This is the official account of Southeast University (SEU). Striving for Perfection.
Mengfang Library of SEU, one of the time-renowned university libraries in China, was completed in 1923 during the period of National Southeast University and is also deemed as one of the most outstanding library architectures in the early 20th century. For over a century, the library has experienced several historical development stages, such as the "Library and Instrument Department" of Nanjing Normal University, Mengfang Library of National Southeast University, the National Central University Library, and the Library of Nanjing Institute of Technology. It is functioning as the Administrative Building of SEU.
The library was built of reinforced concrete structure as a whole with characteristic Ionic columns. The three golden Chinese characters Tu Shu Guan (library) on the forehead were inscribed by Zhang Jian, a famous industrialist and educator at that time. In 1933, as directed by Guan Songsheng, Zhu Bin, and Yang Tingbao, etc., the reading rooms were added on the east and west sides, leaving two internal courtyards for ventilation and lighting. Therefore, the library we see today is in the shape of “品”.
National Southeast University
National Southeast University, world-famous for science, developed the quintessence of Chinese culture by establishing Xueheng School and functioned as an important platform for academic exchanges in China at that time. Southeast University was the base camp of China Science Society, the main founders of which included Ren Hongjun, Hu Mingfu and Bing Zhi. They all once worked in Nanjing Higher Normal School and Southeast University. Xueheng School, hailed as the pillar of traditional Chinese culture, also came into being in Southeast University. It opposed the whole westernization theory in the New Culture Movement, attached great importance to the national characteristics of tradition and culture, and believed that "our culture has the value of fighting for glory in the future".
During the period of National Southeast University, as a huge amount of fund was needed for establishing a library, the school board drafted a "Charter for Fundraising", stating that the library would be named after those who were willing to make a sole proprietorship donation. In response to President Guo Bingwen's call, Qi Xieyuan, the governor of Jiangsu Province, approved to build the library as a sole proprietor and install supporting facilities. It was established in 1922 and completed in 1923 at a cost of 160,000 taels of silver. After its completion, Qi Xieyuan named Mengfang Library after his father Mr. Qi Mengfang.