US library keeps precious books on Vietnam

Located on Capitol Hill in the US capital city of Washington D.C., the Library of Congress is keeping many precious documents and films on Vietnam, serving as a valuable source for research about the Southeast Asian country.
US library keeps precious books on Vietnam
At the book exhibition area for visitors in the Library of Congress. (Source: VNA)

Among the history documents on Vietnam, there are books on the Bach Dang battle in 938, a map of the north and central Vietnam published in Roma in 1650 from a French edition, Dai Viet Su Ky Toan Thu (The Complete Annals of Dai Viet) published in 1968 in Chinese and ancient Vietnamese scripts, and oldest printed copies of Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu) by Nguyen Du.

The library is keeping many works by President Ho Chi Minh and documents, articles on the late leader and other historical figures of Vietnam.

Besides, it also has more than 500 valuable documentaries about the war in Vietnam, which were presented to the library in 1975.

Doan Manh Tien, a Vietnamese-origin American who is working at the library, held that books and old documents kept here have a great value not only for Americans but also others around the world, especially historical researchers.

Ryan Wolfson Ford, staff member of the Southeast Asia section of the Library of Congress, said that the library is keeping about 35,000 documents in Vietnamese, and more than 5,000 maps and geographical documents of Vietnam. The map collection is diverse and collected from civilian agencies, the State Department, and various government agencies.

Tran Thi Kiem, a Vietnamese tourist, said that she is overwhelmed by the enormity of the documents and books in the library. She showed her excitement to explore books and images of Vietnam in the Southeast Asia reading room.

The library currently has more than 170 million books and documents from around the world in different languages apart from English, making up more than half of the library's collection. If stacking all bookshelves in the library together, they will make up a 500-km-long line.

Averagely, each day, the library receives about 22,000 domestic and international items, up to 7,000 of which will be placed in the archive, with clearly identified copyrights.

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(Source: VNA)