‘Local stories need to be told and remembered.’
To achieve the twin objectives of promoting public participation in the preservation of local knowledge and offering open access of cultural materials, the Ministry of Culture has initiated the "Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank and Digital Value-Added Application Program"
for digitizing museum collections and gathering regional memories to map out Taiwan's cultural DNA. The Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank project seeks historic recollections and documentations
through words, images, artifacts, audiovisual assets, and other creative mediums to reconstruct the history of Taiwan throughout different eras. These collective memories will then be transformed into the nation's cultural assets and be introduced to the world.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun stated that once the Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank website enters its beta phase in July, data providers and scholars will be invited to review and optimize the platform. After feedback and adjustments, the website will officially launch on Oct. 17, which is celebrated as Taiwan Culture Day (臺灣文化日)
. The aim is to inspire the public to participate in the construction of national cultural memories, increase community collaboration
, and preserve cultural vitality, she added.
The "Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank and Digital Value-Added Application Program"
began in 2017 and is coordinated by public and private sectors. Current work areas range from the establishment of data storage standards to optimization of existing data, regional governmental collaboration, mobilization of public sector participation, and legal authorization and consultations. At present, the system has collected two million articles of data.
For the public sector, the Ministry has encouraged the formation of alliances and exchanges among museums, libraries, archives, universities, corporations, and non-profit and non-governmental organizations and institutions (MLAUCNI), resulting in collaborations such as the "Museum Demo Project (台灣行卷計畫)"
and "Formosa Evergreen (寶島長春圖)."
Additionally, the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine has been collecting records and oral knowledge associated with traditional healing practices and herbal remedies.
Private-sector initiatives include a minivan traveling across Taoyuan to collect and preserve local stories under the "The Military Dependents' Village Puncar (眷村胖卡)” project, the collection of old folk songs by the Taiwan Liamkua Smile Folksong Group (微笑唸歌團), the digitalization of the "Taiwan Hero (諸葛四郎)" comic series and manuscripts, and the solicitation of old photographs and stories pertaining to the now-demolished Chunghwa Market Bazaar (中華商場).
Minister Cheng pointed out that with the October launch of the Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank website, businesses and individuals will have easier access to cultural data and materials for local cultural development and artistic creation. The Ministry will also put forth an expansion plan called "Taiwan Cultural Memory Bank 2.0" to translate cultural materials, expand the platform's collection
, and establish a knowledge map highlighting the uniqueness of Taiwanese culture to share with the world. Read the original press release here