National Library of China launches digital database of ancient books

(30 September 2016) The National Library of China recently launched two online services for readers – the Basic Database of the Registered Ancient Books Surveyed Around China and the Digital Library of Chinese Ancient Books.

As an important academic achievement, the Basic Database allows readers from all over the world to check online the catalog of existing ancient Chinese books that a survey, conducted by the NLC since 2012, has registered (

The Database has included the basic information of more than 3.5 million copies of over 380,000 titles of ancient books that have been kept in the 96 libraries nationwide, said Zhang Zhiqing, deputy director the National Library, at the launch forum.

Readers can also view and download the page photos of the ancient books that have been kept in National Library, from the Digital Library’s website

The Digital Library contains more than 6.1 million page photos of more than 10,000 titles of good-edition ancient Chinese books, such as 71 titles printed in Song Dynasty (960-1279), 148 titles printed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and 551 handwritten copies in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). has the story in full.