Description of the Library

This website serves for Xi'an Historical Library, a small special library. Since 1952, the Xi'an Historical Collections, now named Xi'an Historical Library and housed at the Northwest University in the west of Xi'an city, has been collecting books, maps, manuscripts and archival collections relating to the history of Xi'an. Over the years many significant collections relating to Xi'an in the past 3000 years have been found and collected to the library, making it a central research resource for anyone interested in Xi'an, one of the oldest cities throughout the world. However, the library is a small-scale library with no more than 25,000 books, 35 periodicals and newspapers, and 150 audio recordings and video recordings.

The collections are divided to three parts. One is the special collection, which preserves the precious ancient works, including maps from Tang Dynasty, paintings about the ancient Xi'an and manuscripts by ancient writers in Xi'an or coming from Xi'an. One is the current collection, which collects the contemporary literatures that are about the history of Xi'an. Not only the published works, many dissertations, academic papers, research reports involving Xi'an's history are also in the collection. Another collection is the reproduced collection, which replicate the authentic ancient works as imitations, and thus make them accessible to the public. All the replicated works can be browsed only in the library.

Although this library is located in a university's library, it is an independent organization, which has its own librarians and many experts from various academic and research institutions working part-time to help identify and collect works. There are six librarians in the library, one is the administrator, and one is the reference librarian, all of the rest are responsible for collecting, purchasing, cataloging, shelving, and etc. These four librarians are also specialists in the area of history.

The fund of this library is partly appropriated by the Shaanxi History Research Association and the provincial government. The rest comes from the donations of many associations, organizations, corporations, and individuals. Recently, the National History Research Funds is also opened to this library. Therefore, the budget of this library is not tight.

There is a special instrument room for protecting and preserving the special collections, which is donated by the National Historical Library and inhibitive to the public. All the other parts of the library are opened to the public, which include shelves, reference desk, reading room and computer room. There are five stations in the computer room, which are all able to access the Internet through the high speed network.

There are frequent instructions held by the library. Some of the instructions are about the library while most of the instructions introduce the history of Xi'an to enhance the public interest. Also, professional seminars, conferences, and forums are regularly held in the library, which provide great chances for scholars, researchers and experts in the field of Xi'an history to present their findings and communicate their ideas. To some extent, this library is more like an academic center for those who study the history of Xi'an.

Overall, this library is a small special library, which gathering specific works and serving to the particular groups. However, the focus of this library is not the simple collection and preservation of the books, but the academic role it plays in the field of history.