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A preservation framework for Chinese ancient books

Mingjie Li (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Jinfang Niu (School of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 9 March 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Citation

Li, M. and Niu, J. (2010), "A preservation framework for Chinese ancient books", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 66 No. 2, pp. 259-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220411011023652

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited