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People's Republic of China Gives Rare Collection to UCSB Library

June 24, 2003

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – The People's Republic of China has donated a major Chinese studies collection to Davidson Library at UC Santa Barbara.

Called "Siku Weishoushu Jikan," the bound set of social, cultural, and historical writings from the 18th and 19th centuries consists of 301 volumes and includes 2,500 titles covering a wide variety of subjects. UCSB is the only university library in Southern California to have this distinguished collection.

"This rare collection will not only enrich the UCSB Chinese studies collection benefiting our faculty and students, but as the only copy in Southern California, it will also benefit other scholars in our region," said Cathy Chiu, chief librarian of the East Asian Collection where it will be housed.

"Siku Weishoushu Jikan," referred to as "Works Not Included in the Qing Imperial Library," complements the most famous Chinese studies collection, "Siku Quanshu," which was compiled by thousands of scholars under the command of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century. The library owns both the print and electronic versions of "Siku Quanshu," which is the most frequently used resource in Chinese studies.

"Siku Weishoushu Jikan" is praised as the one collection that completes historical China, said Chiu. The works selected by 30 renowned scholars pick up where "Siku Quanshu" ends.

Also donated by China's Ministry of Education were two CD sets containing a 74-volume encyclopedia of China and a 12-volume Chinese language dictionary. Compiled over 15 years, the encyclopedia is considered the most authoritative in China. The 12-volume dictionary is regarded as the most comprehensive in contemporary China.

The gift from China's Ministry of Education is valued at $25,000. The People's Republic of China supports select universities with outstanding Chinese language and cultural studies programs by donating educational materials.

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