RootsTech 2014

Mocavo

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Chinese Genealogy in the Shanghai Library

The Shanghai Library, the second largest library in China, was founded in 1952, and the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of Shanghai was established in 1958. In October 1995, the Shanghai Library and the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of Shanghai merged to become a comprehensive research public library and center for industrial information. It is also the branch of the National Cultural Information Resource Sharing Project in Shanghai, the main library of the Shanghai Central Library System, Shanghai Ancient Books Protection Center and the “Pioneer Technology Development Research Center” of the Shanghai soft science research base.

The Shanghai Library now has a collection of over 53 million items in Chinese and foreign languages, including such unique resources as rare books, letters and rubbings, celebrity manuscripts, genealogical records and local histories, Western rare books, sheet music, modern newspapers and periodicals, and patents and standards. The library has a total area of 127,000 square meters, with all kinds of open spaces, such as reading rooms, academic activity rooms, lecture halls and exhibition halls.

The historical documents constitute the special treasures of the library, including 100,000 manuscripts and letters, around 5400 local records dated before 1949, 18,000 titles of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 Chinese Genealogy collection has over 12,000 titles and over 100,000 volumes of Chinese family pedigrees, covering 329 family names from 22 provinces. In addition, there is an extensive collection of ancient Chinese books consisting of over 1,700,000 volumes, among which 25,000 titles and 170,000 volumes are rare books, 2,256 titles and 13,526 volumes are classified as national-level collections. In addition, there are 5,400 titles and 90,000 volumes of local gazetteers and over 8,000 titles and 10,000 volumes Zhujuan from Qing Dynasty.

The Library provides an important Genealogy Searching Service for searching the genealogy collections including catalog retrieving and consulting by telephone or in writing.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like an exciting project! It's good that some of the family pedigree records have been preserved - many were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, so I'm happy to see that there were plenty of survivors.

    Also just wanted to note - while the "329 family names" might not seem like a huge number, the top 100 surnames in China account for almost 85% of the population. While that means easy access to information about surname meanings, it also means that it would be harder to find your particular family in amongst all of the people with the same name.

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    1. Not as many records were destroyed as originally believed. Thanks for your comment.

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  2. Thank you for posting this - so interesting to find this info on a blog from Arizona! I live in Shanghai and found this post helpful, especially the link to the room number and hours. What prompted you to post info on Shanghai's Genealogy collection?

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    1. I looked around just now here in the sunny Southwest and did not see any international boundaries on my computer. I write for the world to read.

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    2. Thanks for you nice comment. I am glad someone could use the information.

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  3. We are so lucky to have such easily shared information around the world! I"m looking forward to seeing you at RootsTech. And thanks again for the information on Shanghai's Public Library. I visited their Genealogy reading room yesterday after getting the information from your post. Amongst all the other goodies there, they have the family book for Confucius on display - so fun!

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    1. Thanks, made my day. I was wondering if anyone would read about the library or care.

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