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Newsletter No. 67 (January 2016)

Celestial Empire: Life in China, 1644–1911

Dr Nathan Woolley, Curator


This exhibition brings together material from the National Library of Australia and the National Library of China to provide a window into the diversity of life under the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), China's last imperial dynasty. The exhibition will be the first of its kind in Australia and the largest that the National Library of China has ever mounted overseas. Objects from the National Library of China include drawings for imperial structures from the archives of the Lei family, listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2007, as well as maps, ink rubbings, rare books and folk art. Material on display from the National Library of Australia's Chinese holdings include illustrated works depicting the concerns of everyday life, many drawn from the collection of the London Missionary Society acquired by the NLA in 1961.

The exhibition at the National Library of Australia will run from 2 January to 22 May 2016, open daily 10 am to 5 pm. Entry is free but bookings are essential (timed entry). Bookings or ring (02) 6262 1271

For more information on the exhibition, see the website:

An introduction to the exhibition by its curator appears in The National Library of Australia Magazine, December 2015, pp.2-6 []

A book accompanying the exhibition will go on sale from 2 January.


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