On July 15th, 2023, Dr. (Helen) Hong Xu, University Librarian of Duke Kunshan University (DKU), was invited to attend the “Gu Yanwu Day in Kunshan” event to celebrate the 410th anniversary of the great Chinese scholar’s birth. The event was held in Qiandeng town of Kunshan, hometown and former residence of Gu Yanwu.
The memorial event was followed by a book donation ceremony and a symposium. Dr. Xu, among other public and university representatives, received a donated Yuan Chao Ben Gu Ting Lin Ri Zhi Lu (《原钞本顾亭林日知录》), a photocopy of a rare book closest to Gu Yanwu’s original manuscript version of Ri Zhi Lu (Record of Daily Knowledge). This typical book by Gu Yanwu was published by East China Normal University Press in 2022 and is highly valued by scholars.
Gu Yanwu, also regarded as Gu Tinglin, was an outstanding philologist, geographer, and scholar in the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties. “Everyone has a responsibility for the future of their country” (天下兴亡，匹夫有责), the well-known Chinese proverb, is originated from his work Ri Zhi Lu.
The book is a large-scale academic note, containing all the author’s political and philosophical thoughts and having a great impact on generations of Chinese people. The donated volumes will be added to DKU Library collection.