Sat, Jul 22, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Aboriginal resource center opened

By Jean Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The first library and resource center specifically for Aboriginal books and research material officially opened yesterday at National Taiwan University (NTU). It aims to preserve Aboriginal history and culture as well as to provide extensive resources for academics and students.

The Indigenous Peoples Resource Center was a project launched by the Council of Indigenous Peoples last November in association with the NTU's library.

Walis Pelin (瓦歷斯.貝林), chairman of the council, said that Aboriginal stories and histories were passed down the generations by means of oral traditions, and that there was a danger of these disappearing.

As a result, the management of Aboriginal cultural and historical information was crucial for Aborigines, Pelin said.

The center, situated in the basement of the NTU main library, will collect books written by Aboriginal authors as well as theses and dissertation publications on related issues, said Chen Hsueh-hua (陳雪華), an NTU professor of library and information science in charge of the project.

By the second year, the center hopes to include international documents and information on policies for Aboriginal peoples all over the world, Chen said.

Pelin said that such a collection of international indigenous policies would serve as guidelines for the government and the council in the formation of future policies.

NTU library director Hsiang Chieh (項潔) said the library had always played a role in preserving the nation's historical and cultural information and had the nation's most complete collection of Aborigine-related research resources.

To establish a center specifically for Aboriginal works would greatly help scholars and others interested in related research projects, he said.

NTU president Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔) said the NTU library had long worked towards being the center of research on local Taiwanese politics, history and culture. Now, with the establishment of the new center, the importance of information related to Aboriginal issues was at last officially recognized, Lee said.

Council officials said this was the first-ever resource center exclusively dedicated to Aboriginal works.

Although several universities and the Academia Sinica had libraries containing information on different ethnicities, none was solely focused on Aboriginal studies.

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