The Director-General of the National Central Library (the NCL), Dr. Shu-Hsien Tseng, and the representatives of University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland has completed signing the cooperation agreement for collaboratively establishing a Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies (TRCCS) in mid-July this year. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible to sign the agreement in person. The signing was done by exchanging the signed documents by postal mail. The pictures of the representatives of both parties holding the signed Cooperation Agreement became rememberable records for the confirmation of this cooperation.
At UZH side, four important representatives jointly signed this Cooperation Agreement including Vice President Faculty Affairs and Scientific Information, Prof./ Dr. Christian Schwarzenegger, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof. /Dr. Klaus Jonas, Director of Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, Prof./ Dr. Wolfgang Behr, and Director of University Library Zurich, Prof./ Dr. Rudolf Mumenthaler, this fully reveals how much they attach importance to this cooperation project. This is the 36th TRCCS cooperation agreement signed by the NCL with partner institutions abroad.
The UZH is located in the largest city of Switzerland, founded in the year 1833. To date, twelve UZH scholars have been awarded the Nobel Prize. With its 28,000 enrolled students, the UZH is Switzerland's largest university. The UZH is placed at number 73rd institution of higher learning in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. This makes UZH remain the best-ranked comprehensive university in Switzerland and well-known abroad. The TRCCS cooperation project will benefit the faculty and students of the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies the most. The beginnings of this institute could be traced back to 1950 when the Switzerland government became aware of the importance of China Studies and started to set up Chinese and Japanese language education programs at the University of Zurich. The education and research scope then extended to cover Korea and East Asian studies, and gradually formed a more comprehensive Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the UZH.
The Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies possesses comprehensive holdings on Chinese Studies in Western, Chinese and Japanese languages. According to its library statistics, the library has approximately 100-thousand volumes of books, more than 650 Journal and newspaper titles, and many more microfilms, CD ROMs and audio CDs in its collection. It is possible to search library resources by traditional Chinese characters. While the TRCCS in the UZH is to be located at the library of the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, it is believed that it would become much easier for the members of the Institute and the UZH to acquire Taiwan and Sinology research resources, therefore, greatly benefit the Asian and cross-cultural researches and education in the UZH.
Director-General Dr. Tseng mentioned that TRCC program was started from 2012, and has adopted the principle of widely and evenly distribution on all continents of the world as well as in different countries. This is in consideration of facilitating efficient interlibrary loan services among nearby countries or universities if the TRCCS resources are inquired from none TRCCS institutions. With such evenly distributed policy, TRCCS will be possible to be an agent that could help extending resources sharing of NCL to TRCCS nearby universities and countries. The good will of this is to share globally the Taiwan scholars research outcomes, and to benefit Taiwan and Sinology studies in a global scale. This NCL’s sustainable TRCCS program, with the practice that could realize sharing philosophy with high-efficiency service, it was awarded the International Innovative Service Award by the American Library Association in 2015.
Director-General Dr. Tseng emphasized that the cooperative relationship between the NCL and all the TRCCS partners is committed to long-term and mutual-beneficial cooperation. During the current time that the COVID-19 pandemic is still threating the world and the on-site in-person visiting and communication are restricted, sharing of digital resources is even more important. The NCL has been conducting digitization projects and has accumulated abundant of digital resources, the Library would support open access for TRCCS partners when possible. On the other hand, both parties agreed and promised in the signed Cooperation Agreement that while NCL will share good-quality academic monographs and digital resources, the UZH will assist the NCL to get most up-to-date information concerning Taiwan and Sinology research publications in the country, and will also collaboratively hold topical lecture and exhibition. This is of mutual beneficial for both parties. The NCL appreciates that the jointly held topical lectures with TRCCS partners allows outstanding Taiwan scholars to show and share their researches to international academic communities, and the NCL is also possible to collect local publication information, and even further cooperation projects such as cooperation digitization of ancient books became possible. It is indeed a model project for successful academic exchanges.