Founded in 2013, Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC) seeks to use digital technology to enrich research materials, upgrade the academic environment, and advance studies in the humanities. ASCDC is a combination of a main project and multiple subprojects. It also works with partners across various fields inasmuch as academic scholarship can be organically synthesized with creative work and cultural products, shedding light on the methodology and scope of interests that concerns the digital humanities.
The core missions of ASCDC consist of (1) driving interdisciplinary research in the digital humanities, (2) developing Linked Open Data, and (3) use digital data and academic scholarship to produce creative works and stimulate other appliances, such that a well-rounded cultural expression will play out through new modes of storytelling, interpretation, and communication. Our key concerns include (1) basic research (e.g. Digital Humanities Research Platform and Linked Open Data), (2) applied research (e.g. Open Museum), and (3) social connection (e.g. Walking into the Past and Present series, Creative Comic Collection, and other public-writing schemes). Digital Humanities Research Platform creates a new framework for studies in the humanities, whereby scholars will be able to explore hitherto undiscussed issues in their fields. LOD rewrites data structure such that exchange will gain momentum in crossing boundaries and human-machine collaboration will become more sophisticated. The Open Museum allows for a space where collecting and showcasing are no longer confined to the socially and economically privileged, but a free and friendly one powered by smart toolkit and a reliable ontology to enrich the story that the curator wants to tell. Creative projects at ASCDC present original manga art, digital exhibit, new media archival essays, and public-writing that offers insights on how trends of digital production shape cultural practice and social ethos in the rapidly evolving world today. ASCDC runs an open, transparent, and reasoned process of managing and coordinating subprojects in support of “Digital Archives and Digital Humanities at Academia Sinica.” Each year, we welcome proposals that (1) build databases that facilitate studies in the humanities, (2) explore topics in the digital humanities, and (3) upgrade existing technological frameworks.
ASCDC is the crystallization of mutual assistance and partnership of members from every department at Academia Sinica. Enhancing Taiwan’s competitive edge by delivering a positive impact on both the local and the global, ASCDC empowers the humanities in pioneering the digital terrain with new paradigms.
Since the launch of the Digital Museum Project in 1998, Academia Sinica has devoted itself to digitizing Taiwan’s cultural heritage. To facilitate innovation and foster cross-domain collaboration, it has been intensely involved in two programs: National Digital Archives Program (NDAP; 2002-2007) and Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program (TELDAP; 2008-2012), both commissioned by the National Science Council (today’s Ministry of Science and Technology) and presided over by the Academia Sinica Vice-President for the Humanities. Academia Sinica functioned as the headquarter of these programs for 11 years, responsible for integrating resources, coordinating cross-institution collaboration, developing and maintaining tools and technology for the operation of these projects, and supporting the nationwide access to the key software and hardware. As TELDAP came to an end in 2012, the National Science Council commissioned Academia Sinica to execute “The Sustainable Management of Taiwan Digital Archives Project” from 2013 to 2015. Throughout this project, over 5.6 million data were preserved across more than 760 websites and databases.
Viewing that the work of digital archives necessitates talents in the humanities, mathematics, and information and natural sciences, the incumbent President of Academia Sinica acknowledged the importance of sustainably maintaining the work of national cyberinfrastructure. He authorized the foundation of a “Center for Digital Cultures” on the basis of Academia Sinica Digital Archives Center (數位典藏內容與技術專題中心) under the Research Center for Information Technology Innovation (CITI). On February 1, 2013 Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures was founded as a cross-discipline entity, responsible not only for the core project of Academia Sinica’s digital archives but also for the coordination of subprojects in digital archiving proposed by other Academia Sinica institutes. ASCDC relays the legacy of NDAP and pursues goals as follows: sustainably managing and expanding digital resources, advancing digital humanities, connecting to the international community of relevant fields, and play an exemplary role in furthering Taiwan’s digital archives and cyberinfrastructure.
- Maintaining the legacies of NDAP (2002-2007) and TELDAP (2008-2012)
- Expanding digital resources, researching and developing digital technologies, advancing digital humanities, enrich digital culture, and playing an active role in the international society.
- drive innovation and cross-discipline collaboration between people from research, IT, cultural heritage, creative, education and archiving areas.
- develop, validate and implement the standards and frameworks that improve the access and discovery of an increasing sum of digital contents.
- promote the Center’s activities and Taiwan’s unique heritage within professional and lay networks, as well as communities at home and overseas.