A Preservation Framework for Chinese Ancient Books

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books, china, historical research, collections management

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Purpose - This paper aims to provide a theoretical guide for preserving ancient books in China.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper reviews the history of the damage and preservation of ancient books in China, and analyzes the value attributes of ancient books: archaeological value, historical value and artistic value.

Findings - The paper proposes a preservation framework for Chinese ancient books. This framework is composed of three layers. The foundation layer is to preserve the physical entity of ancient books so that the archaeological values are preserved. The middle layer is to preserve the intellectual content of ancient books so that the values for historical research are preserved. The top layer is mainly about preserving the productions process of the artistic format of ancient books, so that not only the static artistic formats are preserved, the techniques and procedures to produce the artistic format are preserved as well.

Originality/value - The paper presents a framework that connects the value attributes of ancient books and the strategies to preserve those values, systematizes them and presents them as a whole. The framework can be used to justify government policies and help identify pitfalls in the preservation strategies for ancient books.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Documentation, v. 66, isue 2, p. 259-278