On 17 December, the unveiling ceremony of Zhao Wanli's bronze statue was held in the Rare Books Reading Rooms of the National Library of China (NLC). Zhao Wanli was a famous bibliographer and former director of the NLC Rare Books and Special Collections Department. Zhang Zhiqing, NLC deputy director and deputy director of China National Center for Preservation & Conservation of Ancient Books, Shen Qinli, vice mayor of Haining City, addressed a speech respectively in the ceremony. More than 40 people attended the ceremony, including Yin Wuming, sculptor and dean of Department of Sculpture, Nanjing University of the Arts, Zhao Wanli's family members, experts and scholars on textual bibliography, and representatives of the NLC workers.
In his speech, Zhang Zhiqing reviewed ancient books preservation pioneer Zhao Wanli's moving deeds about books acquisitions and preservation. He said, 2017 was the 10th year since Chinese Ancient Books Preservation Plan was implemented, and general survey, restoration, talents training and so on were at a critical stage. He hoped that ancient books workers could take this activity as opportunity, learn from Zhao Wanli, enhance awareness, intensify the business, and become the inheritor and guardian of Chinese excellent traditional culture.
Shen Qinli addressed a speech on behalf of the donation side. She said Zhao Wanli was a famous cultural celebrity born in Haining, who was the pride of Haining people and made great contributions to inheriting and carrying forward Chinese traditional culture. The completion of Zhao Wanli's bronze statue will encourage the later generation to guard Chinese traditional culture with Mr. Zhao Wanli's research spirits and noble personality as coordinates.
Zhao Wanli, whose courtesy name was Feiyun, was born in May 1905 in Haining, Zhejiang Province. He was a famous bibliographer in modern and contemporary era, who was proficient in textual bibliography, collation and compilation. He was born from a scholarly family, and tutored by Wang Guowei, Wu Mei and other masters of Chinese studies in his early years. In 1928, he worked in Peihai Library of Peiping, and then transferred to National Library of Peiping. He had served many posts, with director of the NLC Rare Books and Special Collections Department as the longest, and made great contributions to the NLC rare books and special collections construction and ancient books preservation.
In the beginning of 2016, Haining People's Government and Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone Management Committee donated funds for the NLC (China National Center for Preservation & Conservation of Ancient Books) to make Zhao Wanli's bronze statue on behalf of Zhao Wanli's hometown people. The NLC commissioned Yin Wuming, dean of Department of Sculpture, Nanjing University of the Arts, to design the statue, and then held unveiling ceremony after the completion of the statue.
In the ceremony, Yin Wuming, representatives of Zhao Wanli's family members, experts and scholars of library community, spoke out freely, and expressed their admiration and remembrance for Zhao Wanli. Zhao Wanli's bronze statue will be located in the NLC Rare Books Reading Rooms permanently for ancient books workers and readers to remember and cherish.