The “Academia Sinica Digital Archives” web portal is having its grand opening, integrating over 1.28 million precious digital resources and 160 websites. Providing the ability to conveniently search across multiple databases, this countless array of digital collections serves as a threshold for the general public to enter into the world of digital archives, as well as a foundation for academic research and many further applications.
The Academia Sinica has actively promoted the National Digital Archive Program for over a decade, and has continued with the aims of research and preservation by digitizing its research assets that are older, possess value for historical archives, and are most utilizable by national and international scholars. To make it easier for both researchers and laypeople to use our institute’s rich and rare collection of digital resources, the Center for Digital Cultures built the integrated and organized “Academia Sinica Digital Archives” website.
Oracle bone inscriptions and bronze artifacts from the dawn of recorded Chinese history, archival documents revealing the successive shifts of political power over different time periods in Taiwan, oral folklore and field studies of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, photo books and news magazines reporting on people’s real lifestyles in every era, as well as a plethora of fish and shellfish images, and specimens of Taiwan’s unique plant species – the catalogue contains over 1.28 million entries originating from every institute of the Academia Sinica. Each entry is a source of specialized research possessing authority and accuracy. This interdisciplinary treasure trove of knowledge is simply waiting for someone to uncover and utilize its wonders.
Furthermore, in order to bring users into closer contact with specialized knowledge, the website also gathers many popular science articles, with categories including antiquities and archaeology, the natural and biological sciences, art and architecture, regional industries, digital technology, etc. Articles such as “Monsters! The beastly mask motif in ancient artifacts,” “Tempest in a tea box – the art of tea chest trademarks and advertisements,” “Celebration and sanctity – see the evolution of Taiwan’s wedding attire through photography,” “Survival strategy!! – the all-out struggle to survive for organisms in the intertidal zone,” etc., explore deep topics in simple terms in order to explain the special qualities of the archive collections and to tell a story. One point worth mentioning is that every article also lists related items, enabling readers to take further steps into the world of the archive collections.
The “Academia Sinica Digital Archives” website gathers the fruits of our institute’s many years of labor. It is the optimal entry point to access our institute’s vast digital resources. In the future, we hope to add even more institute research data into this treasure trove of knowledge, providing a more complete resource for specialized research with ready access for both scholars and general society, thus further raising the value of our archive collection.