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The Taiwan Shinminpo News Special – Opening of Hualien Port, 1939

The Taiwan Shinminpo and its related newspaper series were the only newspapers published by the Taiwanese during the Japanese colonial era. Among the contents, in-depth special reports on places, events and people are very important historical materials for studies on family histories and local regions. The Institute of Taiwan History has collected almost a hundred local news specials, covering topics such as economy and industry, infrastructure, cultural history, and school education. The issues presented include banana production and industrial economic trends, major infrastructure completion and current political situation, upgrade of towns and villages, rail service resumption and local development. The Taiwan Shinminpo carried what might not be described or documented in regular publications, such as local cultural characteristics and industrial histories, which were precious records for understanding our homeland. With the reference to the news special “Commemorative Special on Opening of Hualien Port” published in The Taiwan Shinminpo on October 1-2, 1939 and other archival collections of Institute of Taiwan History, this article focuses on the completion and opening of Hualien Port in 1939, detailing the construction process and its impact during the Japanese colonial era.


The team of ICTAP responsible for acquiring historical records is made up of research fellows from the Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica. Owing to historical origins and geographical connection, It focus on collaborating with historical archival institutions in countries including Japan, Russia and China.

Through survey and investigation, literature analysis and review, search on the Internet and academic networks, the whereabouts of Taiwan historical resources ‘in exile’ are located, with details on their contents and quantities in foreign repositories, the status of their documentation and preservation as well as the progress of their digitization.  Visits are then made to these repositories abroad for further appraisal of the archives and discussion on possible future collaboration.  Taking into consideration the preservation status of the historical resources, the policy of the archival institutions, the subsequent value-added applications, as well as future plans for utilization and open access, the acquisition strategies adopted so far include digital archives acquisition and digital content value-added. Materials in the forms of both digital archival materials and original historical records are collected through purchase, collaboration, and exchange. The achievements include the establishment of digital databases and archives as well as thematic knowledge banks. Historical records and digital images brought back from overseas repositories are then arranged and interpreted. The annotated editions are then posted at digital archives such as the 「Taiwan Archival Information System」 and 「Taiwan Diary Knowledge Bank」 for free and open access by the general public.

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