Written and Published by Han Institute, March 7, 2013
Digitizing Academia Sinica and Beyond
Importance of Preservation of History
I went to Nankang, Taipei, Taiwan, to visit Academia Sinica 8 years ago, the security person told me that if I had an appointment with the director, I would have achieved better.
Still, I made the best out of it. I went to the History and Linguistics department at the back of the campus. I discovered on Dr. Zhu Jiahua's archive, it stored my grandmother's letter from 1938. This letter indicates that Nationalist officials were underpaid. My grandmother wrote to say that my grandfather had to leave the government post, as it couldn't cover the family expenditures, and he would like to work for Central Daily.
In the end, my grandfather stayed on with the government and helped to found the parliament structure.
I still have much research that needed to be done, but I had to leave for the flight back to the U.S. The desk clerk told me they were in the process of digitizing all the documents.
Dr. Zhu Jiahua was responsible to relocate Academia Sinica to Taiwan, and he was in charge of the British Boxer Redemption Education Fund.
In China, when I visited the Nanjing Paleontology Academy, I found out about an Austrian archaeologist who was enlisted by Dr. Zhu Jiahua to help unearth the Shang Dynasty relics. This was China's first scientific method in archaeological digging. Unfortunately his name has been obliterated from China's presentation of historical fact.
Against his British foundation fund manager's advice, he turned in all funding upon President Chiang Kaishek's request, and so he lost his control over the institute.
Chiang Kaishek visited the institute and discovered that there was no level road to it, so he requested money to build a road.
Since the inauguration of President Eisenhower, there were several incidents which occurred that indicated that Chiang Jingguo was removing Dr. Zhu and his personnel.
First is the death of Armory School President Chiang Weiguo's wife, Shi Jingyi. Her father was a textile tycoon in the northwest region of China. She died when Chiang Weiguo was visiting Washington D.C. Chiang Weiguo was the protege of Dr. Zhu Jiahua, and Meiling Soong's favorite stepson.
Second is that Sinica Academia was asked to be turned over to the charge of Dr. Hu Shizhi, former U.S. Ambassador who had a miserable time in serving as head of Sinica and died of a stroke caused by tension.
Third, is the dissolution of the Third Power in Hong Kong, because Chiang asked President Eisenhower's ambassador to stop monetary support. According to ROC ambassador Shen Qi as the interpreter at the time, the American explanation was that the Third Power was only collecting data.
For all of the Chinese dynasties, there is a responsible agency to write and interpret past dynasty's history.
What Digitizing can't do, is the analytical research work that has not yet to be done for Nationalist history.
Academia Sinica's role should be working on all of the research that reveals our nation's charismatic men with true character and their work.
For more information, this is their site: http://aslib.sinica.edu.tw/
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