Welcome to Peking University Library

Founded In 1902

The collection of books: the effort of a century, the rewarding magnitude

A library stores the books that store its soul. With the effort of many generations of our staff to collect books, Peking University Library becomes the owner of a first-rate collection of books, not only in China but also in the world. There have been periods in the past when the Library enjoyed steady supplies of fund, which enabled the Library to expand itself at a fast pace.

In early 1917, Cai Yuanpei became President of Peking University. He paid particular attention to the growth of the Library, going all out to raise fund for it. From 1918 to 1922, with Li Dazhao as its Chief Librarian, the Library expanded its collection at the rate of 10 thousand books a year.

In December 1930, Jiang Menglin stepped in as President of the University. He set aside one fifth of the entire university expenditure for the purchase of books and apparatuses for the Library, making possible another fast developing period. This golden phase, however, was forced to a close by the full-scale break of the Anti-Japanese War in 1937.

Between 1946 and 1949 the Library’s collection enjoyed yet one more expansion, making it the second largest library of the nation next to Peking Library only.

The year 1999 marked the inauguration of Peking University’s agenda for itself to be ranked among the first rate universities in the world. Under the auspice of this undertaking, the Library has seen an unprecedented increase in its fund, which has guaranteed the regular acquisition of most academic books and journals published in China and the increased subscription of foreign journals. In addition, a large collection of such new media as the imported CD-ROMs and databases has found its way into the Library, setting the Library on the track of a still faster development.

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