On 7 November in 2013 "Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies" was inaugurated at the Library of Area Studies of Leipzig University Library.
Now researchers have access to a collection of research literature published in Taiwan. The collection will grow annually by donations of the National Central Library (Taipei, Taiwan). Also access to special databases of the National Central Library of Taiwan can be granted.
This center is an important input for the research and teaching infrastructure for the Asian Studies Departement at Leipzig University.
In line with the internationalization of Chinese studies and efforts by the ROC government to promote "Chinese culture with Taiwanese characteristics," the National Central Library (NCL) began in 2012 to establish overseas Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies (TRCCS) based on the library's publication exchange ties and three decades of academic interactions in the field of Chinese studies. Located at major universities and research institutes abroad, the center aims to promote international exchanges in Chinese studies, promote Taiwan's achievements in Sinology, collaboratively build a global Sinological resource and information platform, broaden and deepen cultural exchanges between the Chinese and Western worlds.
The TRCCS also represents a new milestone for the NCL in the promotion of its achievements in Chinese studies over the years. In 1981, Taiwan established the Resource and Information Center for Chinese Studies and placed it under the charge of the NCL. In 1987, the center was renamed as the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) to strengthen its research functions. After years of effort, the CCS has built up a collection of some 220,000 volumes. It also regularly issues three periodicals and has published 33 bibliographies/books, five compilations on the NCL collection and sinological resources and 10 databases. Compared to the CCS collection, which is focused on Chinese studies resources, the NCL collection is larger and broader in scope, amounting to over 4.5 million titles. This academic resource is a proud achievement resulting from years of collection in Taiwan and abroad.
With the establishment of the TRCCS, the NCL builds on its ongoing efforts to make these resources available for sinological research around the world. Taiwan first entered the global spotlight in the 1990s due to the island's twin miracles of economic development and democratic reform. Interest in the social background, culture and other factors that enabled this successful economic and political transformation also led to an upswell of research by foreign scholars into the literature, temples, education, movies and other aspects of Taiwan. This trend has also led to a surge in demand for related research data and publications. To meet this need, the NCL has been steadily providing the TRCCS with a wealth of publications on Chinese studies. The TRCCS serves following specific functions:
Presenting Taiwan's achievements and academic resources in the field of Chinese studies
TRCCS partner organizations annually receive books, audio-visual materials and e-resources published in Taiwan. The NCL has also established an IP channel for partner organizations to search the digital resources of the library and CCS within copyright limits. In addition, the library provides a collection of links to other Sinological resources in Taiwan to further serve scholars and experts and expand research ability with win-win results.
Promoting international exchanges in Chinese studies
TRCCS is established at prominent institutes for Chinese studies and key universities with development potential. These partners are chosen to facilitate joint promotion of academic and professional exchanges supported by the research resources and influence of the collaborating organization. In addition, the NCL plans to jointly organize academic or cultural activities related to Chinese studies with partner organizations. The NCL will also add links on its website to overseas TRCCS and report related activities to further develop the role of the center as an interactive platform in the Chinese studies community.
Enhancing global civilization substance and inclusiveness
By the end of 2013, NCL will have established TRCCS in the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Latvia, Malaysia and Vietnam. In building up the Taiwan and Chinese studies resources at these centers, the NCL aims to jointly enrich local civilization substance with partner organizations. This collaborative process has also highlighted a strong interest in Chinese studies among non-Chinese academic communities. Even more encouraging has been the mutual appreciation and learning witnessed between different civilizations and the significant progress it enables in replacing civilization confrontation with reconciliation and peace.