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Taiwan’s National Central Library signs MOU with The British Library

National institutes to expand exchange of academic, cultural resources

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National Central Library Director General Tseng Shu-hsien and the British Library Chief Exectuvie Roly Keating. (National Central Library photo)

National Central Library Director General Tseng Shu-hsien and the British Library Chief Exectuvie Roly Keating. (National Central Library photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Central Library (NCL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the British Library (BL) to promote the exchange of the two countries’ national academic and cultural resources on Thursday (Jan. 13).

According to the NCL, the MOU was signed by NCL Director General Tseng Shu-hsien (曾淑賢) and BL Chief Executive Roly Keating. BL Chief Librarian Liz Jolly, British Office Taipei Representative John Dennis, and Taipei Representative in the U.K. Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵) attended the online ceremony.

Keating was cited as saying the MOU holds great meaning to both libraries, and that he was excited about the collaborative projects that will take place under the MOU. Tseng said the MOU, which comes after past collaborations with the BL in 2013 and 2015, covers a broader area and deeper exchanges, showing that Taiwan’s soft power is highly valued internationally.

Over three years, the two libraries are expected to work together on the Chinese digitization of collections, researches, joint exhibitions, as well as symposia and workshops related to restoration. These exchanges will be of great help in building a research platform for academics in Taiwan and the U.K., per Tseng

Hsieh said he hoped that through the MOU, both Taiwan and the U.K. can reinforce connections in the international academic network and boost Taiwan’s academic reputation and visibility within the international community. Dennis, on the other hand, praised the NCL’s classic Chinese book collection and said he was glad to see the libraries’ development unimpeded by the pandemic.

The NCL was established in 1912 by the Provisional Government of the Republic of China, and features diverse collections of historic Chinese books as well as resources for Chinese studies. The BL is one of the largest libraries in the world with over 200 million items in its collection that encompass over 400 languages; every year, around 3 million items are added to the collection.