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The National Central Library of Taiwan (NCL) has completed the digitization of more than 30,000 pages of rare Chinese books in collaboration with the libraries of Oxford University and Stanford University. Cooperation with Stanford University Libraries focuses on digitizing a selection of classic ancient Chinese books and documents in several categories, including Confucian classics, history, philosophy, and literature.

A selection of 210 volumes of 26 titles from the East Asia Library and Bowes Library of Art and Architecture holdings were digitized by Digital Production Group (DPG) and then delivered to NCL for its Rare Book Database in November to complete the project.

These newly available rare books will be of great use to scholars working on Ming-Qing period scholarship, literature and history. The digitization project in conjunction with the Bodleian Library, the University of Oxford’s main research library, includes a valuable collection of ancient 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 overseas library collections by coordinating with overseas libraries. The library has established a bilaterally beneficial international coordination model that allows it to access rare book and document resources located overseas. Since the launch of international scanning of rare books and documents, the library has digitized 3.2 million pages of important rare Chinese books in 4,700 types.

– Tseng Shu-hsien, General Manager, NCL

Since NCL began a collaboration with the US Library of Congress in 2005, it has collaborated with several major libraries and institutions around the world, including the University of Washington Libraries; the University of California Library, Berkeley; and Princeton University Library to digitize rare Chinese books and documents in their collections as part of the International Digitization Project. Other libraries that have cooperative ties with NCL include the University of Toronto Libraries, the University of British Columbia Library, and the National Library of France.

These traditional woodblock books are unique and valuable pre-modern Chinese resources. As Professor Ronald Egan, an expert in pre-modern Chinese literature, has commented, “they belong to a wide range of subjects and fields, including local gazetteers, scholarly studies of Chinese classics and historiography , historical phonology, literary collections and anecdotes. works.

This was the first mass digitization project imaged primarily on equipment DPG recently acquired from Digital Transitions, called the BC100 Dual Copy System. The BC100 is a book capture system that uses two overhead cameras, a pneumatic glass stage and a book stand to create 4-star FADGI quality images at efficient production rates.

With production beginning in May 2020, one of the goals of this international collaboration was to create an accurate and precise estimate of how long it would take to complete the digitization of the requested book selection. The team was able to deliver well beyond the initial agreement, delivering a total of 33,613 pages ahead of schedule.

As OpenGov Asia reported, Taiwan is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. It has supported a high-growth economy in recent years, burdened by rapid industrialization and exports. At the same time, the digital market and e-commerce are also growing in Taiwan.

Within the framework of the “National Digital Archive Program” and the “National Science and Technology Program for E-Learning”, various types of archives are kept at the Academia Sinica, the National Palace Museum, the National Taiwan University and many other public and private cultural institutions in Taiwan. have been digitized. These two Taiwanese programs have successfully integrated the development of different fields in science, humanities, economics, and technology.

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