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National Library in China
The earliest extant newspaper of China was published in 876 A.D. As to the embryo form of almanac and proceedings, they can be traced to the 5th century B. C. Modern serials of China emerged from the womb of graphic arts brilliantly developed in the 18th century. It is also a crystallization of Sino-European culture. In the early stage, foreigners coming to China, Chinese students studying abroad and overseas Chinese offered unique contributions. Chinese serials underwent four high tides, namely the Revolution of 1911, the May 4th Movement, the War of Resistance against Japan, and the reforming and opening up to the outside world, among which the year of 1934 was called the "magazine year". Up to 1995, the content exceeded the sum of 24,000 kinds. The union catalogue of serials in China went through five stages of development. In the fifties and the sixties, it approached the advanced level of the world. At present, the union catalogue has reached about 400 kinds. The data base has been formed and is proceeding with networking.
Subject : Serials - Union Catalogue - China D. D. C. : 011.34; 025.35; 021,642
In temporary China, the earliest extant serials is the "Wu Yi Hui Jiang" ( The collected medical notes of the Wu Area ) started in 1792 (the 57th year of Qianlong, the Qing Dynasty) . As to historical development, Chinese serials lagged behind book publication. Two main things account for this:
(1) The full blown of Chinese book publication.
From inscriptions on bones, pottery and ancient bronze objects about 4500 - 5000 years ago up to "The Si Ku Quan Shu" ( Complete Library in the Four Branches Literature) compiled between 1772-1787 (37th year to 52nd year of Qianlong, the Qing dynasty) and "Hong Lou Meng" (Dream of the Red Mansions), a famous novel published in 1791, Chinese book publication went through a long course for s everal thousand years and reaching one of its most glorious period.
A year later, the "Wu Yi Hui Jiang" ( The collected medical notes of the Wu Area) was born out of the summit of book production, thus having the antique characters of graphic art of China. It is just like what Arnold Joseph Toynbee(1889-1975), British historical philosopher said, " When `Yin' is thus complete, it is read to pass over into `Yang'.", " A change in a state which , by definition, is perfect after its kind can be started only by an impulse or motive which comes from outside." " But what is to it pass to ?"  Most of the serials published then, such as " Chinese monthly magazine " published in 1815, succeeding ones founded by foreign missionaries, and such serials, amounted nearly 300 kinds at the end of the sixties of 19th century . Although they were devoted to missionary work, in order to be easily received, they accepted consciously the influence of Chinese culture in artistic form, style and context as well. These may be considered an outcome of exchanging and fusion of Sino-European cultures and offered as a contribution to the development and publishing of Chinese serials.
(2) The progress of collective scientific research proceeded rather slowly.
Besides the academy of classical learning, there were few learned societies. In mild of the fact that conferences were numerous in China. Since the ancient times, various political and academic conferences and lectures are unprecedentedly active in the Spring and Autumn Periods (770 - 470 B.C.) and the Warring states (475- 201 B.C.). Their records are scattered in various ancient books, without complete conference proceedings being recorded.
In 81 B.C., the great General Guang Huo organized a conference before the Emperor Zhao, the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220)"Conference in salt and iron". Its conference proceeding, "On salt and iron" was edited by Kuan Huan based on literature of the meeting in the period of Emperor Xuan, the Han Dynasty (48-34 B.C.) .
The Meeting of E Hu was convened in 1175 ( Chunxi 2nd year, the Song Dynasty), and its successive meeting was held six years later. Its conference proceedings adopted an original approach by engraving on stone tablet in Bei Lu Dong Yard (The White Deer Cave Academy) . All the conference proceedings mentioned above are only a single number, without successive ones
The Spring Autumn annuals and Zuo Zhuan , several hundred years before Christ, are both compiled history works in annalistic style, with content about intergovernmental visits, meetings about how to form alliances, punitive expedition, marriage, funerals etc. So they can be considered of a almanac in it bud.
One volume almanac, edited by Xuan Liu in the Song Dynasty, was recorded in History of the Song Dynasty: Art and Literature compiled in 1345 (Zhizheng 5th year, the Yuan Dynasty). As the original book has been lost, whether the " almanac " is similar to the temporary almanac could not be checked.
In 1864 ( Tongzhi 3rd, the Qing Dynasty ), " The custom almanac of domestic and foreign commerce " started and the temporary almanac really began. From the beginning of this century to the end of the forties, there were nearly 80 kinds of almanac only in China .
