Heshun Library is located in Heshun Town, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Heshun Town lies right at the southern end of the Chinese section of a century-old ‘tea-horse trade route’ that borders Myanmar. The local people are very proud of their town’s library, Heshun Library, which is the first and largest village library in China. Heshun Library lies beside the river that runs through the town. It was built by stones and woods in 1928. The books, magazines and newspapers in six reading rooms are available to locals free of charge.
Features of Heshun Library
Heshun is a remote town of no more than 20 square kilometers away from China’s southern border. It is located at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters, and has a population of 6,000. Most of the residents in this mountainous border town are farmers. Heshun Library has remained intact for more than 80 years, though it experienced many wars and disasters. Heshun Library has become an important base of education and leisure for local people.
Some famous scholars have been here including Hu Shi (1891-1962), a great Chinese modern scholar, poet, historian, and former president of Peking University.
As the biggest village library in China, Heshun Library spans for 1,392 square meters. It boasts a collection of around 80,000 books, most of which are easy-to-read about people’s daily lives such as farming. About 10,000 of the books are the rare and ancient ones. Unlike other libraries in the big cities, Heshun Library was built by the fund donated by both local merchants and the Heshun people who had settled down in Myanmar. They subscribed to newspapers and magazines, and know domestic and international current affairs.
Construction features of Heshun Library
Heshun Library is composed of a gate, a middle door, a garden, a main building and a library. It is a complex combining the Chinese and Western construction styles together. The main gate is the archway gate built during the Qing Dynasty. There is a plaque of "Heshun Library" hanging on the gate, which is written by Zhang Li, a man in the Qing Dynasty. The white characters on the blue background are very eye-catching.
The garden has beautiful flowers and lush tree with an elegant layout. Passing through the garden, you will reach to the main building. The main building is a two-story wooden structure building with two half-hexagonal pavilions. The building is exquisite and chic with novel and magnificent structure. Its doors and windows are designed in Western style.