Origin of China's Modern Publishing
Jing'an District Holds the Theme Exhibition for Celebrating the 120th Anniversary of The Commercial Press
date of February 11, 2017 marks the 120th Anniversary of the
Commercial Press (hereinafter referred to as “CP”), a magnate of China’s
publishing industry, and an important institutional organization of cultural
education and the biggest publishing and printing enterprise in modern China.
To celebrate the anniversary, the “Origin of China's Modern Publishing” theme
exhibition was jointly held by Jing'an District, The Commercial Press Co., Ltd.,
Zhang Yuanji Research Society, Zhang Yuanji Library and Shanghai Shuocheng Real
Estate Co., Ltd. At 9:30 a.m., the opening ceremony of the exhibition kicked
off at No. 190, Tiantong’an Road, the former address of the No.5 Printing House
of the CP. The guests who unveiled the exhibition include Yu Dianli, General
Manager of The Commercial Press Co., Ltd.; Bao Yingjing, Deputy District Mayor
of Jing'an District People’s Government; Peng Weiguo, Deputy Director of
Shanghai Administration of Press and Publication; Li Kongsan, Director of
Administrative Office of Culture Heritage Protection of Shanghai Municipal Administration
of Culture Heritage; Chen Hong, Deputy Director of the Publicity Department of
the CPC Jing'an District Committee, Director of Jing'an District Bureau of
Culture Heritage and Jing'an District Administrative Office of Culture.
The CP was founded in Shanghai and formally opened at No. 3, End Alley, Dechang Alley, South End of Jiangxi Road and Beijing Road on February 11, 1897. To meet the demand of development, the CP constructed new buildings for its Printing House and the House of Compilation and Translation on purchased land on Baoshan Road in 1907. Thereafter, the CP set foot on the soil of today’s Jing'an District. This exhibition was held at No. 190, Tiantong’an Road, Jing'an District, where stands the old building of No.5 Printing House, an unmovable historical relic of the CP and also the CP’s only remaining single building in Jing'an District. This place, as a major cultural monument of Jing'an District and an important brand of the cultural industry, is endowed with extraordinary historical status and realistic significance.
At the opening ceremony, Ms. Chen Hong and Mr. Yu Dianli respectively delivered a speech on behalf of the organizers. They expressed the development vision of further cooperation and a second hand joining in reviving the regional cultural pulse by virtue of the old site of No.5 Printing House based on looking back on the remarkable contribution made by the CP in China’s press history and cultural education history. Mr. Yu also presented, on behalf of The Commercial Press Co., Ltd, a full set of Chinese Translation of World Famous Academic Works published by the CP to Jing'an District.
In 1902, Mr. Zhang Yuanji, joined the CP and founded the House of Compilation and Translation and then the biggest library in Asia, i.e. the “Oriental Library” at the invitation of Xia Ruifang, a founder of the CP. Under Zhang’s leadership, the CP developed from a printing organization into China’s first modern publishing house. At the ceremony, Zhang Renfeng, a grandson of Zhang Yuanji and a staff of The Shanghai Research Institute of Culture and History, gave a speech on behalf of the descendants of the “first-generation CP members”, and donated to Jing'an District his works on the CP studies. What makes the book more precious is his own signature and, in particular, the seal used by his grandfather before death.
In recent years, Jing’an District People’s Government and Vanke (Shanghai) have been dedicated to repairing the old site of No.5 Printing House to promote revitalization of the city cultural pulse and the city upgrading. Vanke said they will build a half-body bronze statue of Zhang Yuanji at the old site. The statue will be unveiled on October 25 this year to commemorate Zhang’s 150th birthday.
After the opening ceremony, Xiong Yuezhi, a researcher of Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, a specially-appointed professor of Fudan University, Chairman of Shanghai Society of History, a staff of The Shanghai Research Institute of Culture and History, and Vice Chairman of Association of Chinese Historians, and Chen Sihe, a professor and PhD student supervisor of Fudan University, and Director of Fudan University Library had a free talk on “Origin of China's Modern Publishing—The Commercial Press”.
In the afternoon, Zhang Renfeng gave the first lecture of the serial theme lectures to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the CP. At the same time, the 120th-anniversary commemorative envelope debuted in the market.