National Central Library was invited by theNational Library of Mongolia to Ulaanbaatar to put on an exhibition entitled A Look Back at the Mongolian Empire and the Imprint of Chinese Culture: In Remembrance of the 750thYear of the Development of the ʼPhags-pa Script. The exhibition ran from September 9 to November 9, 2019. National Library of Mongolia stated this wasthe most important cultural exhibition event in Ulaanbaatar this year. On the morning of September 9 anopening ceremony for the exhibition was attended by more than one hundredpeople. It was an unprecedentedly grand occasion. Mongolian National Broadcaster (MNB)and other media were onsite to interview people in both Mongolian and English.
The ceremony was conducted by NCL Director-generalTseng Shu-hsien and National Library of Mongolia’s Director Ichinkhorloo.Important dignitaries in Mongolia, including diplomats, politicians, scholars,and cultural experts were in attendance. The dignitaries expressed their unanimous gratitude that Taiwan’s National Central Library could bring the historical books on Mongolia in their collection to Mongolia so that the public could understand the historical and cultural origins of Mongolia from the exhibition.These have made a great contribution to the Chinese civilization, and even ourworld civilization.
Director Ichinkhorloo stated he felt extremely honored that Taiwan’s National Central Library came to Ulaanbaatar to hold such alarge-scale exhibition. From the items on display, one could see the replete collection at Taiwan’s National Central Library. These are national treasures of Mongolia, and many rubbings are important historical records of theMongolian people. He specifically thanked NCL for putting on such a high class cultural exhibition. This was the most important exhibition in Ulaanbaatar.
Director-general Tseng Shu-hsien stated in herremarks that this exhibition was a joint exhibition of the Mongolian and Chinese cultures. For Taiwan, this was the first large-scale cultural exchange between Taiwan and Mongolia. The exhibition was divided into two parts: “The Mark of Chinese Civilization” had more than seventy ancient books and documentson display showing the influence of Chinese culture. Viewed together, they outlined the evolution and variegated styles of textual writing and devices.The second part was “Memories ofthe Mongolian Empire.” On display were more than thirtyscrolls of Mongolian and ʼPhags-pa script rubbings and images of Mongolianemperors. In addition, attendees could view forty-three ancient books relatedto Mongolia from NCL’s collection,covering Mongolian history, its conquest of China, the political system of the court, personal travelogues of north and south of the Yangtze River, and collections of poems and prose of Mongolian scholars. There were also short explanations of diet and sanitary habits. These showed a complete pictureof the spirit of ancient Mongolians, reconstructing various aspects of Mongolian life in the 13th century.
During the opening ceremony, Director-general Tseng Shu-hsien represented NCL in presenting the replicas of their Mongolian collection to the National Library of Mongolia. The exhibition took a new approach by decoratingthe entire National Library of Mongolia. The main hall on the first floor was where the Mark of Chinese Civilization area began. It went all the way to the stairwell and upward. The museum exhibition hall on the second floor held the Memories of the Mongolian Empire area, as well as a place to experience five-color block printing. The third floor had on display modern publication on Mongolia, provided by the Mongolian and Tibetan Cultural Center from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture. The exhibition attracted a great many Mongolianscholars as well as the general public. All who attended would read with greatcare and discuss the various books and ʼPhags-pa scriptrubbings. Everyone seemed to agree that Ulaanbaatarrarely sees exhibitions of this caliber and sign ificance.
After the opening ceremony, NCL held a Taiwan Lecture on Chinese Studies to go along with the exhibition. Professor WangMingsun, chair of the department of history at Chinese Culture University spokeon “Yuan Dynasty Mongolia’s Rule and Control of China in the Yuan Dynasty.” Thelecture attracted more than fifty scholars from academia. The discussion duringthe lecture was very active.