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One Sky Terrace
- The Oldest Private Library under the Asian Sky

29 February 2008

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 China has.

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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One Sky Terrace

The oldest private library in Asia

The private school resumes in One Sky Terrace library, and the students are reciting Mr Zhu's Words to His Children

For the centuries, One Sky library was also one of the biggest private schools in the Middle Kingdom that was ruled not by warriors but scholars, until in the WWII when China was invaded by the Asian version of Nazi, the Japanese imperial armies, in the pretext of enlightening Chinese with the militant Japanese values of that time and for their true objectives of colonizing the world.

I love your school uniform. May I get enrolled?


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