Yunnan builds digital archive of historical stone rubbings spanning centuries
Published: Jul 08, 2024 05:30 PM
Photo: Xinhua News Agency/Yunnan Provincial Library

Photo: Xinhua News Agency/Yunnan Provincial Library

Southwest China's Yunnan Province has digitized more than 8,000 pages of historical stone rubbings, forming a database that spans from the Jin Dynasty (265-420) to the Republic of China (1912-1949), according to a report by Xinhua News Agency on Friday.

The task, completed by the Yunnan Provincial Library, involved collecting and digitizing rubbings from stone inscriptions across the province with the aim to "preserve the rich historical and cultural information contained in these inscriptions, which face the risk of deterioration over time."

The library's collection includes rubbings that detail various aspects of Yunnan's socio-economic and cultural development, such as water conservancy projects, education, notable historical figures, religion and significant historical events. As urbanization and natural erosion threaten these artifacts, the protection of these rare stone inscriptions has become increasingly urgent, said the report.

Yan Yanping, director of the historical documents department at the library, noted that the preservation team has spent years to conduct surveys and collect rubbings throughout the province. The process also involves high-precision scanning and metadata annotation to ensure the digital records accurately reflect the original inscriptions.

"The stone rubbing image database is a crucial component of Yunnan's ancient books digital resource library," said Yan.

In the future, local heritage preservationists will intensify their efforts to locate and preserve surviving inscriptions through rubbing and digitization techniques to ensure these valuable historical records are not lost, according to Yan.

Global Times