Visit from Beijing

On 10 September we hosted a visit from twenty senior university administrators from Beijing, organised by Beijing Municipal Commission of Education. This is the governing body for all higher education bodies in Beijing, including the appointment of presidents and policy framework. Within England, we worked with the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES) at the Institute of Education to enable the visit. After a general talk about Senate House Library, the visitors were shown items fetched out as being of special interest for China or education:  the 1858 charter of the University of London, allowing students studying anywhere in the world to obtain a degree from the University of London; an eighteenth-century textbook; a small book of tangrams from when they first became popular in Europe, entitled The Fashionable Chinese Puzzle (New York, 1818 – testimony to the diversity of the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature); books pertaining to description and travel in China in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. One of these was one of a series of small travel books about various countries published in the seventeenth century by the publishing family of Elzevier and held in our Elzevier Collection: as this is one of our lesser used collections, it was good to feature it in this way. By special request we also displayed a Shakespeare folio and a copy of Das Kapital inscribed by Karl Marx.

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