National Taiwan Library

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National Taiwan Library
國立臺灣圖書館
National Taiwan Library entry 2005.jpg
Established 1914
Location Zhonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Other information
Director Huang Wen-ling (黃雯玲)
Website http://www.ntl.edu.tw/

The National Taiwan Library (Chinese: 國立臺灣圖書館; pinyin: Guólì Táiwān Túshūguǎn) is the oldest public library in Taiwan.[1] Founded in 1914, the library is home to a large collection of documents concerning the history, culture, politics and geography of Taiwan.

History[edit]

The library was founded in 1914 during the Japanese colonial period as the Imperial Taiwan Library (Kyūjitai; 臺灣總督府圖書館; Shinjitai: 台湾総督府図書館, Taiwan Sōtokufu Toshokan?) on the order of governor Sakuma Samata.[2] The library's first permanent home on Bo'ai Road (博愛路) in Taipei was destroyed in a United States bombing raid during World War II.[1]

After the Nationalists took over control of the island following Japan's defeat in World War II, the library was renamed the Taiwan Provincial Library (Chinese: 臺灣省圖書館; pinyin: Táiwān-Shěng Túshūguǎn) and moved to temporary accommodation. The implication of this name, as well as all the subsequent names, is that Taiwan is only one part of the Republic of China.

In 1947, it was again renamed, this time to Taiwan Provincial Taipei Library (Chinese: 臺灣省立臺北圖書館; pinyin: Táiwān Shěnglì Táiběi Túshūguǎn) and it was under this name that the library was relocated to Xinsheng South Road (新生南路) in 1963.[1]

The current name of the library was chosen in 1973,[2] with the full official title being National Central Library, Taiwan Branch (Chinese: 國立中央圖書館臺灣分館; pinyin: Guólì Zhōngyāng Túshūguǎn Táiwān Fēnguǎn). After outgrowing the premises in Taipei city, the library was relocated to the 8-23 Memorial Park in Zhonghe, Taipei County (now New Taipei City) in 2004.[2]

In 2007, Huang Wen-ling was appointed as the twentieth director of the National Taiwan Library, and the first woman to hold the post.[3]

Collection[edit]

Sign indicating the library
Foreign language section of the library

The library is home to a large collection of documents related to Taiwan, some dating back to the Qing Dynasty era in Taiwan (i.e. pre-1895). There are 210,000 documents from the Japanese era (1895–1945) and the collection has been continuously added to since then.[1] The library's aim is to provide a dedicated research centre for people interested in Taiwan Studies, offering traditional written material sources as well as information resources for researchers to locate the documents or information needed.[4]

Services for the visually impaired are also a key focus for the institution, with a collection of 12,000 Braille books together with information technology resources for readers.[1][5]

Conservation[edit]

A pioneer of book conservation techniques in Taiwan, the library is now home to a dedicated "Book Hospital" which serves not only as a centre for restoration of old books, but also a location for staff from other institutions to learn the craft.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 25°00′04″N 121°30′43″E / 25.001°N 121.512°E / 25.001; 121.512