Nancy M. Cline, the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, and Professor Cheng Huan-wen, director of Sun Yat-Sen University Library in Guangzhou, China, have signed a formal agreement to transfer a significant selection of Harvard’s Hilles Library collection to Sun Yat-Sen University in June 2005.
Developed over a century, the collection is comprised of titles in the humanities and social sciences primarily in English, but also in Western foreign languages.
In 2004, a decision was made to reconfigure Hilles from a full-service operation to a small reading library, as its holdings closely replicate that of Lamont Library, the University’s primary undergraduate library. The Harvard College Library (HCL) will retain unique titles and disperse valuable duplicates in the collection to other libraries throughout the University: 28,000 volumes will stay in Hilles, and the remaining 158,000 volumes, which comprise a strong, coherent collection, will go intact to Sun Yat-Sen University Library. Through contact with East Asian librarians at Harvard, the Chinese library expressed interest in the collection early on because of their need to strengthen their holdings in Western language materials.
Located in southern China, Sun Yat-Sen University, also known as Zhongshan University, is one of the top universities in the country. The Chinese Ministry of Education has designated Sun Yat-Sen University Library as one of seven repositories in the country for documents of higher education.
“In the year marking the 80th anniversary of Sun Yat-Sen University, the Harvard College Library is honored to establish this association with the gift of the Hilles collection,” said Nancy Cline, adding “Dr. Sun Yat-Sen authored the university’s motto ‘Study extensively; Enquire accurately; Reflect carefully, Discriminate clearly; Practice earnestly.’ It is in this spirit that we make this gift and welcome a strong relationship between these two libraries and institutions.”