07/04 (Mon)


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.
Wu Song-qing’s Diary (1947-1950) now available at Taiwan Diary Knowledge Bank

Wu Song-qing (1901-1991) was born in Zhen-hai, Zhejiang. After graduating from University of Shanghai and University of Paris, he had held the position of Director in Management Bureau of Air Navigation Commission, Vice Director of Quartermaster Department and Director of Management Bureau of Conscription Agency, Head of the Department of Finance of Hubei Provincial Government, Director of Department of Finance of Combined Service Forces, Director of Quartermaster Department and Vice Commander-in-Chief of the R.O.C Army. In 1964, he resigned from the army and threw himself into industrial sector. He had been the Chairman of Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd and was the pioneer of Taiwan steel industry.

Wu Song-qing had written diaries since he served as Head of the Department of Finance of Hubei Provincial Government in 1947. He stopped writing diaries in 1991, the year he passed away. The newly released diaries (1947-1950) were written in the critical period of the KMT government retreating to Taiwan. As the Director of Department of Finance of Combined Service Forces, he recorded the management of raising military expenditure and the plan of transporting gold to Taiwan.

The full-text transcription and interpretation of Wu Song-qing’s Diary I (1947-1950) has been collated and uploaded. Volume I of Wu’s diary contains 1,017 articles in about 210,000 words. Currently, there are 14 volumes of diaries containing approximately 14.5 million words. Anyone is welcome to register an account at Taiwan Diary Knowledge Bank and access the materials.

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