Taiwan completes rare book digitization with U.S., U.K. libraries

01/23/2022 05:04 PM
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From Stanford Libraries
From Stanford Libraries' website

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) The National Central Library of Taiwan (NCL) has completed the digitization of over 30,000 pages of rare Chinese books in collaboration with the libraries of Oxford University and Stanford University, the NCL said in a statement issued Sunday.

The cooperation with the Stanford University Libraries focuses on the digitization of a selection of classic ancient Chinese books and documents in several categories, including Confucian classics, history, philosophy, and literature, the NCL said.

According to a post on Stanford Libraries' website on Jan. 5, a selection of 210 volumes from 26 titles in the holdings of the East Asia Library and the Bowes Art & Architecture Library were digitized by Digital Production Group (DPG) and then delivered to NCL for its Rare Books Database in November 2021 to complete the project.

"These newly available rare books will be very useful to scholars working on Ming-Qing period scholarship, literature, and history," according to the post.

The collaborative digitization project with the Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, includes a valuable collection of antient Chinese books and manuscripts, according to the NCL statement.

To replenish Taiwan's resources for Chinese studies, the national central library has focused on digitizing rare books in the collections of libraries abroad by coordinating with foreign libraries, NCL Director General Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) said in the statement.

The library has established a bilaterally beneficial international coordination model that helps it gain access to the resources of rare books and documents located abroad, according to Tseng.

Since the launch of the international digitization of rare books and documents, the library has digitized 3.2 million pages of important rare Chinese books in 4,700 types, Tseng said.

Since NCL embarked on a collaboration with the Library of Congress of the United States in 2005, it has collaborated with several major libraries and institutions in the world, including the University of Washington Libraries; the Library of the University of California, Berkeley; and Princeton University Library to digitize rare Chinese books and documents in their collections under the international digitization project.

Other libraries that have cooperation ties with NCL include the University of Toronto Libraries, the University British Columbia Library, and Bibliothèque nationale de France, the statement said.

(By Chiu Tsu-yin and Evelyn Kao)


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