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Taiwan in the Eyes of a Western Traveler--John Thomson’s Footprints in Formosa
John Thomson(1837-1921)is regarded as a pioneering photographer in the 19th century. He traveled to Far East, documenting the portraits, landscapes and eastern cultures profoundly through his lens and these photographs have become precious historical records. Although John Thomson only stayed in Taiwan for a few days, the images and notes he left are valuable historical materials for the research into Taiwan in the 1870s.His story could be comparable to Shen Bao-zhen, one of the figures in 「Traveling in Time」Exhibition. They were the travelers who came to Taiwan in the same time period. Through their stories, we can learn how they interpret Formosa in the 19th century.
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Collections retrieval

Taiwan Archival Information System was launched in 2008. It stores personal papers and collections, family and folk papers and institutional archives which have been collected by the Archives of ITH for more than 20 years. The stored items include land contracts, account books, correspondences, official documents, photographs, postcards, and maps. This database stores more than 120 record groups and around 110 thousand items, and the archives are continually increasing.

Usage:The online catalog is open to the public. The physical and digital archives are classified into three different levels: viewing and printing online, viewing and printing in the ITH Archives Reading Room, and viewing and transcribing in the ITH Archives Reading Room. Readers can access the digital images of “viewing and printing online” after registering an account with a valid e-mail. *

This database was launched in 2004. Some of the digitized rare books belonged to the Library of Taiwan Government-General, Southern Archives, Taihoku Imperial University professors’ books, which were sold to National Taiwan Library, and some were collected by the Institute of Taiwan History. This database includes about 4,000 books, over 100 periodicals, and more than one million digital images.

Usage:The online catalog is open to the public. Readers can access the digital images after registering an account with a valid e-mail. Some of the rare books can be downloaded in a PDF format.  *

Taiwan Sotokufu Digital Archive stores the digitized Official Documents of Taiwan Government-General which was jointly cataloged by Taiwan Historica and Academia Sinica. Including permanent, fifteen-year, five-year and one year preserving categories, this database collects more than 12,000 volumes and 3.4 million pages of digital images.

Usage: In order to provide a convenient browsing environment, Taiwan Sotokufu Digital Archive has merged into  Taiwan Archival Information System. Everyone is welcome to register an account and utilize the new database. Readers who need to browse Taiwan Sotokufu Digital Archive please contact the ITH Archives Reading Room. *

This database was launched in 2009 by applying the techniques of Wiki platform. It includes the full-text and annotations of diaries which were published by the Institute of Taiwan History and other relevant institutions. There are 13 personal diaries (Lin Xian-tang, Huang Wang-cheng, Lu He-ruo, Den Kenjiro, Yang Ji-Zhen, Jian Ji, Chang Li-jun, Wu Xin-rong, Miyoshi Tokusaburou, Yang Shui-xin, Momiyama Ishu, Shao Yu-lin, Wu Song-qing) and one organizational journal (De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia) open to the public so far. The whole content is composed of over 14 millions words and about 42,000 annotations. New diaries will be kept uploading in the future. The diaries are arranged in chronological order and the full-text search is available. Furthermore, readers can use time classification function to browse different authors’ diaries on the same day. 

Usage:Readers can access this website after registering an account with a valid e-mail. *

The new version of Taiwan Collectanea Search System has been revised in 2016. It collects Taiwan Collectanea which was edited and published by the Economic Research Office of Taiwan Bank from 1957 to 1972. It includes official records and individual discourse related to Taiwan since the Tang and Song dynasty. In addition, this database also contains the brief introduction of Taiwan Collectanea and Taiwan Prefecture Gazetteer edited by Jiang Yu-ying. There are 311 kinds of books and about 600 volumes with near 50 million words in the database.

Usage:The catalog and the full-text are open to the public. *

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