The Bibliotheca Zi-Ka-Wei
The Bibliotheca Zi-Ka-Wei (The Xujiahui Library)

   · Historical background
Founded in 1847, the Bibliotheca Zi-ka-wei is the earliest extant modern library in Shanghai, who has witnessed the process of exchange of the western and eastern learnings.
 The Bibliotheca Zi-ka-wei on the present premises consists of north and south buildings. On the north side is a two-story European-style brick and timber structure, built in 1897 used for stack rooms, which were divided into the Chinese collection on the first floor and western-language on the second, giving the name "Bibliotheca Major"; the other on the south is called the "Jesuit Residence", originally erected in 1867 and then expanded and renovated into a four-story mansion in 1931.
 In 1956, the Bibliotheca became a branch of the Shanghai Library, when some other unique libraries, such as the Royal Asiatic Society North-China Branch Library, the Haikwang Western Thoughts Library, the International Institute of China Library and the Shanghai Municipal Council Public Library, were merged.
 In 2003, the Bibliotheca Zi-ka-wei was renovated and re-opened after being temporally brought to a close to make way for the early municipal metro line construction. The Bibliotheca has now resumed her services for users and become a new local landmark around the area as well as a highlight of cultural life for people of the city and even the country.
 The original old western collection, the custody of human heritages of western theology and sinology on the second floor of the north building "Bibliotheca Major", is an imitation of the Vatican library, with all the books organized in a strict conformity with the Vatican classification system in 36 main categories and 286 sub-categories. The stack rooms on the first floor of the north building used to hold the Chinese collection is in the style of the famous Chinese private library “Bibliotheca Tian-yi-ge” of Ningbo established in the years of Ming dynasty, which is inspired by the ancient Chinese philosophy of the "Heaven and Earth", respectively represented by one long aisle and six parallel rooms (of all the six parallel rooms, five are now existent and the last one, due to the municipal metro line construction, is now turned into a pedestrian). And the two elements, "Heaven and Earth," according to "Shui-jing-zhu" (Notes on Book of Waterways), imply pouring boiling water on fire.

 • Collections and Services
 The Bibliotheca Zi-ka-wei resumes her functions of user service, collection conservation & preservation, and document research & development. The first floor of the south building is now used for Chinese collection, document exhibitions and workshop activities. The second floor is used for the main reading area, with a capacity of 30 seats, with open/close-stack reading services, iPac searching, photocopying, laser printing and reference service provided.
 The Shanghai Library boasts of 750,000 volumes of old foreign publications, published from 1477 to 1950, among which 320,000 volumes are collected in the current site of Bibliotheca Zi-ka-wei. The collections involve nearly 20 different languages, including Latin, English, French, German, Russian, Japanese and so forth, covering such disciplines as philosophy, religion, politics, economy, linguistics, literature, art, history, geography to name a few. Among them, pre-1800 rare editions in western languages, early Russian and Japanese documents, materials on Catholic theology and sinology are mostly treasured.

 • Opening hours:
 9:00~17:00, Monday~Saturday for reading with a library card for reference reading;
 9:00 ~16:30, Monday~Sunday for free visiting at the main entrance;

 9:00~16:00 on national holidays.
 • Contact:
 Postal address: 80 North Caoxi Rd., Shanghai, 200030, China
 Tel: 0086-21-64874095 ext. 208