Archive Contents

Digital Archives of Famous Personages, Diplomatic Records, and Economic Records in Modern China

Project Leader¡GKuo-Shing Hsieh

Executing organization: Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

Archives Description¡G

The Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, has kept a collection of files from foreign and economic offices and files donated by individuals. The foreign office files include documents from the Office in Charge of Foreign Affairs (1861 ¡V 1901), Ministry of External Affairs (1901 ¡V 1911), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Northern Government (1912 ¡V 1928), and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1928 ¡V). The economic office files contain related documents from various economic offices of the Republic of China from 1903 of the late Qing Dynasty, when the Ministry of Commerce was established, to 1949; and from various economic offices since the Kuomintang Government retreated to Taiwan. The files donated by individuals cover areas in politics, economics, academics and culture. These documents are all historical material essential to the study of historic development of modern China and Taiwan after WWII. In addition to the selection of important files for digital replication, this project builds file indexes and a database for image search so that authorized readers can access online. The project will also continue with the installation of the ¡§Digital Archives of Famous Personages, Diplomatic Records, and Economic Records in Modern China¡¨ website in order to provide a platform for integrating relevant information and promote the education and study of modern history.


The Opium War instigated dramatic changes in modern China. Negotiations with foreign powers after middle 19th century became the core of the development of Chinese history. Foreigners came to lay claim to Chinese territory and treasures; whereas China aimed to build up military might and national wealth as the way of survival. As a result, Chinese modern history since the late Qing has focused on foreign issues and national development. The archives from Chinese diplomatic and economic offices in the modern era that were collected and managed by the Institute of Modern History of Academia Sinica are the jewels in the study of modern Chinese history. The project to digitize these archives will improve the effectiveness of usage of these files and provide a broader and more user-friendly platform for academic dissemination and research needs.

Accomplished Archives¡G

In the first term of this plan, three digitalization databases have been established and opened to the public. They are ¡§The Yung Yun-Ping Collection Database¡¨, ¡§Taiwan Archives¡¨ and ¡§Book Collections on Taiwan under Japanese Rule 1895-1945 Database¡¨. Based on the previous three databases, the second term of the plan combines the consideration of long term preservation and intelligent property. The goal for this term will focus on building the ¡§Integrate Archival Resource System¡¨ to provide the hybrid database service and more efficient management in actual and digital contents. For reader, it brings better service. For project manager, it provides long term profit for the plan. For researcher, it contributes strong support for academic research of Taiwan history.

08-24-15-001-010-033. The 1914 Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce document on the Han-yeh-ping Coal & Iron Co.¡¦s yearly repayment. The Han-yeh-ping Coal & Iron Company was founded in 1908 and originally run by the Qing government. Then it was run by civilians but supervised by the government and finally became a civilian enterprise altogether. The Han-yeh-ping Coal & Iron Company is the only western style steel and iron enterprise in the Qing Court and is considered as the cradle of the modern Chinese steel and iron industries.

301-01-07-001-132. The draft of a formal letter by Chu Chia-hua to Tsai Yuan-pei on November 25, 1938. During the Sino-Japanese War, Chu Chia-hua shouldered heavy responsibilities of the central government and had written to Tsai (The first president of Academia Sinica) several times to ask for the permission of resignation from the post of chief secretary of Academia Sinica.

Chu Chia-hua (1893-1963) was the second president of the Academia Sinica. He had devoted himself to the public service and served the post of Minister of Transportation, Governor of Zhejiang Province, Secretary-General of Koumintang (Chinese Nationalist party), Commissioner of Central Investigation and Statistics Bureau, Minister of Central Organization, Minister of Education, Vice Prime Minister, and Presidential Senior Advisor. Chu attached great importance to the preservation of historical materials and preserved his official and personal documents well. These documents are of high value for modern history research.

301-01-07-010-071. A formal letter of Hu Shi to Chu Chia-hua on March 17, 1955. The letter is about the meeting in New York of the North America¡Vbased academicians of Academia Sinica.


Chang Huei-jeng
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