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China Literature, National Library join forces for digital preservation

(chinadaily.com.cn)|Updated : 2020-09-02

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Rao Quan (left), director of the National Library of China, and Cheng Wu, head of China Literature signed agreement for cooperation in the library in Beijing on Monday. [Photo by Chen Xi/China Daily]

The National Library of China and China Literature, the country's major platform for cyber-based digital literature, reached an agreement for cooperation on Monday in Beijing.

According to the agreement, the national library will provide a permanent home for good-quality works from China Literature, becoming the second online platform to reserve its digital content in NLC after micro-blogging website Sina Weibo.

The 100 most popular novels from China Literature, spanning multiple genres, became the first batch of content to be collected by NLC. Many of these have been adapted into hit TV series in recent years, like Nirvana in Fire and Joy of Life.

Rao Quan, director of the national library, said the collection of digital literature will better display the significance of online content, in the process building up collective memory.

"It will bring much more space for traditional culture by reserving these works, which were created via new forms," he said.

Cheng Wu, head of China Literature, projected the new collection can thus record works of this era more dynamically and timely.

"Vitality of culture is based on history, but it has to face the future," he said.

Over 25 million volumes of online novels have been created in China following the development of the internet. However, the evolution of relevant websites, some of which have stopped operations, makes much early digital literature inaccessible today. Hu Bangsheng, an official with China Writers Association, thus praised the move to better keep a comprehensive recording of today's culture.

Rao also called for more digital literature operators to join the collection in the future.

According to the agreement, NLC and China Literature will have follow-up cooperation in developing new technology for the preservation of digital information, new facilities to serve readers and promoting products with cultural creativity.