Fung Ping Shan Library

Banner Image

Fung Ping Shan Library




The history of the Fung Ping Shan Library dates back to 1929, when the late Mr. Fung Ping Shan (1860-1931) 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, and other East Asian Language materials including Japanese and Korean. As at 30 June 2017, the Library had a stock of over 1.1 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 Academic Journals Full-text Databases, China Periodical Full-text Databases, China Yearbook Database, China Doctor Dissertations Database, China Reference Works Online, China Infobank, WiseNews, Duxiu, Chinamaxx Digital Libraries, Wangfang data Local Gazettes, 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 the Ming Dynasty and manuscripts from the 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 1,100 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 the 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 those from Taiwan and Mainland China, are also available online.

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 an alphanumeric system. Below is an example:


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

All monographs in the open stacks use LCC. Please visit the Library of Congress website for a detailed LCC list. Serials currently classified by the Fung Ping Shan Library system will be re-classified using LCC in the future. Click here for the mapping table between the Fung Ping Shan Library System and LCC System.


Library Catalogue

Fung Ping Shan Library's catalogue was fully automated in 1997. Find@HKUL 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:

  • 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 stacks or closed stacks.  Readers can access items in the open stacks by themselves, while closed stack items can be retrieved by requesting in Find@HKUL or requesting at the service counters.


Open stack collections

Location symbol Nature Shelving Location
Ordinary books 5/F, 6/F
R Reference books 5/F
大R Large reference books 5/F
大A Large books 5/F
大C Large series 5/F
期, 大期 Periodicals, Large periodicals 4/F Old Wing
BC Recreational reading G/F New Wing
CMF, CMPT Microform 1/F Special Collections
av, avs Audio-visual materials 1/F AV Collection



Closed stack collections

Location symbol Nature Circulation Procedure
Lo Hsiang Lin Collection

Request at 1/F Special Collections Counter or

Submit an online request through Find@HKUL

Rare items
Special Collection
特A Special artworks
特C Chan Kwan Po Collection
特山 Pre-1912 books 
特期 Pre-1950 periodicals 
杜* Pre-1950 books
Pre-1950 large books
Newspaper Bound newspapers Request at 1/F Special Collections Counter
山, 山大, 民, 民期 Pre-1950 books and periodicals on China Submit an online request through Find@HKUL
平, 平大,
X中, X山, X杜*,
X大A, XR, X大R
Books, large books, reference books
山A Accompanied materials
X期, X大期 Periodicals, large periodicals
山P Pamphlets
地圖 Maps

*杜 is used in the library catalogue 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 Tin Ka Ping Education Library
HK, HKC, HKLB, HKS, HKP Hung On To Memorial Library
法, 法期, 法R, 法av Lui Che Woo Law Library
音, 大音, 音期, 音R, 大音R Music Library
醫, 醫期, 醫R, 醫BC Yu Chun Keung Medical Library

New Books

New Acquisitions List provides subject-specific lists of new books and serials processed over the past 4 weeks. Users are welcome to borrow any new books they find interesting on shelves.