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About Taiwan eBook Database
National Central Library (NCL) is an important repository and disseminator of resources for academic research in Taiwan and abroad. In addition to procurement and preservation, an objective of continual concern is how to make the use of library holdings, as well as Taiwan publications and research findings, more accessible to patrons and to scholars throughout the world. Especially in this digital age, the digitization and open access of books can increase worldwide interest in Chinese culture. Also, those researching Taiwan or Chinese studies can more easily find material needed.
Many libraries and archives in Taiwan have in their holdings works published between 1911-1949, as publications from this period record various aspects of its history, culture, literati, geography, art, literature, society, politics, and economy. Thus, these are of immense value to academic research and have become the best source for Taiwan studies. However, because of Taiwan’s warm and humid climate, books are not easily preserved. Many materials stored in Taiwan libraries lack a temperature controlled environment. The older books get the more likely damage will occur due to acidification. Other types of damage can result in a book getting discarded from the library holdings as well. As a way to preserve culture and enhance scholarship, digitization reduces use and damage of physical holdings, and allows for long term digital preservation. These files can also be made available on the internet to readers and scholars worldwide. All of this will increase the life of the physical books.
In 2015 a nationwide project commenced called Digital Archives Project on Taiwan Historical Collections. University libraries, public libraries, government institutions, and research organization were invited to participate. The aim is to digitize works that were published between 1911-1949 for future preservation and use in a Taiwan eBook database. The database will ensure that these publications in libraries throughout Taiwan can be shared with the world in digital format and even become an important hub for Taiwan studies internationally. It can effect increased research on Taiwan abroad, promote scholarly exchange, and widen the academic influence of Taiwan studies.