In an effort to promote exchange with Korea, to more widely disseminate Taiwan’s achievements in research, and to show forth Taiwan’s soft power, on July 13, 2023 the National Central Library signed a collaborative agreement with Kyungpook National University in Daegu. Both parties agreed to set up a Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies (TRCCS) at KNU. This is NCL’s 46th partner worldwide. Additionally, both parties also signed a collaborative agreement for the Union Catalog of Rare Books Database in an effort to expand the content of this global catalog of Chinese books. Kyungpook National University President Hong Won-hwa and NCL Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng co-hosted the signing and kick-off ceremony. NCL presented KNU with a replica of the national treasures The Annotated Poetry of Su Dongpo and the Diamond Sutra as a symbolic addition to their collection and as a witness to this historic moment and future collaborative opportunities. Also in attendance were TECO in Busan Representative Cheng-Kai Kuo, and the Taipei Mission in Korea’s Education Section Head Cheng-kai Cheng.
Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng stated NCL began setting up TRCCS overseas in 2012, selecting important universities and research institutions for the locations. The aim has been to strengthen collaboration with Chinese studies institutions in other countries, promote exchange in Taiwan and abroad in Chinese studies, and share the achievements of Taiwan scholars in this field. In addition, the co-creation of global Chinese studies resources and a message platform and the widening and deepening of exchange between East and West.
Taiwan and Korea have enjoyed a closer exchange in recent years. Kyungpook National University is less than 1500 km from Taiwan, making it the closest collaborating partner. This TRCCS will provide Chinese and English books (875 titles, 1039 volumes) and digital databases published in Taiwan. In the future, more books will be added each year. NCL will also continue to provide access to databases from Taiwan. Taiwan Lectures on Chinese Studies and exhibitions will also be held so that more people can see the results of Taiwan’s scholarly endeavors and abundant digital resources. Kyungpook National University not only has outstanding achievements in research, but it also excels at social initiatives, global responsibility, and sustainable development. KNU also actively develops Asian studies, from Korea to the world. For example, it recently cohosted AAS in Asia with the U.S. Association for Asian Studies, an organization with which NCL has enjoyed a long-term collaboration. Over 1,200 scholars and graduate students came from 47 countries. KNU Librarian Chŏng U-rak wrote Zhou Dunyi’s saying “tranquil, empty, action, upright” in calligraphy for the ceremony, with the hope that both parties can continue to progress.
During the trip, Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng also hosted a meeting with Kyungpook National University wherein they signed a collaborative agreement to work on NCL’s Union Catalog of Rare Books Database. Beginning in 2005, NCL collaborated with many university libraries from around the globe that have ancient Chinese books in their holdings digitized and then to upload the results onto the database that NCL created called Ancient Books and Special Collections Resources. NCL took advantage of this opportunity to deepen collaboration on digitizing ancient Chinese books and uploading them to the catalog. Currently, there are over 80 collaborating partners working on this union catalog. It is our hope that this will help in promoting Chinese studies in Taiwan and Korea, as well as spur on collaborations between scholars in our two countries. We hope to have a deep, positive impact.
After the signing ceremony, Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng was invited to speak. She spoke on “Discovering New Value of Library Aiming on Enduring Positive Input to the Human Society--Endeavors, Accomplishments, and Future Perspectives of the National Central Library” and shared NCL’s management and development experience with the faculty, students, and library staff at KNU.