The Dutch presence in 17th--century Formosa has left historical sites such as Fort Anping and Fort Santo Domingo. Now, 300 years later, former Dutch ambassador Menno Goedhart has begun a Dutch heritage project at National Cheng Kung University.
While Dutch heritage is a part of Taiwanese history, many historical relics left behind from the 38 years of Dutch colonial rule in Taiwan are yet to be discovered.
“An online and open database with texts, images, audio [files] and videos will be built to show the Dutch heritage in Taiwan,” said 64-year-old Goedhart, who is now a research -expert at the university’s Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences.
The database will be in Chinese and English and categorized by cities and counties. Users will be able to browse through thousands of photos and information on places to understand the background stories and historical significance of the period.
“Tales will be proved and facts will be reconfirmed before placing them online,” Goedhart added. “When controversies over time or place arise among scholars and -experts, we will organize workshops to reach consensus.”
For instance, if the exact location of where a Dutch officer was killed by a member of the Puyuma tribe becomes debatable, a workshop can be held, he said. Another subject worthy of discussion is the name of Fort Santo Domingo, which was constructed by the Dutch, but which many believe was actually built by the Spanish, he said..
Goedhart said he hopes to be able to provide an all-inclusive database for the public by 2016.