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Rare copies of ancient Chinese books on show in Taipei

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-12-03 09:05

TAIPEI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Eighteen rare books printed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are on display from Monday at the library of Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

The books, all printed through the woodblock printing technique, were selected from about 1,300 volumes of 120 Ming Dynasty books in the library's collection, the university library said in a press release.

The most valuable exhibit is "The Book of Mencius," which was believed to be printed using an original woodblock model dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1297).

The exhibition is of great academic and cultural value, said Lai Kuei-san, a professor with the Department of Chinese, Taiwan Normal University.

"To read an ancient book is like communicating with our ancestors. From here, we understand more about where we come from and where the root of our culture lies," Lai said. "Only with such an understanding can we carry on our cultural tradition creatively."

The university library has a collection of more than 20,000 ancient Chinese books, a large part of which were moved here from the mainland in 1949.

Research on ancient archives and texts need joint efforts across the Taiwan Strait, Lai said, adding that, from different perspectives and in different areas, academia across the Strait will inspire each other and both contribute to sustaining the Chinese culture.

A seminar on the bibliography of the Ming Dynasty was also held Monday alongside the exhibition. The exhibition will last until March 1, 2020.

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