The goal is to make the massive collection available on the Internet. Researchers will be able to find rare documents in an easy-to-use database, teachers will be able to download information and images they can use in course work, and visitors will enjoy vivid exhibitions, films, music, access to favorite works of art and virtual tours.
"The culture effect is more important than the technology. We're trying to give people a warm feeling about these artifacts. We want the human touch," said James Lin, director of the information management center at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
The initiative is part of Taiwan's government-funded National Digital Archives program and it aims to do for the treasures of China what was first done in 1925 -- open them to the world. This time, however, it will display the museum's treasures on a far grander scale. When the last Emperor of China was deposed in 1925, part of his Forbidden City was turned into a museum so the public could view the treasures collected there. It was meant to signify the turn to a republican government, in which all took part and no single person held special privilege over the artifacts.
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