Rebuild the Tomás Pereira Library

in Library
20. 05. 26
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In the aftermath of the catastrophe of the August 23rd, 2017 hurricane ‘Hato’, people have lost their love ones, their home, and their business. Time after time, nature has taught us the importance of value, however, we highly believe and have faith that all the Macanese can overcome the sorrow and despondency. The whole of Macau is still in recovery in all aspect.

The Macau Ricci Institute library, Tomás Pereira Library, has lost all precious book collections while typhoon ‘Hato’ wreaked havoc throughout the city, around 25,000 books and journals in Religion, Philosophy, History, Language and more, in both Chinese and English have been destroyed by the storm. To rebuild our library which was one of the best research libraries of religion, history and culture in Macau and had so much influence on the cultural and academic world, it requires a precise planning to move forward our rebuilding mission with efficiency.


Our primary goal is to get our library back in normal operational state. Therefore, the below proposal will serve as a library rebuild guideline for the next five years (2018-2022).

The Macau Ricci Institute library has been named after Fr. Tomás Pereira, S.J. (1645-1708). Father Pereira was a missionary in Beijing and a friend of the infamous Qing dynasty emperor Kang Xi (1662-1723). It is an inseparable part of the Macau Ricci Institute, to be an important role in the society to collect all valuable collections and reference books in Jesuits, Philosophy, Religion and Macau History. The library donated approximately 500 invaluable ancient books about the old Macau in 1940s, cultural exchange, literature and Jesuits missionary to Instituto Cultural (IC) in June 2017. Unfortunately, 11,341 Chinese books or series, 8,296 Western books, and 355 periodicals (201 Chinese and 154 Western titles) of our library are damaged by ‘Hato’ in August and the library was closed due to the lack of ideal place for rebuilding. We have lost approximately MOP 15,000,000 of books value.


After the typhoon, and under the leadership of Fr. Stephan Rothlin, we have relocated our office at St. Joseph Seminary (5 Largo de St. Agostinho Macau, next to the Ho-Tung library) and the library at University of Saint Joseph, a peaceful and sacred place for a brand-new beginning. We are grateful to have the support of the Bishop of Macau, Fr. Stephen Lee Bun Sang, who helped the Macau Ricci Institute immensely by providing us a space for our office and have the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Saint Joseph, a spacious and quiet place to rebuild our library. We are also encouraged to hold our forums and symposia inside the St. Joseph Seminary. In fact, we have already hosted the 2017 MRI International Symposium successfully at the Grand Hall of the seminary along with equally successful forums since November 2017. Our goal is to rebuild our library gradually in 5 years, to make the library re-open to the public as soon as possible and to promote our library to the public and universities.