National Central Library Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng cosigned a memorandum of collaboration on a Taiwan Center for Chinese Studies on October 22 with President Andrzej Lesicki from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland. An opening ceremony was also held for this 33rd Taiwan Center for Chinese Studies that NCL has established overseas.
National Central Library has enjoyed a long and close interaction with Poland in scholarly endeavors. To date, forty-one scholars from Poland have received research grants by NCL’s Center for Chinese Studies or Taiwan’s Ministry of Education to conduct research in Taiwan. Adam Mickiewicz University is a collaborating school with the Ministry of Education’s Taiwan Research Lectures. Furthermore, in 2017 NCL donated a large number of Chinese language teaching, Chinese language, and literature books to its library to expand its Chinese holdings.
In establishing this Taiwan Center for Chinese Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University, NCL provided 744 titles (806 volumes) of books on Chinese studies and Taiwan studies. Each year hereafter, this corpus will be added to. Also provided are digital collections and databases from Taiwan for the professors and students at the university to use.
In 2012, National Central Library began establishing Taiwan Centers for Chinese Studies at select important universities and research institutions overseas. This was done to strengthen the collaborative relationship with Chinese studies institutions throughout the world, to promote academic exchange on Chinese studies between Taiwan and other countries, and to disseminate the achievements of Chinese studies in Taiwan. This initiative was one of four award recipients of the American Library Association 2015 International Innovative Services Award. Not only do these Centers augment the interaction between NCL and research institutions throughout the world, thus providing more opportunities for coloration, they also provide even more people the opportunity to use e-resources on Taiwan studies and Chinese studies, thus increasing Taiwan’s visibility and influence on the world stage.
During the opening ceremony, NCL Director-General Tseng presented a replica of a national treasure Annotations of Mr. Dong Po’s Poems, a work with over 800 hundred years of history, as well as a dual colored Diamond Sutra, the only surviving copy of its kind. These 22 volumes will not only add to the university’s collections, but also stand as a witness of this historic moment of collaboration. They also will provide opportunities for further collaboration in the future.
Establishing this Center at Adam Mickiewicz University garnered the attention and the attendance of scholars from related disciplines, the former director of the Polish Office in Taipei Maciej Gaca, and the university library’s staff. The ambassador to Poland, Shi Wen-bin, was also in attendance and made a few remarks. He expressed his gratitude that Director-General Tseng personally came to Poland to sign the agreement and that the establishment of this Taiwan Center for Chinese Studies is an important milestone in the future of cross-cultural exchange between the two countries. Prof. Izabella Łabędzka thanked NCL on behalf of her university for providing the physical and digital resources.
The establishment of a Taiwan Center for Chinese Studies not only helps expand scholarly exchange and promote Taiwan-flavored Chinese studies but also is an important window internationally through which people can see the amazing books published in Taiwan and the abundant e-resources on Chinese studies. In this manner, the Centers are a place to show forth the achievements of Taiwan promoting Chinese studies.