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Shanghai Library Travel Guide


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Boasting one of top ten largest libraries in the world, Shanghai Library (上海图书馆, Shang Tu for short, whose official website is is also called Shanghai Centre Library inclusive of Institute of Scientific and Technological Information of Shanghai (ISTIS) in China. This is the largest library in Shanghai and the second largest library in China next to National Library of China in Beijing. Shanghai Library was founded in 1952. The current site is located on Huaihai Zhonglu, which was opened to public in 1996. Institute of Scientific and Technological Information of Shanghai (ISTIS) founded in 1958 used to be a large comprehensive information research and document service unit in China. In 1995, it was merged by Shanghai Library, and then China’s first provincial-level library and information combo was established.

Shanghai Library covers an area of 3.1 hectares and a total architectural area of 83, 000 square meters. The main part of the library is comprised of the five-floor annex building and two main buildings respectively with the heights of 58. 8 meters and 106.9 meters. The different heights generally rank from the low to the high to symbolize a civilization peak that humankind climb to through book. The main face is featured of the huge archaized ancient building of China – the huge columns and the bracket system.

The library pays much more attentions to the ancient classics preserve; the Vimalakirti Sutra is the earliest collection of the museum with a history over 1,400 years

How to apply for a readership card

Chinese people carry the valid ID card and the foreigners carry the valid passport to apply. And the details for different types of cards as below:

Types of Cards Guarantee Deposit Validity Duration Usable Range
Reference & Reading  / Two years Shanghai Library, Xujiahui Library
Common Borrowing 100 CNY Two years Shanghai Library, the division of libraries and service points of the communities
Reference & Borrowing 1000 CNY Two years Shanghai Library

The service time

8:30—17:00 (Monday to Sunday),
8:30—17:00 (Monday to Friday only for the division of ancient books)
9:00—16:00 on national holidays
The time from 11:30 to 13:00 is only for reading, and the borrowing in unavailability. On the rainy day, the ancient book borrowing service is not available.

Address – No.1555 Huaihai Zhonglu, Shanghai

Transportation – taking bus 26/911/926/945/920/830/96/93/15 /548 to Gaoan Road Station or Shanghai Library Station. Alternatively, taking metro line 1 to Hengshan Road Station or Metro line 10 to Shanghai Library Station.

shanghai library

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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