Book restorers bound to saving the past

By WANG KAIHAO | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-13 08:16
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Retired librarian Yuan Yuhong shows her expertise in taking an oracle bone rubbing at the library. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/China Daily]

Digitized benefits

The work of some 300 employees at the NLC now involves ancient books, according to Zhang, the deputy director.

"These employees are not only conservators. Cooperation among the publishing, academic studies and digitization departments has taken ancient books to a new era," he said.

No matter how careful the librarians are, these books are still too fragile to be widely read by the public. No titles can be taken home by readers, according to NLC policy, but fast-growing digitization provides an alternative.

In 2016, a national-level database for ancient Chinese books went online for public use. Thanks to the National Center for Preservation and Conservation of Ancient Books, the online platform has expanded to 17 branch databases, based on different categories and including more than 100,000 ancient books nationwide.

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