China donates books to research institute in Cambridge University


LONDON, Oct. 18 — About 200 books about China were donated to the Needham Research Institute in the University of Cambridge on Friday.
These books were given by Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to Britain, on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the National Library of China, as well as the embassy.
The books were chosen by the institute itself, many of which are about history and archaeology. The first batch of 40 books have arrived, which are about water conservation, navigation history, printing and dyeing technique, etc. The institute also received a VIP membership card so as to read online the books from the National Library of China.
“By doing so, we could not only enlarge the physical collection of the Needham Research Institute, but also help improve the digital institute,” Liu said.
The Needham Research Institute is a center for research into the history of science, technology and medicine in East Asia. It was founded by the scientist and historian Joseph Needham, who went to China during World War II, and initiated the Science and Civilisation in China series. His research was believed to have helped Western people to understand China better and promoted exchange between China and the West.
Liu noted that understanding China has always been “a pressing task and daunting challenge,” especially when China is developing rapidly nowadays.
Professor Christopher Cullen, director of the institute, welcomed the gift. “Our budget will be over-stretched if we buy these books ourselves,” he said. “We will do our best to use the gift to make people understand China better.”
According to John Moffett, librarian of the East Asian History of Science Library, they have about 30,000 books.
“Most of the books we asked for this time are about archaeology, because China has made lots of archaeological discoveries these years,” he said. In addition, they have always been interested in science history, and needed these books as well.[db:内容2]