Libraries have rich resources at their disposal which should be well preserved for the coming generations, but what is more important, they should be made good use of. In the past few years, libraries and museums have digitized their collections precisely for the above two reasons. The National Central Library, furthermore, presents the results of digitization to all users through the website Taiwan Memory, which was first established ten years ago. With the ongoing progress of information science, the structure of the website has been improved to make its informational contents much richer and the search for information much easier. Thus, NCL’s Taiwan Memory was revised in 2017.
Taiwan Memory is a website of digitized collections. It contains many precious materials and documents that are related to Taiwan’s history, so it is a rich resource of materials. In the past, to promote the rare and valuable materials of its special collections, the Department of Special Collections of NCL invited experts and scholars to give lectures on special theme collections and materials related to historical and cultural development and in so doing produced a series of thematic learning materials (subsidized by the budget of the Reading Promotion Projects 2013-2014 and 2015-2016). We believe that experts and scholars could combine the valuable materials of the digitized collection in their organized and systematic teaching of knowledge, to reveal history through documents and make their lectures more detailed and clear, and at the same time enhance the rebirth of the digitized collection of documents and cultural relics. Thus, in the same year when Taiwan Memory was being revised, members of the library staff were encouraged to apply for the “Online Exhibition Project of Taiwan Memory” to the Ministry of Education. We hoped that through this, Taiwan Memory and other valuable materials of the collections of other institutions in Taiwan could enhance their knowledge value, and the exhibition contents related to Taiwan Memory would thereby be enriched.
The “Online Exhibition Project of Taiwan Memory” is to run and continue to develop over the long term, in this way hoping to increase exhibition themes that highlight different aspects of Taiwan over the years and to invite experts and scholars to participate in producing knowledgeable contents to make a website complementary to the website of Taiwan Memory. Though it is only the first year of the project, even from the initial undertaking of the website, we could discern its expansive nature. More importantly, the display of the website demonstrates the Library’s efforts in the application of information technology and the service concepts of library science, as well as fulfilling its goal of inter-disciplinary cooperation by using both Chinese and English. Abiding by the concept of optimizing library services in keeping with the development of the times, in 1995 W. Crawford and Michael Gorman, two American scholars, proposed “Five New Laws of Library Science,” asserting that libraries serve humanity, respect all forms by which knowledge is communicated, protect free access to knowledge, use technology intelligently to enhance service, and honor the past and create the future. My thanks to all of the sub-project investigators who participated in this project at the initial stage of this website, the experts and scholars who will take part in this project in the future, all institutions which have offered digitized collection of images and materials, and library staff for all their hard work. I hope we will continue to work with dedication, taking the “Five New Laws of Library Science” as our motto to strengthen the service concepts of NCL and promote the continuous improvement of this exhibition website.
I hope you appreciate the website of the “Exhibition of Taiwan Memory” and should you have any suggestions, please let us know.
Director-General of the National Central Library
September 17, 2018