China.

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In March 1934, a new stacking building was built on the west side of the former library and completed in January 1935.

The 77 Incident in 1937 kicked off the prelude of the Anti-Japanese War, the North China came to a crisis. In fear of the loss and damage of the collection of rare books and cultural relics, Mr. Wang Xiantang selected 29 boxes of rare collections, which were transfer red to and deposited in the Confucius Mansion in Qufu after a circuitous journey. After that Qufu was in state of unrest, on December 27, 1937, Mr. Wang selected some collections in Qufu and loaded them in 10 large boxes, which was then transported to Sichuan Province and deposited in the Palace of Queen of Heaven in Leshan Grand Buddha Temple which was 7000 miles away from Shandong Province on December 24, 1938. On December 25, 1950, Sichuan Province returned the collection intact to Shandong Library.

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On December 27, 1937, after the Japanese occupation of Ji'nan, the Shandong Library was burned. Most books were gone. On May 24, 1938, the puppet government of Japan appointed Mr. Cheng Zhonghong staff of the Provincial Department of Education as the administrator of Shandong Library. According to statistics, after looting, the Shandong Library had only 7560 books left. On September 19, 1940, the Shandong Provincial Bureau appointed Mr. Xin Baoding as the Curator. On September 25, the library was reopened. At that time, there were only 2050 kinds of books, 14600 volumes of books and 11 staff members in the library. During this period, two meaningful events should go down in history of the library. One was the acquisition of the Ming and Qing Dynasties edition books collection of Haiyuan Pavilion with a number of 32236 volumes, which was a great supplementary to its collection. Another event was the acquisition of an original 28 cubic meters engraved stone by An Family of Book Charts, which was preserved in a new built pavilion store.

After the surrender of Japan, Mr. Luo Futang was appointed as the head of Shandong Library which had five departments, including department of general affairs, acquisition& cataloguing, reading, special collection and research& guidance. The Kuomintang government was bent on civil war and set up one of its military headquarters in Shandong Library once its military troops entered Ji'nan. After that, the Shandong Library gradually ushered in a new period of development.

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On September 24, 1948, Ji'nan was liberated, Shandong Library had became the people’s library. On March 20, 1949, the library officially opened to readers. At that time, the remaining books were more than 300 thousand volumes. In July 1949, Mr. Liu Huiwu deputy curator of the library, leading the staff, finished the compilation of "New Shandong Library Classification", namely the Shandong Classification which was one of the earliest Library Classification since the founding of PRC and caught attention of the whole country. Since then, the Shandong Classification had been constantly revised. Shandong Library cataloged more than 2 million volumes of books by using Shandong Classification during 27 years from 1949 to 1976, in which year the library used the Chinese Library Classification instead of Shandong Classification.

In this period, the library had highlighted the readers' service. At the same time, internal management and institutionalized construction were also gradually strengthening. The work of Shandong library was booming and achieved fruitful results in this period, which was one of the peaks in history.

During ten years of turmoil (1966-1976), the business of Shandong Library has largely stalled. Due to the efforts of the staff, the collection was basically preserved. The business resumed gradually after 1971.

After smashing the Gang of Four, especially after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleven Central Committee of CPC, the Shandong Library’s development got back on track and was becoming healthy. In the past twenty years since the reform and opening up, the development process of Shandong Library can be divided into three periods:

1. Period of adjustment and recovery (1977--1984)

During this period, the main work was to restore and perfect the order. First of all, the collection construction went to normal. Secondly, the library was devoted to the standardization and formalization of internal management. Literature collation and academic research had also been carried out preliminarily. A major work of this period was to participate in the compilation of the Bibliography of Rare Books in China. The academic research work had mainly achieved two basic businesses: one was the foundation of Shandong Library Association in June 1979; another was the debut of the only library science publication that time in Shandong Province-Shandong Library Quarterly in September 1981, which was a joint work between Shandong Library and Shandong Library Association, libraries of Shandong Province thus had a platform of business exchanges and academic research. 

By the end of 1978, the library reported a plan of constructing a new comprehensive reading building. After the detailed design and demonstration program, the construction started in September 1981, which lasted for two years, completed in 1983 and officially put into use in 1984.

2. Period of consolidation and development (1985--1994)

Marked by the construction and utilization of the comprehensive reading building, Shandong Library has entered a period of sustainable development. First of all, the structure of organization had a major adjustment, the departments were added to 13, namely: Dept. of Acquiring& Cataloging, Chinese Books Reading, Periodicals, Foreign Languages, Chinese Books Keeping, Reference, Historical Literature, Research& Guidance, Library Science Study, Microfilm, Administrative Office, Personnel& Security Office and Printing Factory. The second step was to increase the intensity of business construction. During this period, one of the main characteristics of the business development was the introduction and use of modern technology and equipments. Like the introduction of micro technology equipments and audio-visual equipments.

3. Period of modernization (1994--)

During this period, the focus of Shandong Library'  work has been devoting all its efforts to the application of automation on computer business, and the construction and planning of a new library, which indicates that the library has entered a new period of modernization.

In the near future, a modern and open library with first-class facilities, first-class service and first-class management will be revealed to the world, the new Shandong Library will make greater contribution to our librarianship.


Related Links National library of China丨 National digital culture network丨 Chinese ancient protection network丨 Shandong provincial department of culture丨
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