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The history of the Fung Ping Shan Library dates back to 1929, when the late Mr. Fung Ping Shan (1986-1931) donated a building to the University of Hong Kong to be used as a Chinese Library. Sir William Peel, then Governor of Hong Kong and Chancellor of the University, opened the Fung Ping Shan Library on 14 December 1932. Since that time, Fung Ping Shan Library has served not only the University and the Hong Kong community but also scholars from different parts of the world.

Fung Ping Shan Library has a focus in oriental languages, principally Chinese, with other East Asian Language materials including Japanese and Korean. As at 30 June 2014, the Library had a stock of over 1.05 million volumes, more than 13,000 periodicals titles and some 170 Chinese newspapers from Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and Southeast Asian countries. Its collections also consisted of 5,400 titles of microfilm, more than 1,000 microfiche titles and 20,000 items of audio-visual materials. Of growing importance is its digital collection, comprising key Chinese online databases such as Scripta Sinica Database, Chinese Classic Ancient Books, Sikuquanshu, China Journal Net, China Yearbook Database, China Doctor Dissertations Database, China Reference Works Online, China Infobank, WiseNews, Duxiu, Chinamaxx Digital Libraries, SuperStar Digital Library and Apabi Digital Library, etc.

Collection highlights:

  • Rare books
    The Library's collection of rare books (published in or before the year 1795) is one of the largest in Hong Kong. It comprises more than 700 titles in 14,000 volumes, including 4 Song Dynasty editions, 18 Yuan Dynasty editions, as well as block prints from Ming Dynasty and manuscripts from Qing Dynasty.
  • Genealogical materials
    About 400 titles, most of them from clans in Guangdong and Hong Kong, are available. These are highly valuable primary sources for studying the history of Hong Kong and the region.
  • Stone rubbings
    A notable part of the collection is some 1,500 pieces of rubbings engraved during the early 1900s. The Library acquired the collection from a private collector in the 1960s
  • Periodicals and newspapers
    About 13,000 periodical titles, of which more than 1,200 are current, are in the collection. The Library is notably rich in its collection of periodicals on literature, history, fine arts and archaeology published between the 1900s and Sino-Japanese War, as well as publications of government departments and academic institutions in Guangdong during the Republican period.
    More than 170 titles of print Chinese newspapers are available, including a variety of pre-1949 titles and thirty current titles. Some 100 titles of Mainland newspapers are in microfilm. Full-text newspapers, including two from Taiwan and eleven from Mainland China, are also available online.
  • Taiwan Research Collection
    Established in 2000 with the objective of supporting teaching and research activities in Taiwan studies, Taiwan Research Collection comprises publications relating to political, economic and social development of Taiwan, mostly published by the government.

Some 10,000 local gazetteers and over 200 titles of seal impressions are also available in the library collection.


Library Classification Schemes

1.Fung Ping Shan Library Classification System, a hybrid system of Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), Lai Yung-xiang (Lai), and a number of local adaptations was used to classify library materials before 15 April 2002. A typical call number comprises a location code and Arabic numbers:


2. The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) System has been used to classify library materials since 15 April 2002. LCC numbers utilize alphanumeric system. Below is an example:


3. Doo Ding-U's Book Classification Scheme was used before the adoption of Fung Ping Shan Library Classification System in the 1960s. Books classified by the Doo Scheme are called 杜Collection and housed in the Storage.

All monographs in open stack are using LCC. See the Library of Congress website ( for detailed LCC list.  Serials currently classified by the Fung Ping Shan Library system will be re-classified using LCC very soon. Click here for the mapping table between the Fung Ping Shan Library System and LCC System.