From ancient times, there were local chronicles in China which had considerable development in the 7th century. They are a serials which continues publication with a style between almanac and encyclopedia. There are 7,000 kinds of local chronicles published before 1949, in the National Library of China . Since the majority of publication departments and libraries in China treated conference proceedings, almanac ( yearbook ) and local chronicles as books in management, the statistical data in this article are focused in newspaper and periodicals only in the main.
(1) The Revolution of 1911.
In feudal society, in order to shackle the thought of people, the rulers never ceased their persecution on newspapers and periodicals run by local people. Contrary to their goal, they not only strangled the development of serials in China, they aroused intense resistance instead. The well known "Su Bao" (Newspaper of the Su Area) case  is precisely a typical example. Persecuted politicians go ing into exile and Chinese students studying abroad, as well as overseas Chinese, continued to take advantage of publishing newspapers and periodicals to carry out the struggle against the feudalistic rule of the Qing Dynasty . Large numbers of democratic intellectuals plunged into the causes of newspapers and periodicals holding the position of editor-in-chief or article writers, among whom Yuewei Kang, Qi-Chao Liang, Fu Yen, Yat-sen, Sun, etc. were known to be the men of the hour. From 1840 to 1911, various serials exceeded 600 kinds , then those reached 800 kinds in 1918, evolving the first high tide of Chinese serials which exerted a rather great influence on all circles in China and having an effect on cultural dissemination, arousing the masses of the people. The Qing D ynasty was also overthrown in 1911 by the revolution led by Yat-sen, Sun.
In 1912, initiated by the National Association of Promotion of the Press, a news school was founded.
In 1918, Peking University erected its Association of Journalism, and cultivated a great number of qualified personnel for the cause of serials.
(2) The May 4th Movement.
In 1915, Duxiu Chen, a participator in the revolution struggle to overthrow the Qing Dynasty, started the publication of "New Youth". After 1917, Da Chao Li, Xin Lu, Shi Hu, etc. participated its editorial board and acted as main writers of articles. The journal became the important banner of the May 4th Movement of China in 1919. The May 4th Movement formed an intelligentsia in more masses than that formed by the Revolution of 1911. This intelligentsia used vernacular and punctuation mark in writing articles in the press for propaganda, and spread a new ideological trend toward the people. Eventually the May 4th Movement broke out, and ushered in a new epoch in Chinese history . Within one year after the eruption of the May 4th Movement, newspapers and journals started in various pl aces amounted to as many as 400 kinds. This is an exceptionally grand occasion in the history of the cause of Chinese serials ; thus the 2nd high tide in development of serials was founded.
(3) The War of Resistance against Japan .
After the September 18th incident in 1931, Japanese invaders occupied the Northeast of China and even tried to occupy the whole of China. The invasion of China by Japanese caused unceasing upsurge of resistance against Japanese in Chinese people. The Left Wing Cultural Movement led by standard bearer Xun Lu also grew further, thus founding the 3rd high tide of Chinese serials. It was generally ac knowledged that 1934 was the " magazine year ". In 1935, the total number of newspapers and periodicals exceeded 2000 kinds, among which periodicals numbered 1,518 kinds . Serials were rich and colorful, including personal journals, family journals, journals of mass organizations, academic proceedings, almanacs and local chronicles; from governmental publications to non-governmental ones, i.e . everything one expects to find. Among these, those edited by Xu Lun as chief, or in participation amounted as many as 19 kinds .
At that moment, periodicals and newspapers were already distinctly different in form. Proceedings and almanac also made rapid progress. The supplement of newspapers grew stronger with the editing. Quite a number of them became independent periodicals. During that time, the newspaper and periodicals that stood published for the longest time were "Shen Bao"(Shen River newspaper) and "Dong Fang Za Zhi" (Eastern magazine), and there were many short-lived ones. They were either banned by the authorities or compiled to stop publication due to economic conditions. One periodical, called "Hong Cha" ( Red tea), during its span of emission, issued 17 numbers and actually did not pay a single cent for authors' remuneration.
Serials published in China by foreign friends also give contributions in support of the resistance against Japan by Chinese people. Overseas Chinese, and Chinese abroad in particular, express their decision to support their motherland in the resistance against Japan through serials publication. Some enthusiastically returned to China to join the war, donated materials or contributed money to sup port the front line.
(4) The reforming and opening up to the outside world.
