Recalling the pioneer of Chinese librarianship—The unveiling ceremony of the bronze statue of famous scholar Miao Quansun & Commemorative Seminar is held in the NLC


On December 22, the unveiling ceremony of the bronze statue of Miao Quansun was held in the National Library of China (NLC). Miao Quansun was the pioneer of Chinese librarianship and the first Director of the Metropolitan Library, the predecessor of the NLC. 2019 was the 110th anniversary of the NLC and the 100th anniversary of the passing away of Miao Quansun. Jiangyin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and Jiangyin Municipal Government donated a bronze bust of Miao Quansun to the NLC to commemorate his great contributions to the innovation and development of the NLC and Chinese librarianship on behalf of Miao Quansun's hometown people.

More than 40 people attended the conference, including Rao Quan, Director of the NLC, Zhang Zhiqing, Deputy Director of the NLC, Ji Jun and Cheng Zheng, members of the Standing Committee of Jiangyin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Zhang Shaofeng, Vice Mayor of Jiangyin, experts and scholars from Peking University, Tsinghua University, the NLC, Nanjing Library and so on. The conference was hosted by Zhang Zhiqing.

In his speech, Rao Quan said this year was the 110th anniversary of the NLC. General Secretary Xi Jinping wrote a letter to eight senior experts from the NLC, highly appraised the historical contributions of the NLC, gave a clear positioning to the important significance of the library in social life, and put forward ardent hope for the further development of the librarianship in the new era. In the face of the General Secretary's entrustment, we looked back on the past, and deeply realized that the NLC and the Chinese librarianship had always been taking on the historical mission of preserving the quintessence of Chinese culture and inheriting civilization, showing a grand atmosphere of open circulation and serving the society, which was inseparable from the thought and practice of Miao Quansun and other predecessors. At such an important moment, we accepted the bronze statue of Miao Quansun donated by Jiangyin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and Jiangyin Municipal Government, and placed it in the NLC to show the 110 years of arduous development course of the NLC, which was not only a memorial for the predecessor, but also a spur and incentive to us.

In his speech, Cheng Zheng said that Jiangyin had always been promoting the spirit of Miao Quansun and attaching great importance to the librarianship development. This year was the 100th anniversary of the passing away of Miao Quansun. We specially made a bronze statue of Miao Quansun and donated it to the NLC to commemorate his outstanding contributions to the construction and development of modern Chinese librarianship and the NLC. As Miao Quansun's hometown people, we would inherit and carry forward the fine tradition of advocating science and culture of our predecessors, take on the important task of librarianship development, do a solid job in providing public cultural services, actively innovate public reading service manners, expand public reading service functions, better meet people's multi-level and diversified reading needs, and promote the development of librarianship to a high level.

After the ceremony, many experts and scholars who had in-depth research on Miao Quansun's lifetime and academic achievements expressed their admiration and recollection for him from their own perspectives. In his concluding remarks, Zhang Shaofeng, Vice Mayor of Jiangyin City, focused on the historical and cultural origins of Jiangyin City, and the important measures taken in recent years to explore the culture of predecessors and carry forward Miao Quansun's spiritual heritage. After the unveiling ceremony, the bronze statue would be placed in the NLC for the staff and readers to visit and remember.

Miao Quansun was born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province in 1844. He was not only a noble figure of traditional scholarship, but also a firm communicator and executor of new ideas and new systems. He played an important role in the history of modern Chinese culture and education. Miao Quansun was recognized as the pioneer of Chinese librarianship, who was not only the first Director of the NLC and Nanjing Library, but also made historical contributions to the collection construction and bibliography research of public libraries. In 1907, Miao Quansun was appointed as Director of Jiangnan Library (now Nanjing Library). During his term, he snapped up eight thousand volumes of Ding's collections, and made them from private to public and avoid outflow. At the same time, he pointed out the way for the public libraries to expand collections. In 1909, the Qing government approved the establishment of the Metropolitan Library (now the NLC) proposed by the Ministry of Education, and Miao Quansun was appointed as the Director. During his term, he presided over the compilation of Library Rare Books Bibliography of the Ministry of Education of Qing Dynasty, Library Chronicles Bibliography of the Ministry of Education of Qing Dynasty, which provided a model for the compilation of ancient books bibliography in modern libraries.






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