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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.
Lou Tseng-Tsiang Archives released on the Taiwan Archival Information System

Lou Tseng-Tsiang (1871-1949)—also known as Zi-xing, Shen-du (being conscious and disciplined when lives alone), and J. René Lou in French—was born in Shanghai, Jiangsu to a Christian family. He studied classical Chinese, French and diplomacy in his early years and was assigned to the Chinese Embassy in Russia as a translation intern, later becoming a translation officer in 1893. In 1899, he married Berthe Françoise Eugénie Bovy, a Belgian socialite, in the Church of Saint Catherine, Russia. From 1905 to 1911, he acted as ambassador to the Netherlands (see Figure 1) and Russia. In October, 1911, influenced by his wife, he was baptized a Catholic. In March, 1912, Tang Shao-Yi formed the first cabinet of the Republic of China and appointed Lou Tseng-Tsiang as the first Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 1912 to 1916, he was appointed as Premier and then served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Yuan Shi-Kai’s government. He led the Chinese delegation to attend the 1919 Paris Peace Conference and resigned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the next year. In 1922, he accompanied his ill wife to Switzerland for treatment and was appointed ambassador there by the R.O.C government. After his wife died in 1926, Lou Tseng-Tsiang left his official position and entered St. Andrew's Abbey, Bruges, Belgium (see Figure 2). He died in the abbey in 1949 at the age of 78.

          Figure 1: A photo taken in 1907 while   Figure 2: Lou Tseng-Tsiang was ordanined a 
          Lou Tseng-Tsiang was an ambassador   priest on June 29, 1935.
          to the Netherlands.                                 Identifier: T1063_05_10_0005

          Identifier: T1063_05_10_0005

In December, 2015, the Institute of Taiwan History and St. Andrew's Abbey collaborated on digitizing the Lou Tseng-Tsiang Archives following a suggestion by the Republic of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. St. Andrew's Abbey has 43 boxes of Lou’s manuscripts and relics in storage, which are categorized into the following five groups according to content: diaries and miscellaneous notes, Chinese correspondence, foreign language correspondence, drafts and postcards, and miscellaneous items. The collaboration digitized 22,000 pages, all of which can be viewed and transcribed in the Institute of Taiwan History’s Archives Reading Room. The catalog and metadata are open to the public. Please visit theTaiwan Archival Information Systemto explore the Lou Tseng-Tsiang Archives!

Contents of the Lou Tseng-Tsiang Archives

Series Title Contents
Series I Diaries and Miscellaneous Notes Lou Tseng-Tsiang’s diaries and miscellaneous notes, draft letters, and scrapbooks of news clippings.
Series II Chinese Correspondence Chinese correspondence and drafts, other people’s letters, news clippings, papers related to ordination, and other manuscripts.
Series III Foreign Language Correspondence Foreign language correspondence, French draft letters, other people’s letters, and other manuscripts.
Series IV Drafts and Postcards Chinese and French draft letters, postcards and cards, Lou Tseng-Tsiang’s draft postcards.
Series V Miscellaneous Items Banquet menu, scrapbooks, receipts, drafts of autobiography, papers related to Lou Yun-Feng, letters and papers of Berthe Bovy, and photographs of 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

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