Newsletter No. 63 (January 2014)

Report on 2013 International Workshop for Professional Librarians:
Preservation and Innovation of Special Collections and Archives,
14 -19 October 2013

Bick-har Yeung[1]

East Asian Librarian,
The University of Melbourne Library



The 2013 International Workshop for Professional Librarians: Preservation and Innovation of Special Collections and Archives (2013年國際圖書館專業館員研習班:特藏文獻及檔案維護與創新) was organised by and held at the National Central Library, Taipei over 6 days from 14th to 19th October 2013. This was the third International Workshop for Professional Librarians organised by the National Central Library.  I was honoured to attend this workshop as well as the previous one conducted in 2011.

workshop group

2013 Workshop Group Photo

The workshop was designed for

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of rare book preservation and conservation.

  • Preservation and conservation of Chinese rare and archival materials in different formats.

  • Major rare books and archival collections in Taiwan.

  • Knowledge and management of book mould and bookworms.

  • Knowledge of paper making materials and paper making.

  • Demonstrating and a hands-on approach to stitch binding, paper making and dyeing.

  • Demonstrating rare materials repairs.

  • Sinological and Taiwanese electronic resources.

  • Site visits to Suho Paper Memorial Museum, the National Taiwan Library, the Academia Sinica, the Qinghua University Library and the National Library of Public Information at Taichung.

There were 28 participants at the workshop representing East Asian professional librarians from overseas countries as well as archivists and rare books librarians from Taiwan libraries and institutions.  I was the only librarian from Australia. Other overseas librarians were from Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, the Philippines and the United States.

The speakers were conservators and university professors, who came with a wealth of knowledge about conservation from museums, libraries and universities.  My favourite lectures were

  • Conservation of rare books.

  • Preservation of rare books and archival collections.

  • Format of traditional calligraphy and painting scrolls and their conservation.

  • Rare books conservation and management.

My favourite visits were

The workshop was very informative with participants learning information and techniques for managing a traditional Chinese special collection comprising rare items in variant formats. Many sessions of the workshop were hands-on, so that participants were given an opportunity to practise what was being taught.  I enjoyed every session of the workshop.

During the workshop, we were introduced to a large number of tremendously useful databases produced by major Taiwan research institutions. Some of these databases can be accessed remotely by overseas users, some required registration to login and some can only be accessed by users in Taiwan.
Returning home, I managed to put all these electronic resources together in a spreadsheet providing users a one stop shop access to these useful resources.

The link for downloading is: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/asian/taiwanresources.xlsx

The National Central Library organises the workshop for professional librarians every two years.  The workshop is free of charge. It was a great opportunity for overseas librarians to learn about Taiwan resources and build up the network of Taiwan libraries, as well as a great opportunity to exchange and share information among library professionals. More information about the 2013 workshop

[1] The author would like to acknowledge Mr. Andrew Gosling who kindly read and polished this report.



Page last updated: February 2013
Please direct all enquiries to the editor, Ms Ayako Hatta Ayako.Hatta@monash.edu
Webmaster: Ms Kyunghee Kim, NLA, Canberra, Australia
This web page is copyright. It may be linked to any other Web pages, but contents may not be altered.