Capital Library

The Capital Library is located southeast of the Andingmen Gate, just west of the Confucian Temple. Lu Xun as the Metropolitan Popular Library originally founded the library, in 1913. Before that it was the famous Imperial College (Guozijian).

The history of the Capital Library is long and complex: In 1924, the Metropolitan Popular library and part of the Metropolitan Library were transferred to the former site of the Imperial Academy beside Toufa Alley near Xuanwumen Gate. In 1927, the two were consolidated and renamed the First Metropolitan Popular Library under the Ministry of Education. Later it was managed by the Municipality of Beijing and again renamed the First Normal Library. Then, just prior to the liberation of Beijing, its name was changed again to Beijing City Library. At this time, the library in the Zhongshan Park known as the Zhongshan Library or the Revolutionary Library became a branch.

The library was taken over by the People' s Government after the liberation of Beijing in 1949 and renamed Beijing Municipal Library. In 1953, it was moved from Toufa Alley to Xihuamen and a Xidan branch was opened at Toufa Alley. In 1956, the central government appropriated a large sum of money to refurbish the Imperial College (Guozijian) and transfer it into what is today called the Capital Library.

In the past, libraries were not considered important for the common people. This, coupled with repeated changes of address, accounts for the fact that after several decades the collection consisted of only 110,000 volumes. According to the 1980 statistics, however, the books and resources had increased 17 times since 1949.

Next to the Beijing Library, the Capital Library is the largest public library in the municipality of Beijing. Besides offering books on political thought, many scientific, cultural and historical books are available. It also plays an important role in assisting and developing the library network in Beijing's 20 suburban districts and counties. In addition to its managerial office and general affairs department, the library is divided into a number of departments: editorial, reading, scientific and technological, social science reference (including foreign and domestic periodicals), book preservation, and research and assistance departments. It is also temporarily in charge of the Beijing Youth and Children's Library.

A number of reading rooms (with more than 440 seats) are open to the general public. More than 24,000 library cards have been issued to scientific and technological personnel, workers, cadres, students and collectives. More and more people are enjoying Capital Library services. The library, under the direction of the Cultural Bureau of Beijing Municipality, is open more than 60 hours a week.

Principal Sites Around the Forbidden City
Major Historical Sites
Tales of Streets and Hutongs
Public Parks and Former Gardens
Places Commemorating Famous People
Museums, Schools and Cultural Institutions
Temples, Mosques and Churches
Scenic Spots on the Suburbs of Beijing
A General Survey of Beijing
Facilities and Infrastructure
Shopping, Eating and Accommodation
Copyright �China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: Tel: 86-10-68326688