|Address :||328 Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang Township, Chaoyang District, Beijing|
|Hours :||10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Wednesday-Monday)|
Zashuguan Library was established in an industrial park near Maquanying, a subway station of Line 15, in Beijing, in November 2015. Zashuguan is a large, private library where visitors can read books for free. Gao Xiaosong, a Chinese songwriter, director and music producer, is the library's curator.
Zashuguan has two buildings: Guoxue Guan (sinology library) and New Book Library. Guoxue Guan has three floors. On the first floor, there is a special-collection, new-book room, a sinology- and Western-language room and a celebrities' letter and manuscript room. On the second floor, there is a thread-bound, ancient-book room, an ethnic-group and folk-custom ancient-book room and a celebrities' letter and manuscript room. On the third floor, there is a late-Qing-Dynasty (1840-1911) and Republic of China (1911-1949) periodical room, and a Republic of China book and document room.
In the New Book Library, there are more than 200,000 books published after 1949, including Confucian classics, classic Chinese novels, and Chinese and Western literary, history and philosophy books in modern and contemporary times. The library has several reading rooms, including one room for children.
Zashuguan has nearly one million books, periodicals or documents. Among them, the volumes of the thread-bound ancient books and documents published during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911) exceed 200,000. The volumes of the periodicals and books published during the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China era exceed 200,000. The library has more than 50,000 Western-language books, and 100,000 new, special-collection books. It also has nearly 200,000 letters and manuscripts of the celebrities.
The thread-bound ancient books and the magazines that published during the late Qing Dynasty have great value. The letters and manuscripts of many celebrities, including Kang Youwei (a scholar and politician), Liang Qichao (a scholar, philosopher and reformist) and Cai Yuanpei (a scholar and educator), are also quite precious.
"We have collected various kinds of books, including baojuan (a traditional genre of talking and singing), drumsong books and textbooks that were used in the Republic of China era. So, we named the library Zashuguan (Zashu means novels, miscellanies and essays in ancient times)," says Gao.
"We can make friends with others through books. Zashuguan is open to the public for free. We do not emphasize the collection value of our books and documents. We only hope more booklovers will read these books," says Gao.
Zashuguan only receives 200 visitors every day. People need to make an appointment to use the library. The deadline for making an appointment is 6 pm the day before the appointment date. Visitors have to register their identity cards before they enter the library.
Visitors can read books at will in the New Book Library. However, visitors need to submit their borrowing lists to the staff if they want to read books in Guoxue Guan. A visitor can borrow one book at a time.
Visitors cannot take food and drink into the library. The library offers free fruits and tea to the visitors.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Wednesday-Monday)
328 Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang Township, Chaoyang District, Beijing
(Executive Editors: WEI XUANYIand LI WENJIE, Women of China English Monthly May 2017 Issue)
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