After the Peoples' Republic of China was founded, publication of serials rose and fell several times. During the high tide of the " Cultural Revolution " ( 1966 - 1976 ) in 1969, formally published periodicals in the whole nation were mostly only empty titles of only 20 kinds; newspapers 42 kinds [ See Table 1 ]. Various small - sized newspapers not included, they reached as many as several thous ands in number, Those held by the National Library of China reached 2,611 kinds, totaling 66,790 in number . This was a lopsided phenomenon under special historical conditions. From the eighties to the nineties, since the Chinese government carried out reform and open policy, comes the fourth high tide of serials of China . The formally published newspapers and periodicals increased from 1,116 kinds in 1978 to 10,137 kinds in 1995 [See Table 1]; and more than 10,000 kinds of restricted house journals, and more than 1,000 kinds of proceedings, and the same in number of almanac, and more than 2,000 kinds of local chronicles , in addition for a total of more than 24,000 kinds. The maximum distribution quantity of each also increased. For instance, "Shen Bao" (Shen River News paper) had 600 copies each issue in 1872, It had 5,000 copies an issue in 1877 . "Chinese juvenile" had 3,171,254 copies an issue in 1981, "Fortnightly conversations had 7,200,000 copies an issue in 1992 , and "TV guide" had 3,300,000 copies an issue in February 1996 . The quantity of distribution of periodicals amounted to one million copies an issue over 22 kinds.
The fourth session of high tides of temporary Chinese serials manifests a common law: shackle, invasion, confinement, etc. All the persecutions were unable to achieve the aim. On the contrary, it hastened the finest development and prosperity.
(1) The economic foundation.
The economic development has laid a firm foundation for the a steady progress of serials.
The economy is developing so all businesses are prosperous and all circles have the desire to publish a journal. Just take the economic periodicals as an example. In 1978, only five kinds of journals started publication ; in 1996, the economics journals amounted to nearly a thousand kinds.
In the seventies, there were few advertisements on serials in China and nowadays advertisements have become the main economic source and information source . "Beihai Daily"(in Guangxi) had 22 edition of advertisements an issue in 1994.
(2) The political atmosphere of reform .
The democratization of political life and open policy has changed the stern expression of serials and the phenomenon of thousands of journals having an identical face. The formally published periodicals of social science, as an example, increased from 20 kinds in the seventies  to 3,800 kinds in 1996, presenting a colorful scene.
(3) The education level has been elevated.
As education has spread and the cultural level of the people has been elevated, the quantity of readers of serials has enlarged.
(4) The living standards of the people has been raised.
Residents in cities and towns increased consumption from 4.20 RMB yuan per serials a year in 1982 to 13.11 RMB yuan in 1991 . Workdays each week decreased from six days to five and one half days in 1994 and to five days in 1995. Local newspapers geared to countryside reached about 500 kinds in 1994. The elevation of purchasing power, and the increase of off-hours promoted the development of serials.
(5) To raise the quality of serials in every possible way.
A. The State attaches extreme importance to the serials:
The state departments of government issued correspondence stipulations. For instance, "The provisional standard in the supervision of newspaper quality", "Specifications of quality of scientific periodicals", etc. give guidance and standardization of management on the editing and management of serials. Government also offered a financial subsidy to specialized and limited circulation serials such as academic serials and serials of language of minority nationalities. Only the subsidy to the loss incurred of the periodicals of the Scientific Publishing House in 1986 amounted to 1.33 million RMB yuan . In the whole country, state subsidies reached 287 million RMB yuan in 1994 .
B. To choose from public appraisal the outstanding periodicals:
351 kinds of Chinese outstanding scientific and technical periodicals were chosen from 3,715 kinds in 1992. At the end of 1995, 21 kinds of social periodicals won awards.
C. To carry out, check, and approve activity:
Beginning in 1992, check and approve activity of newspapers and periodicals in China.
D. Conducted training courses:
Editor-in-chief training courses. Up to August 1994, 27 provinces and cities, and more than 30 ministries and commissions, united and held "editor-in-chief training courses". Altogether, 36,000 editors-in -chief or directors of editorial departments were trained.
E. To conduct the research activity on editorial work:
National and local institutes of serials editorial work were successively established and carried out corresponding work.
F. To enhance international connections:
In 1986, China formally participated the ISDS (International Serials Data System). Chinese serials advanced towards the world standardized style, and quite a number of periodicals won international awards. Serials of Sino - foreign joint publication became more and more in number, among which the Chinese Academy of Sciences jointly published more than 10 kinds of journals with foreign institutes. The Academy also published 33 kinds of foreign language journals in order to enlarge institutional cultural exchange . Serials published in China in a foreign language increased from one journal, "Peo ples' China" in 1950, to 50 kinds, in 17 languages, in 54 editions in 1990. Circulation also greatly increased [See Table 2].
