Mar 16, 2021 / 16:49

The National Library of the Nguyen Dynasty opened

The newly restored ancient library in Hue city showcasing Vietnamese life under the regime of Nguyen Kings.

Hue Center for Monuments Conservation held the grand opening of the Tang Thu Lau space or the National Library of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1885) on March 15 in Hue imperial city.

The opening ceremony of the Nguyen dynasty library took place on March 16. Photo: Anh Khoa/ People Police Online.

The relic, which belongs to the Monuments Complex of Hue, was officially opened after lengthy restoration, promising to be a prominent tourist destination in Hue – the Vietnamese former capital city.

The Nguyen dynasty library was built under the reign of King Minh Mang (in 1825). The two-storey ancient building, made from stones and brick, was home to many valuable documents.

The first floor of the building features 11 spacious storing rooms, the second floor is divided into seven rooms in the middle and other two smaller rooms on the two sides.

The relic of "Tang Thu Lau" or ‘The National library of the Nguyen dynasty’ in Hue city opens its door after a long restoration. Photo: Anh Khoa.

The overall architecture of this ancient library was scientifically designed to meet the function of storing and preserving important documents and papers of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Especially, in order to avoid natural disasters and theft, the ancient library was built isolated on a small rectangular island in the middle of a lake called Hoc Hai.

The library had kept around 12,000 land ownership papers of mandarins and people under the reigns of Gia Long and Minh Mang(from 1802 to 1841).

The ancient library was built within a lake. Photo: Anh Khoa

Due to the bad impact of times and wars, the ancient library was seriously damaged and degraded and no longer maintained its original function. Many important archives have been lost or moved elsewhere. Some of these national treasures now owned by foreign antiques collectors.

In order to restore this monument, the ‘Tang Thu Lau space’ restoration project was implemented by Hue Center for Monuments Conservation in 2014 with a total investment of VND24,8 billion or (more than US$1 million).

After five years of restoration, the restoration of Nguyen Dynasty's library has finished and would welcome visitors to Hue city from now on.

According to Mr. Vo Le Nhat, Director of Hue Center for Monuments Conservation, the relic is now storing more than 7,000 book titles and many valuable documents in ancient sinogram such as ancient bibliographies and historical books as well as other 4,000 photos and video clips that are related to Nguyen dynasty.

Currently, most of archives and documents in the ancient library have been digitized.

“The documents that are stored at this ancient library have great historical values. They not only kept record of the political thoughts of feudal kings of the Nguyen Dynasty, but also reflect the economic situation, cultural life and the development of science - technology of the country in a certain period of history,” said Mr. Nhat.

Many important documents of Nguyen dynasty were kept at the library. Photo: Anh Khoa.

A book collection entitled “Thanh che chi luc tap” or “the books of King’s ordinances and rules” that was written by Minh Mang King (1820-1841) and the book called “Ngu lich Tu Duc” or “the book about the rule of King Tu Duc in 1883” – composed by Nguyen dynasty historians. Photo: Anh Khoa.

The book called “Tu Huan luc”- King Tu Duc's booklet records the teachings of his mother - Queen Tu Du.

A document of Nguyen dynasty under the reign of Gia Long king (1802-1817)
The upper floor of the ‘Tang Thu Lau’, where precious documents of the Nguyen Kings are stored.
Inside the newly restored library- A table and chairs are set up to serve readers. 
This is an ideal place for historical lovers.