Rare Books

Chinese Rare Book Collection
The collection consists of 1,100 classical titles in more than 16,000 volumes in traditional silk-stitched fascicles. The editions range from the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) to the end of the Qianlong (1795) of the Qing dynasty. Notable among the collection are Yi Benyi Fulu Zuanshu 《易本義附錄纂疏》of the Yuan Dynasty, Qinghu Xiansheng Wenji 《青湖先生文集》, Ji Gu Dian Shuoyuan Ji 《紀古滇說原集》and Zongxuan Xiansheng Wenji 《宗玄先生文集》of the Ming dynasty, and Shuying 《書影》Zhongcheng Ji《中丞集》Yihai Jianwen 《乙亥見聞》and Nenger Zhai Yinpu 《能爾齋印譜》of the Qing dynasty.

Fifteen Chinese ancient books from the CUHK Library’s Rare Book Collection were selected for the sixth batch of National Catalogue of Precious Ancient Books in 2020. The selection criteria of the National Catalogue of Precious Ancient Books are extremely strict – listed materials must be of scholarly value, historical and cultural significance, and they should be handwritten or printed before 1912 in the form of classical binding. This is the first time that Chinese ancient books from a Hong Kong academic library collection have been selected as national precious books since the first batch announced in 2008.

A complete list of titles can be located in the LibrarySearch and a published guide to the collection Annotated Bibliography of Chinese Rare Books in the CUHK Libraries《香港中文大學圖書館古籍善本書錄》.

Western Rare Book Collection
The collection contains western language books published before 1900. The scope of the collection is mainly on medicine, architecture and Western books on China. Notable titles include Summa Theologica (Antoninus, Saint Archbishop of Florence, 1479), Avrelii Cornelii Celsi Medicinae Liber Primvs Incipit (Aulus Cornelius Celsus, 1493), Clavdii Galeni per Gameni Ars Medica, Quae et ars Parva (Galen, 1549), Athanasii Kircheri e Soc. Jesu China monumentis (Athanasius Kircher, 1667), Novvs atlas Sinensis (Martino Martini, 1655), An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China (George Staunton, 1798) and other rare items.

Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection
The Digital Collection aims to facilitate users to search and browse the bibliographical information and full-text of the Chinese rare and semi-rare books at the Library and to promote resource-sharing. The Collection now covers more than 6,200 volumes of rare books with around a million of full-text images and the number is still growing.

Chinese Rare Book Digital Collection
Retrieval Services
Both Chinese and Western rare books are kept in the Rare Book Room, which is located on the 3/F, TKP Building. All the materials in this collection can be searched through the LibrarySearch and are available on request at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Service hours :
Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

For enquiries, please contact library staff at 3943 8740 or email to spc@lib.cuhk.edu.hk.