Tag Archives: rare books

How we discovered three poisonous books in our university library

(27 June 2018) Some may remember the deadly book of Aristotle that plays a vital part in the plot of Umberto Eco’s 1980 novel The Name of the Rose. Poisoned by a mad Benedictine monk, the book wreaks havoc in a 14th-century Italian monastery, killing all readers who happen to lick their fingers when turning […]


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Reading into the future in China

(8 June 2018) The National Library of China is building a new book repository to protect China’s ancient literary treasures – and its cultural heritage – for future generations. Wang Kaihao reports. China is preparing to build a “Noah’s Ark” for precious books and documents from ancient times, an official from the National Library of […]


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British Library launches OCR competition for rare Indian books

(22 March 2017) Calling all transcription enthusiasts! The British Library has launched a competition to find an accurate and automated transcription solution for its rare Indian books and printed catalogue records, currently being digitised through the Two Centuries of Indian Print project. The competition, in partnership with the University of Salford’s PRIMA Research Lab, is part of […]


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Thieves steal £2m of rare books by abseiling into warehouse

(12 February 2017) The Guardian reports that antiquarian books worth more than £2m have been stolen by a gang who avoided a security system by abseiling into a west London warehouse. The three thieves made off with more than 160 publications after raiding the storage facility near Heathrow in what has been labelled a Mission: […]


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Government to digitise iconic Old Delhi library

(2 January 2017, New Delhi)  The new year promises to be a hopeful one for the iconic Hardinge Library in Old Delhi with plans afoot to revamp the historic institution through digitisation of rare books and restoration of its century-old building. Authorities are also endeavouring to put this city landmark on a tourism map, besides […]


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Two centuries of Indian print: new funding

(8 November 2016) In 2015, the British Library announced a major programme to digitise the vast wealth of Indian printed books held by the Library dating from 1713 to 1914, made possible with the support of funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the Newton Fund. This autumn, the first phase of the […]


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1500 titles of Thai printed books added to the British Library’s electronic catalogue

(17 October 2016) The Library’s Thai collection contains more than 6,000 titles of printed books, pamphlets and grey literature in Thai language, dating from the mid-19th century onwards. Due to a generous gift by Christian missionaries of about 100 books and pamphlets, the earliest period of printing in Thailand, from ca.1840-1890, is well represented, including […]


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The National Valuable Ancient Books Exhibition opens in China

(21 June 2016) On 8 June 2016, on the eve of Culture Heritage Day, the National Valuable Ancient Books Exhibition, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and State Administration of Cultural Heritageand organized by the National Library of China (China National Center for Preservation & Conservation of Ancient Books, National Museum of Classic […]


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ProQuest completes digitization of rare books at Wellcome Library

(9 June 2016, Ann Arbor, Mich.) ProQuest’s renowned Early European Books (EEB) program now includes nearly 10,000 digitized titles and more than 4 million pages from the Wellcome Library, the pre-eminent collection in Europe devoted to the history of medicine and related topics. In collaboration during the past five years with its scanning vendor, Numen, […]


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The 5th National Rare Ancient Book Directory and the 5th group of National Key Ancient Books Preservation and Conservation Institutions are announced by China

(1 June 2016) On 27 March 2016, the State Council officially printed and distributed the Circular on Announcing the 5th National Rare Ancient Book Directory and the 5th group of National Key Ancient Books Preservation and Conservation Institutions, approved and issued the 5th National Rare Ancient Book Directory, with 899 ancient books selected, including 754 […]


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Shanghai Library acquires the Blaeu-Van der Hem Facsimile Atlas

(24 May 2016) The famous Blaeu-Van der Hem Atlas is kept at the Austrian National Library in Vienna. In 2004, UNESCO added it to the tangible listing of World Heritage, also referred to as the ‘Memory of the World’, to preserve it for the future. The facsimile edition contains the most important volumes: the so-called […]


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Just published: A Chinese translation of Guidelines for Planning the Digitization of Rare Book and Manuscript Collections

(7 August 2015) IFLA’s Rare Books and Special Collections section announces a new Chinese translation of the Guidelines for Planning the Digitization of Rare Book and Manuscript Collections prepared by Wu Zhongchao, Peng Xishuāng, and Shen Jing. It is available as a free PDF file at this link. The announcement is here.


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Experts from Taiwan and China discuss conservation of rare books

(4 August 2015) The two-day conference kicked off at Taiwan’s National Central Library, Monday. Taiwan’s National Palace Museum Director Feng Ming-chu and the head of the National Library of China, Han Yongjin, are giving keynote addresses at the conference. This is the first time in decades that the top libraries in Taiwan and China have […]


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17th-century medical book designated National Treasure in Korea

(22 June 2015) “Donguibogam,” an encyclopedic Oriental medicine book written in the 17th century during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), has been designated as a National Treasure, the highest status of Korea’s cultural assets, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) announced Monday. The full story By Baek Byung-yeul with a picture of this national treasure is in […]


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Extraordinary rare book collection donated to State Library of Victoria

(17 April 2015) One of the world’s great rare book collections has been donated to the State Library of Victoria, Australia. Valued at over $5 million, the collection encompasses more than 5,000 volumes from the 15th to 18th century, including political, religious, philosophical and literary works. The collection was amassed over 40 years by the […]


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