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Tianjin University History Museum

Tianjin University (TJU) is the first modern university in China. Being the pioneer of modern higher education in China, TJU founded the history museum to honor its history and create the future, pay tribute to the predecessors, inspire students, inherit succession work of our forefathers and develop our heritage. The Tianjin University History Museum is located at the No.1 Teaching Building, Mingde Road, Weijin Road Campus of TJU. The No.1 Teaching Building is the first architecture structure built on the Weijin Road Campus. Nowadays it has been deliberately reconstructed and turned into the museum. The total floor construction area is 2,000 square meters and the total area of exhibition 1 (Prologue of university history: a prologue) is nearly 1,000 square meters. TJU installed a glass wall to preserve the distinct identities of this old building. 

Tianjin University History Museum is a fully integrated museum of TJU. It focuses on both university history exhibitions and education, and is dedicated to its collections, exhibitions, research, public education and cultural communication. Its basic functions are collections of university cultural relics and precious historical pictures, prints and drawings, historical public education, history and art research and cultural communication. To support the public cultural service system and satisfy the learning requirements of the students, we strive to promote the historical and cultural knowledge to the faculty, students and the general public. The Tianjin University History Museum introduces the development process as well as the spiritual and cultural traditions of the first modern university in China; it also demonstrates the outstanding contribution that TJU has provided to the state, nation and society.

There are two exhibitions in Tianjin University History Museum:

Exhibition 1:

A plaque with a prologue to TJU history, located on the first floor of the Tianjin University History Museum plays an important role in displaying  university history and culture including its establishment and development process. A big golden commemorative plaque is located in the center of the first floor - in commemoration of the university’s achievements and to honor the past. This plaque has a remarkable place in history and has had enormous effects on the development of modern civilization. It is a permanent reminder of victories, accomplishments, and a tribute to the hard work of thousands. As the plaque states, “The university has kept up with our motto of 'Seeking Truth from Facts', and trained talents with rigorous programs. Inspired by the excellence of our predecessors, Tianjin University shall strive forth in pursuit of new splendor.”

A blue “Time Tunnel” contrasts finely with the golden commemorative plaque. The golden color stands for the privileged position of Peiyang University in modern higher education in China; and the blue color is the predominant color of Tianjin University. The elegant blue represents a sense of beauty, which is full of youthful spirit, healthy and upwardly mobile. The golden and blue colors indicate that TJU will be open in every aspect, mix East and West together, break new ground for the future and forge ahead with innovation and creativity. 

The blue “Time Tunnel”, reflects TJU’s 120 years of development and the ten lights stand for meaningful markers of historical events. Important historical pictures are displayed on the LCD panels. Along the “Time Tunnel” there are pictures and drawings dating back to 1895, which are reproduction of the splendid accomplishments of the 120 years of glorious history. 

Exhibition 2: 

Ten historical parts of TJU, located on the second floor 

Part 1: (Comprehensive Introduction)
Great Learning in the lofty university of a nation 

Part 2: (1895-1920)
Combining the engineering and law disciplines
The initiation and evolution of Great Learning 

Part 3: (1920-1946)
Emphasis on developing the engineering discipline
Innovation and reform 

Part 4: (1946-1951)
Thorough inquiry into Engineering
Resurgence of Peiyang University 

Part 5: (Special Topic)
Bringing prosperity to the nation through education
Making great contributions to society 

Part 6: (1951-192)
Designated as “Tianjin University”
Passing the flame from generation to generation 

Part 7: (1953-1965)
Exploring new roads for educational development
Setting up exemplary roles of modern higher education 

Part 8: (1966-1976)
Ten years of “Cultural Revolution”
Encountering difficulties
Part 9: (1977-1995)
Reform and opening-up
Striving to scale new heights

Part 10: (1995-Present)
Striving for outstanding university
Aiming for the highest peak 

Tianjin University History Museum describes the history of the establishment and development of Tianjin University. It demonstrates the history Tianjin University’s founding under extremely difficult conditions; the scientific sprit of pursuing preeminence; the strong sense of responsibility for the country and nation; the selfless and fearless sprit of dedication. Not only has the museum amassed 120 years of Tianjin University’s educational and cultural heritage, but the museum itself is also a testimony to the Chinese modern higher education to revival of the past century. It also provides high-quality exhibitions reflective of the development of modern industry.

The museum has established a rich foundation of historical culture that reflects the construction and development process of TJU. The exhibitions display more than 1,000 precious historical pictures and over 200 historical materials, paintings and models. For example, the officially approved memorial to the throne of establishing the first modern university in China – Peiyang University; the first diploma in China given to the political and legal elite Wang Chonghui and the group photo of the first-batch of graduates from Peiyang University.  

University exhibitions are the reflection and reproduction of university history. Only when we understand and admire our history and culture, can we thoroughly, precisely and deeply gain further insight into their essence and historical connotations. Contributions and donations are very important to the future well-being of the Tianjin University History Museum. We welcome more appreciated advice, information and historical donations from our university staff members and students, alumni at home and abroad and people from all circles. 

Our museum is built for memorizing the long history, splendid culture, socialist modernization and the growing spirit of TJU. May our grand University enjoy a long-lasting history with boundless innovation.