(6) Overall carrying out research on serials:
From 1901 to 1984, altogether there were more than 3,000 articles published in China about periodicals, of which 94% were published after founding of the People's Republic of China. Among these, altogether 1,234 articles were published from 1980 to 1988. Mostly topics are included, such as editing, publication, releasing, descriptive up to management i.e. everything we expect to find. Among whic h:
A. The core journals.
Research about core periodicals, "A guide to the core journals of China "  and " Handbook of foreign scientific and technical core periodicals" were published.
B. The standard description .
Research carrying description, "Handbook of standard description of national Chinese periodicals" was published .
C. Against the rise in price.
As to the countermeasure against the rise in price of serials, co-operative purchasing and editing in union and literature sharing were adopted .
D. The analysis of utilization.
The topics covering serials, such as propaganda and subscription, control over title catalogue, statistical analysis of utilization situation, analysis of distribution, of literature, of citations, of authorial, of authors, of aging of literature, bibliometric, and management, etc. all achieved distinct success .
(7) The standing of serials in libraries is strengthened.
The outlay of serials constitutes on expenditure amount of 50%-87.5% .
(8) The content of serials is rich and colorful.
The form is vivid and vigorous. The newspapers and periodicals kiosks in the streets and lanes are a feast to the eyes. Many readers cluster around the kiosks cities and towns in current China making this a new sight. Some of them not only sell serials but also concurrently serve as a lending library. For only 0.50 RMB yuan you can borrow a copy, take it home, and enjoy it a full day.
(9) Serials of the reserved part have been duplicated onto microfilm in quantities.
This has amounted to 12,000 kinds and they are continuing to be reproduced .
(10) Almanacs and proceedings were published in quantity.
In 1988, only national and international important social science symposia were convened, up to 672 sessions in China, and from 1979 to 1990, those symposia were convened, up to 5,283 sessions .
(11) A massive newspaper clipping lovers.
Newspaper clipping lovers developed from several hundred in the beginning of the eighties to about a million nowadays.
(12) From MARC to the INTERNET .
Electronic computer editing and laying out data base compact disc storage, as well as entering the international network, have progressed on a commensurable scale.
In 1993, "Hongzhou Daily" became the first electronic newspaper in China. Many serials adopted computer editing and laying out . The famous "Guangming Daily" also carried out paperless editing. The biggest and most influential newspaper in China, "Renmin Daily" (People's Daily) has begun to release CD-ROM from 1948. More than six newspapers have entered the INTERNET.
The MARC of serials held in the National Library of China, Shanghai Library, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Library, etc. have been published. More than 20 other libraries have already entered the INTERNET. The CD-ROM edition of "Academic journals of China" included journals in Chinese or in English over 4,000 kinds.
(2) The overall optimization.
Chinese serials based on Dr. Xuesen Qian's system science view-point of overall optimization is to be constructed into an open system an overall to adopt the vast territory of our country, the imbalance of economics development, multi-nationality and character of manifold needs of our society.
To enable the serials of different disciplines and of various radiation’s to develop in coordination; to increase the serials in languages of national minorities; to expand the cooperation with foreign countries; and based on the spirit of UAP (Universal availability of publication) program , it is necessary to establish the information propagation system of China . The publication of ser ials and its union catalogue are all important component parts of the system.
(3) Modern advanced technology is to be adopted as quick as possible.
In 1994, Chinese people owned 2 million computers; in 1995, it is estimated there were up to 3.1 million users owning: 486 PC 70%, 586 PC 20%, 386 PC 10% . This will be the establishment of a solid base for all kinds of applications of computers and adoption of more modern advanced technology for serials.
(4) Retaining the printing form .
Chinese serials will surely make its way along the information expressway, while the printing form will still be welcomed by the broad masses of the people.
After New China was established in 1949, the " National coordination program of books " was especially promulgated in 1957. The union catalogue was in a favorable condition to develop. The ten years after this can be said to be the golden age of union catalogue. Altogether, 27 kinds of national union catalogues, and more than 300 kinds of local and special union catalogues, were published . During the "Culture Revolution" (1966-1976), union catalogue was practically at a standstill. In 1977, the Union Catalogue Section was reestablished at the National Library of China, and the First Working Conference of National Union Catalogue was convened in Beijing in 1980. So the development of union catalogue was further accelerated. Meanwhile the editing of the union catalogue gradually adva nced toward a machine - readable catalogue ( MARC ) and description was further standardized.
