Old Vietnamese education, imperial examinations on spotlight

An exhibition is underway in Ha Noi, displaying over 50 photos, documents and items reflecting the old Vietnamese education and examinations.

The exhibition, entitled “Former Vietnamese Education and Examinations through Documentary Heritages of the World”, was launched by the State Records and Archives Department at Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) – Quoc Tu Giam (First National University) complex on March 5.

The month-long event exhibits photos, documents and items obtained from three world documentary heritages of Viet Bam – Woodblocks of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945), Imperial Archives of the Nguyen Dynasty, and stone stele records of imperial examinations at Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam.

The exhibition consists of three sections, including one to introduce the history of Vietnam’s education and examinations through dynasties, one about Quoc Tu Giam, the country’s first university, and the last for the stone stele records.

According to UNESCO, Imperial Archives of the Nguyen Dynasty are administrative archives of the last feudal dynasty of Vietnam and in region which lasted from 1802 to 1945. The collection reflects all aspects of history of Vietnamese society at the time and the diplomatic relations of the Nguyen Dynasty with other countries all over the world. The collection is also the only original administrative records which contains autographs of ten Nguyen Emperors.

The 34,555 plates of woodblocks of the Nguyen Dynasty helped to record official literature and history as well as classic and historical books. Therefore, apart from their historical value, the woodblocks also have artistic and technical merit as they mark the development of woodblock carving and printing profession in Viet Nam.

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