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Tsinghua University Library was established in 1912, just one year after the university was built. Now it had 28,000 square meters of floor space and a total collection of more than 3.5 million items.

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n 1928, the Tsinghua School became the National Tsinghua University. Between that time and 1935, the Tsinghua University Library developed rapidly. In 1931, the library building was expanded to 7,700 square meters which provided 700 seats. The collection increased to 300,000 volumes. During that period, the University Library Committee was one of the University's standing committees. Most of the schools and departments had their own branch libraries. Before the beginning of the Anti-Japanese War, the Library's collection numbered 360,000 volumes. From October 1935 to September 1936, the famous literary author, Prof. ZHU Ziqing, was the chair of the University Library and the Director of Tsinghua University Library.

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n 1938, after moving to Kunming, Tsinghua University merged with Peking University and Nankai University to become the Southwest Associated University. The Library shipped 23,000 volumes to the new university. During that move, 10,000 volumes, which were temporarily being stored in Chongquing, were damaged by the Japanese Army's bombing. Only 3,000 volumes were saved. In Beijing, the library building became a Japanese military hospital.

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n 1946, the collection returned to the original campus, " Qing Hua Yuan" in Beijing, but the Library was quite different. 175,000 volumes lost. Shortly before liberation, there were only 410,000 volumes in the Library's collection. When the university was liberated on December 15, 1948, Tsinghua University Library entered a stage of stable development.

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n 1952, after the nationwide restructuring, Tsinghua University became a polytechnical university. Between 1952 and 1958, the Library transferred 18,000 volumes to other universities. To support the University's mission of education and research, the Library adjusted and reformed the collections. While there was a focus on the acquisition of engineering materials, the Library also collected classic works of Marxism and Leninism and other excellent literary works. The collection of books and other bound volumes had grown to 1.35 million volumes by 1966.

During the Cultural Revolution, the budget of the Library was deeply cut. The Library stopped buying or subscribing to many important books and periodicals. Fortunately, with the help of faculty members, students, and librarians, most of the Library's collection survived that tragic period.

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he collection has grown rapidly since 1978 and reached 2.5 million volumes by 1990. The new building of Tsinghua University Library, which was finished in September 1991, signaled a new stage in the Library's development. The construction was supported by the donation of Dr. Run Run Shaw and the appropriation of the State Education Commission. In 1994, the new building was named after Dr. Shaw. It has received several national awards for its architectural design. Presently, the Tsinghua University Library building has 28,000 square meters of floor space and provides 2,800 seats.

During the 1990's, the Library has made great progress in automation and networking. An advanced and fairly complete information infrastructure has been established. Two integrated library systems, ILIS of Fujito Co. of Japan, and INNOPAC of Innovative Interfaces Inc. of the United States of America, have gradually been installed. Now, under the integrated management of the INNOPAC system, users can access the Library's Chinese and Western language book and periodicals collection, and librarians can work on acquisitions, cataloging, serials management and circulation functions. The Library has also created a CD-ROM network to provide access to electronic databases through the campus network. In recent years, an increasing number of electronic resources and virtual resources have been made available in the Library or online. These form an information system which is all-direction, open, multi-level, efficient and service-centered. The system supports the university's goal of becoming a first-class university.

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