(1) The first stage .
The first stage is from the appearance of the first issue of union catalogue up to 1949. " Union catalogue of Chinese periodicals held in different libraries in Beiping" was the first issue of union catalogue in China . Together with " Union catalogue of books of European languages, held in different libraries in Beiping " (vol. 4), published in 1931, they are the only two issues of the unio n catalogue of serials in this period.
(2) The second stage is from the establishment of New China to 1955.
At that time, the task of first importance of each library was to put the held books in order as specifically as possible. Under this condition, some libraries began to compile union catalogues. "The findings catalogue of newspapers held in different libraries in Shanghai", published in 1951, was the first union catalogue published in New China. Soon afterwards, Shanghai Medical College, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, etc. compiled a union catalogue of professional and departmental serials, and so solidified further its foundation for a national union catalogue.
(3) The third stage is from 1956 to 1965.
The First and the Second National Central Committee of Libraries, and their local Committees brought the development of the union catalogue to full vitality. Within ten years appeared the national union catalogue of serials of China, including Chinese, Western, Russian and Japanese languages . These union catalogues are giving full play of their effects up to now, because they are complete a nd of high quality. The character of the union catalogues of this period is rich in its assortments, multiplicity of participating libraries, timeliness of publication and implementation of unified entry.
(4) The fourth stage is " Cultural Revolution " from 1966 to 1976.
In this period the union catalogue only published 20 kinds, in its later period, mostly regional union catalogues for ordering periodicals to be published, whereas the number of national union catalogues is nil.
(5) The fifth stage.
The fifth stage started from the Conference of Cooperative of Retrieval of National Scientific and Technical Information in 1977 and the Working Conference of the First National Union Catalogue, while 80th, discussed their coordinating national union catalogue, reporting system and plan of topics selection. these conferences played a positive role in the rejuvenation of the union catalogue, and started to draw close to standardization and automation of cataloguing. The quality of union catalogue publications somewhat improved during this stage. Variety and quantity also increased.
(1) A single device with multiple uses, they have the function of unified cataloguing.
The union catalogue adopts many international standards such as ISBD(s), AACR2, UNIMARC, ISO 2709-1984, and so on. It not only keeps a description of library holdings, but also describes accurately and definitively the history, classification system, other related serials etc., as well as the simultaneous possession function of unified cataloguing.
(2) The participating libraries are numerous.
The participating libraries of the union catalogue were not only limited to a single system, but also addition of public libraries, libraries of universities and colleges, also including those of institutes, information centers and even those of factories, mines and enterprises.
The total number amounted to 692 units in the "Union catalogue of Western serials in China", exceeding the numbers of the "New serials titles" which was a union catalogue in North America. It also includes over 30,000 titles from 120 countries in 52 kinds of languages.
(3) Holdings information are in detail.
The holdings include years, volumes, numbers, library codes and call numbers.
(4) There are many access points.
In computer-aided cataloguing there many access points, such as ISSN, CODEN, DDC ( Dewey decimal classification number ), title, publishers etc.
(5) Developing a prosperous prospect.
After 1980, based on incomplete statistics, the national union catalogues newly increased to about 20 kinds, such as: "National super order catalogue of Chinese serials data base". it already has 12,000 titles and partial holdings; " Union catalogue of serials in foreign languages in medical universities and colleges of China", etc. Regional union catalogues of serials proceeded rather quickly. The regions of China that published their union catalogues amounted to about 100 kinds. Most of them are expanding into data bases. But, there are no new national union catalogue of serials in Russian or Japanese languages.
(2) Forwarding network information system.
Beijing University, Tsinghua University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have combined to establish a local network. It is expanding into about 200 universities and institutes. In the wake of developments in science and technology, the union catalogue network will bring beneficial results more than one can enumerate.
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3. “The Si Ku Quan Shu"(Complete Library in the Four Branches of Literature) completed in 1782, has the world's longest series of books. The work, comprising four traditional divisions of Chinese learning : classics, history, philosophy, and belles-letter, contains 3,503 titles bound into more than 36,000 books with a total of 853,456 pages.
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Table 1 Statistical Data of Serials in China
Table not available, please contact Author.
Table 2. Statistics of Exported Foreign Language Serials in China
Table not available, please contact Author.