Library digitizes thousands of pages of Chinese books

The National Central Library of Taiwan (NCL) said yesterday that it has completed the digitization of more than 30,000 pages of rare Chinese books in collaboration with the libraries of Oxford University and Stanford University.

Cooperation with Stanford University Libraries focused on digitizing a selection of classic ancient Chinese books and documents in several categories, including Confucian classics, history, philosophy and literature, a indicated the NCL.

A selection of 210 volumes of 26 titles from the East Asia Library and Bowes Library of Art and Architecture holdings were digitized by Digital Production Group and delivered in November last year to the NCL for its Rare Book Database, an article on the Stanford Libraries. ‘ said the website on January 5.

“These newly available rare books will be of great benefit to scholars working on Ming-Qing period scholarship, literature and history,” the message read.

The collaboration with the Bodleian Library, the University of Oxford’s main research library, includes a collection of ancient Chinese books and manuscripts, the NCL said.

To replenish Taiwan’s resources for China studies, the NCL has focused on digitizing rare books in overseas library collections, said NCL director general Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢).

After beginning a collaboration with the United States Library of Congress in 2005, the NCL has collaborated with several libraries and institutions – including the University of Washington Libraries, the University of California at Berkeley Library and the Princeton University Library – to digitize rare Chinese books and documents in their collections, he said.

Other libraries that have cooperative ties with the NCL include the University of Toronto Libraries, the University of British Columbia Library and the National Library of France, he added.

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Colin L. Johnson