The oldest private library in Asia is One Sky Terrace (天一阁),
and One Sky is in Ningbo in
Zhejiang Province, the ancestral land of many Shanghainese.
The One Sky was first established by retired Assistant War
Minister (兵部右侍郎) Fan Qin (范钦), of the Ming
Dynasty, who loved peace, and truly - not
by words but actions - and who loved books, to the point
that he collected over 70,000 volumes.
But wars came to the Ming, and to the One Sky Terrace. Four
centuries later in 1940s, there were only one fifth volumes
remaining on the shelves.
Still, with current volumes numbered at 30,000, One Sky
houses one 200th of the total ancient Chinese books that
As one of the top ten greatest ancient terraces standing
in China today, One Sky is ambitious, working on a pioneering
project of establishing a digital version of the library
with ancient books. It is expected that sometime in future
we might be able to view its entire collections online.
The top ten Terraces of China:
Yellow Crane Terrace (黄鹤楼), Yueyang Terrace (岳阳楼), King
Teng Terrace (滕王阁), Great View Terrace (大观楼), Penglai Terrace
(蓬莱阁), Guanque Terrace (鹳雀楼), Celestial Heart Terrace (天心阁),
River View Terrace (阅江楼), Bell Tower of Xi’an (钟鼓楼) and
One Sky library in Ningbo.
(Source of news: 都市快报)
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