Posted on June 25, 2021 at 1:59 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The Library of Alexandria gets all the sympathy for its destruction.

And Literary Hub’s Jonny Diamond doesn’t want to diminish how devastating it was.

But he would like to point out that there’s a much more recent library tragedy (no, not the Los Angeles Public Library): that of China’s Hanlin Library back in 1900. (June 24, to be exact.)

We lost that building — part of an academy that was founded in the eighth century — during the Boxer Rebellion’s Siege of Peking.

Like the Library of Alexandria, we don’t know just how much was lost, though we know it was significant and that it included a massive encyclopedia commissioned by Emperor Zhu Di in 1403.

But unlike the Library of Alexandria, we don’t know who started it: the British and the Chinese, who were the combatants during this siege, blame each other.

Read more about the Hanlin Library fire at Lit Hub.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: History, Libraries

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