Online Virtual Reality (VR) Tour of the Libraries

There are two quaint and elegant libraries in Macao: The Senado Library, tucked away in the IAM Building on the bustling Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro (also known as “San Ma Lo”), and the Ancient Chinese Books Chamber, amidst the lush greenery in Largo de Santo Agostinho, both of which are managed by the Department of Public Library Management under the Cultural Affairs Bureau.

Inspired by the design concept of the library at Mafra Convent in Portugal, the Senado Library is divided into two halls. With wooden bookshelves up to the top of the walls, and the gilded relief adding classical touch to the ceiling, it embodies the Rococo style prevalent in the Louis XV period. On 30 September 1939, the Senado Library was officially opened to the public. In 1951, it was praised by Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post as one of the most magnificent libraries in the Orient. The Library houses around 20,000 books, mainly the precious rare books in foreign languages between the 17th and mid-20th centuries, and documentary heritage about Portuguese presence in Africa and the Far East. On 15 July 2005, the Historic Centre of Macao was inscribed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which included Leal Senado Building (now the IAM Building) where the Senado Library is located.

The Chinese Ancient Books Chamber is on the second floor of the Sir Robert Ho Tung Library, one of the heritage buildings in the Historic Centre of Macao on the World Heritage List. This building was established before 1894 and was later purchased by Sir Robert Ho Tung, a wealthy Hong Kong businessman, in 1918. After his death, in accordance with his will, his family donated the property to the Macao government for building a public library with collections of Chinese books, named Sir Robert Ho Tung Library, which was officially opened to the public on 1 August 1958. The second floor was renovated in 1985 and extended again in 1988. The Books Chamber contains about 20,000 books, and the most valuable of which are the 16 ancient classics collected by the renowned modern bibliophile, Liu Chenggan, in the Jiaye Book Library Tower. The Manuscript of Siku Quanshu’s Synopsis by Weng Fanggang, the treasure of the Chamber, is of great significance and value for the study of the Siku (Four Treasuries).

The Virtual Reality (VR) Tour function of the two Libraries is available from today and can be visited by the public via the following links:

Senado Library:
IAM Building (former Leal Senado Building)

Chinese Ancient Books Chamber:
Sir Robert Ho Tung Library

Join us on this journey to experience the unique culture of Macao through the beautiful scent of books!