Rare Chinese Treasures and Thought Leadership on China at the National Library of Australia’s summer blockbuster

Asia Society Australia partners with the National Library of Australia to present Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911

Miao Album (Qian miao tu), 19th century, National Library of Australia
Miao Album (Qian miao tu), 19th century, National Library of Australia

Asia Society Australia and the National Library of Australia have partnered to present a world-first exhibition of priceless treasures from the National Library of China in the summer blockbuster exhibition, Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911 – only at the National Library of Australia, Canberra.

Under the partnership, Asia Society Australia will present a series of thought-leadership programs on China throughout the exhibition season in Canberra.

The unique partnership brings together respective strengths and networks of the National Library of Australia and Asia Society to present a dramatic multi-genre essay of China’s past, present and future.

Celestial Empire: Life in China 1644-1911 opens on 2 January 2016 for a strictly limited season.

The exhibition presents 300 years of Chinese culture and tradition from two of the world’s great libraries. From life at court to life in the villages and fields, glimpse the world of China’s last imperial dynasty and its wealth of cultural tradition. One of the centerpieces of the exhibition are the drawings and plans for Beijing’s iconic palaces from the Yangshi Lei Archives, listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2007 and never before seen in Australia.

It will feature maps, books and prints and the National Library of Australia’ acclaimed Chinese Collection, including rare items from the London Missionary Society that offer a unique view of early western impressions of China.


Sponsorship and partnership opportunities are available. Please contact Philipp Ivanov, CEO Asia Society Australia.

Asia Society Australia’s thought-leadership programs at the exhibition will be advertised in January 2016 at our upcoming programs website and the National Library of Australia’s events portal. 

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