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Chinese web novels arrive at the British Library for the first time: The 16 pieces were originally serialised on China literature’s Qidian website

Sixteen works have become the first Chinese web novels to be included in the British Library, one of the world’s largest academic libraries.

The works now in the library’s Asian & African collections are My Heroic Husband, Up in the Heaven, The Era of the Earth, The First Order, Great Power, Heavy Industry, Great Doctor Ling Ran, Good Spring Time, The Wisdom of the Great Song Dynasty, Zhenguan Big Idler, Mystical Treasures, The Road to Revival, Zhou Lin, Magic World, Above the Dome, The Great Lawyer and Zhang Huan. This set covers 20 years of classic web novels, from the medium’s early days to the present, across the genres of sci-fi, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and fantasy.

The British Library selects books based on readers’ requirements and the value of the items — what people want to read and what works are culturally significant. It welcomes items that reflect the history, art and culture of a country or region. The inclusion of the 16 works demonstrates that online literature has become an important contemporary cultural phenomenon.

More information about the 16 works can be found on the British Library’s website. Printed versions are available to borrow at the library.

The 250-year-old British Library is one of the largest libraries in the world. Its collection contains 14 million books, along with a vast number of manuscripts and other items, including the original manuscript version of Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, the original manuscripts of Mozart musical scores, and copies of the First Folio of Shakespeare. In the Chinese collection, people can find more than 450 Chinese oracle bones dating back over three millennia to the Shang Dynasty and the Diamond Sutra, the world’s earliest-dated printed book.

In 2019, 10 web novels including Great Power, Heavy Industry and Nightfall were collected in the Shanghai Library. A total of 144 works including Lord of Mysteries and Battle Through the Heavens have been collected in the National Library of China. With its high-quality content, online literature has reached an increasingly wide audience and given new life to China’s “All People Reading” campaign.

“Chinese online literature is not only becoming more popular in China but also worldwide. This means our work can influence overseas readers, helping them understand China”, said Qi Cheng, the author of Great Power, Heavy Industry.

China Literature Ltd., China’s top online reading platform, has licensed over 800 works of literature to overseas publishers for digital and physical publication. Its international version — WebNovel — has been visited over 100 million times so far. Literary works like Joy of Life, Lord of the Mysteries, Soul Land and their adaptations have riveted readers worldwide.

Company website:  https://www.webnovel.com

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