All the news fit to collect

Updated: 2012-02-07 09:31

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily)

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SHIJIAZHUANG - Newspapers are stacked everywhere, piled on the table and across the floor, and fill five large cupboards.

Old yellowed editions mix with bright current papers, and the smell of print fills the air.

"It may be the largest private newspaper library in Hebei province," Yang Yanchao said proudly.

The civil servant in Shijiazhuang, capital city of Hebei province, has assembled more than 250,000 modern and ancient newspapers, both in Chinese and foreign languages.

Many are quite special, like those printed on paper fans, silk or a card as small as a palm. Some are even decorated with gold.

"I have confidence that my collection of initial-issue newspapers tops others in China," he said, adding that he possesses more than 9,300 types of newspapers, much more than other big collectors, which he can determine from the records of their collections they frequently exchange.

Yang started his collection in 1992 when he worked as a secretary in charge of writing for his department. At first, he only bought newspapers publicizing his writings and stories that he found useful. Then he expanded his collection to newspapers with special stories and newspapers before the founding of New China in 1949.

"My uncle was the manager of my native village's reading room before I went to school. I liked reading newspapers even though I didn't know a lot of characters. And the concentration when people read and the satisfaction they got left a strong impression on my mind," he said.

All the news fit to collect

Yang Yanchao, a civil servant in Hebei province, holds a yellowed newspaper published in 1901, one of the more than 250,000 newspapers in his collection. Zhai Yujia / for China Daily

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