Chiang diaries returned to Taiwan, publication to start in October
Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) The diaries of former Republic of China presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, and are set to be published by Academia Historica from October, according to the state archive.
The documents, previously housed at Stanford University's Hoover Institution Library & Archives, were sent by the California research institute on a flight that landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport early Thursday morning, the state archive said in a press statement released later that day.
The 59 boxes of documents delivered to the state archive include the two former presidents' diaries dated between 1917 and 1979, as well as private letters, manuscripts, telegrams, microforms, official documents and other historic materials, according to the statement.
These historic materials first arrived at the Hoover Institution after it signed an agreement in 2005 with Chiang Ching-kuo's daughter-in-law, Chiang Fang Chih-yi (蔣方智怡), which stipulated the institute could curate the diaries for 50 years.
This led to years of legal wrangling over who was the rightful owner of the documents.
Chiang Fang Chih-yi and other family members began transferring ownership of the diaries to Academia Historica in 2013, making the state archive the official custodian, the statement said.
In 2022, the Taiwan High Court ruled that documents produced by the two former presidents while they were in office were the property of the country, while personal materials kept when they were not president belonged to the Chiang family, the state archive said.
The Taiwan court ruling was accepted in July this year by a court in California -- which also first began hearing an ownership case brought by Stanford in 2013 -- and ordered the university to return the historic documents to Academia Historica within 60 days, according to the state archive.
Academia Historica said that it plans to publish the first volume of Chiang Kai-shek's diary kept between 1948 and 1954 in late October, and Chiang Ching-kuo's kept between 1970 and 1979 toward the end of this year.
The historic documents will also be digitized for researchers.
The state archive already runs an online presidential database that covers every head of the ROC (Taiwan) from Chiang Kai-shek who took office in 1948 to Tsai Ing-wen who is set to leave office after she completes her two four-year terms in May 2024.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Hoover Institute announced that copies of the handwritten diaries would continue to be freely accessible for scholarly study. This includes portions of the collection that were previously unavailable to the public.
The Chiang diaries are the most requested items by researchers to the Library & Archives and contain decades of valuable political and foreign policy insights of these historic Taiwanese leaders, according to the institution.
Scholars using the diaries have revised and expanded the understanding of modern China, the Cold War, and global history in ways that were not possible before they were available, the institution noted.
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