FPS No. Description LCC No.   FPS No. Description LCC No.
000 Generalities A,Z   500 Applied Sciences T
010 Bibliography Z   510 Medical sciences R
020 Library & information sciences Z   520 Engineering T-TN
030       530 Agriculture S
040 General encyclopedic works AE   540 Home economics & family living TX
050 News media, journalism, publishing PN,AN,AP   550 Management & anxiliary services HD
060 General organizations & museology AS, AM   560 Chemical engineering TP
070 Collections on essays and Chinese studies AC   570 Manufacturing TS
080 General collections AC   580    
090 Collected classics B, PL   590 Buildings TH
100 Philosohpy B   600 History and Geography DS
110 Thoughts B   610 General works on Chinese history and geography DS
120 Chinese philosophy B   620 Chinese history DS
130 Philosophy of the East B   630 History of Chinese culture DS
140 Philosophy of the West B   640    
150 Metaphysics BD   650    
160 Logic BC   660 Chinese geography DS
170 Psychology BF   670 Chinese local history DS
180 Ethics (Moral philosophy) BJ   680 Classified works on history of Chinese places DS
190 Popular psychology BF   690 Travel in China DS
200 Religion B   700 World History and Geography C-G
210 Comparative regligions BL   710 World geography GA
220 Buddhism BQ   720 Maps GA
230 Taoism BL   730 History & geography of East Asia DS
240 Christianity BR-BX   740 History & geography of Europe D
250 Islam, Mohammedanism BP   750 History & geography of America E,F
260 Judaism BM   760 History & geography of Africa D
270 Other religions BL   770 History & geography of Australia and others D
280       780 Biography & genealogy CS,CT
290 Astrology BF   790 Archaeology & antiquities CC
300 Social Sciences H   800 Language & Literature P
310 Statistics HA   802 Chinese language PL
320 Political sciences J,HX   803-809 Other languages P
330 Economics HB-HD,HG-HJ   810 Literature (Belles-lettres) PN
340 Law K   820 Critics on Chinese literature PL
350 Military science U,V   830 Collections on Chinese literature PL
360 Social services HM-HV   840 Collected works of individua Chinese authors PL
370 Education L   850 Other special types of Chinese literature PL
380 Commerce, communications & transport HE   860 Literature of the East PJ,PL
390 Customs, etiquette, folklore GR, GT   870-880 Literature of the West PQ-PZ
400 Natural Sciences Q   900 The Arts N
410 Mathematics QA   910 Civic & landscape art NA
420 Astronomy QB   920 Architecture NA
430 Physics QC   930 Sculpture NB
440 Chemistry QD   940 Painting & calligraphy ND
450 Earth sciences QE   950 Drawing, decorative & minor arts NC,NK
460 Paleontology QE,QH   960 Graphics arts print making & prints NE
470 Life sciences QH,QR   970 Photography & photographs TR
480 Botanical sciences QK   980 Music M
490 Zoological sciences QL   990 Recreational & performing arts PN, GV


Fung Ping Shan Library's catalogue was fully automated in 1997. The online catalogue displays bibliographic information of an item such as title, name of author/editor, edition, publication place, publisher, publication year, pagination, location symbol, classification number, barcode, subjects, etc. Please note that:

  • Author and title heading

    Apart from headings of personal author/editor, entries such as associations, enterprises, conferences, academic institutions and government bodies are also included.

    Examples :

    Zhongguo ke xue yuan
    Quan guo sheng wu hua xue xue shu hui yi (1st : 1960 : Shanghai, China)
    Hong Kong (China) Education Dept.
    Taiwan yin hang

  • Subject headings

    Most records catalogued before April 2002 in the Library have Chinese subject headings. Subject headings indicate the content of items and can be further subdivided.

    Items catalogued after April 1996 are assigned with Library of Congress subject headings.

    Example :

    Literature--Study and teaching

  • Location symbol and classification number

    Location symbol indicates the location of an item while classification number reflects its subject content. Location symbol, classification number and author number together form a call number that decides where an item is to be shelved.

    Materials of Fung Ping Shan Library are either shelved in open stack or closed stack.  Readers can access items on open stacks by themselves while closed stack items can be retrieved by submitting a completed loan form to the G/F Lending Services counter or 1/F Special Collections counter.
  • Open stack collections

    Location symbol Nature Shelving Location
    Ordinary books 5F, 6/F
    R Reference books 5/F
    大R Large reference books 5/F
    大A Large books 5/F
    Taiwan research collection 5/F
    臺期 Taiwan research collection periodicals 5/F
    期,大期 Periodicals, Large periodicals 4/F, 5/F
    BC Recreational reading G/F
    CMF, CMPT Microform 1/F Special Collections
    av, avs Audio-visual materials 1/F AV & Reserve
  • Closed stack collections

    Location symbol Nature Circulation Procedure
    特P Photocopies of theses Request at 1/F Special Collections Counter
    地圖 Maps
    Lo Hsiang Lin Collection
    Rare items
    Special Collection
    特C Chan Kwan Po Collection
    特山 Pre-1912 books 
    特期 Pre-1950 periodicals 
    杜* Pre-1950 books
    Pre-1950 large books G/F Lending ServicesCounter
      Bound newspapers
    RD Reference CD-ROMs, databases Register for use at Information Counter (3/F., Main Library)
    Ordinary books Request at G/F Lending Services Counter
    山大 Ordinary large books
    山A Accompanied materials
    X中 Collections at Storage Complete the HKUL Storage Collection Request e-forms.
    期, 大期 Periodicals, Large periodicals

    * 杜 is used in the OPAC for identification only and will not be shown on the label of an item.

    Some Chinese/Japanese/Korean materials are located at the following locations according to their content and nature:

    Location Symbol Branch/Location
    D, D期, DR, DBC Dental Library
    E, E期, ER, EX Education Library
    HK, HKC, HKLB, HKS, HKP Hung On To Memorial Library
    法, 法期, 法R, 法av Lui Che Woo Law Library
    農, 農R Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre
    音, 大音, 音期, 音R, 大音R Music Library
    醫, 醫期, 醫R, 醫BC Yu Chun Keung Medical Library

Newly Catalogued Items

Most of the newly catalogued items will be displayed on the New Books Shelves on Ground Floor for one week.  Display is changed every Wednesday. Users can also browse the addition lists on the Libraries' webpage.