November 19 (sat.) Keynote Speech 2

> 日本語

Simon C. Lin /Principle Investigator (PI) of International Collaboration and Promotion of Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Project, TELDAP

From Digital Archives to Digital Humanities

      Taiwan, with the population of 23 million and more than 46,000 species of flora and fauna, is a country featured cultural diversity as well as biodiversity [1]. From the cultural diversity perspective, one could find the fusion of mixed cultures such as traditional Chinese culture, aboriginal culture, Japanese culture, Western culture etc. in Taiwan’s society. From the biodiversity perspective, there are extraordinarily abundant biodiversity resources and many endemic species in Taiwan. Supported by Taiwan National Science Council (NSC), the National Digital Archives Program (NDAP) was officially launched in 2002 in order to digitally archive Taiwan’s unique cultural resources and the rich biodiversity. In the first phase (2002-2007), the NDAP has generated enormous collection for Taiwan Digital Archives with over 3 million items of digitalized content from Anthropology to Zoology. To further increase their use, the NDAP merged with the National e-Learning Program and formed the new Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program (TELDAP) [2] in 2008. In phase II (2008-2012), with an overall budget of US$ 247 million, TELDAP is composed of eight core division projects, they are: Content, Technology, Platform, Applications, Industries, Education, Language Learning and International Collaboration.

      After 10 years’ effort, the total number of digitized contents in the TELDAP Union Catalog [3] is more than 7.8 million. Apart from digitizing the domestic collections, TELDAP also collects contents including a variety of artifacts, specimens and documents concerning Taiwan that had been scattered overseas. Up to date, 69 institutes from 13 countries were visited, for example, British Museum, Library of Congress and Museum of Natural History in Japan, etc. To showcase the achievements to the global communities, an English portal and somewhat limited multi-lingual versions in Japanese and Spanish, ‘Digital Taiwan: Culture & Nature’[4], are created.
      In recent years, sustainability has become a critical concern for people and institutes that were involved in. Preserving knowledge and passing down to future generation are the common goals of digital archives [5]. However, digital contents are fragile and growing faster than expectation. Many new challenges are inevitable since TELDAP is preserving the heritage in an unprecedentedly way. Model of practices and guidelines on digital information life cycle as well as long-term preservation process are the first challenge to deal with. Standardization and compliant to open architecture and standard infrastructure will be profitable in the long run. Interoperable infrastructure to support scalable and sustainable content management and to facilitate the sharing via archival alliance may also be useful. Long-term preservation relies on the infrastructure to fight for problems such as medium/obsolescence and deterioration by systematically migrating the content via routine workflow process. The automatic content association may be a useful way to maximize the values of archives and to extract new knowledge from them which is a good example of e-Science on digital archives.
      The last decade has seen the wide-scale emergence of e-Science infrastructure as a critical asset for the scholars. Digital data becomes more essential as a new knowledge source for researches. The resulting data deluge also drives a new infrastructure and technology, like e-Science or data infrastructure, Grid computing and virtual collaboration environment, to digest and manage the data efficiently. However, data explosion also uncovers the serious and complex issues of strategy with respect to the creation, management and sustainability of data [6].
      Featuring the multi-disciplinary nature, the collections of TELDAP is actually a combination of cultural heritage archives, digital library, digital museum and biodiversity collections, which aggregate millions of data objet, require petabyte-scale storage, as well as involving large-scale collaboration. Based on the experiences of many e-Science applications in world-wide projects such as Enabling Grid for E-sciencE (EGEE) [7], EGI [8] and EUAsiaGrid [9], e-Science infrastructure demonstrated good capability of resource federation, sharing, and sustainability. It is obvious that the e-Science paradigm will be the most natural follow-up to manage the digital content of TELDAP. Therefore, the gLite-based e-Science infrastructure was introduced for the TELDAP long-term preservation by integrating with Storage Resource Broker (SRB) DataGrid [10]. Incorporation of the digital information life cycle management into the e-Science Infrastructure is one of the primary tasks of future TELDAP sustainability.
      TELDAP is archiving the repository to preserve culture heritage and to support innovative researches and applications. In terms of sustainable data values, the e-Science Infrastructure provides a common infrastructure for efficient data sharing and resource pooling so that partners could focus on thematic archival process. Thematic collaboration could be enforced by the Virtual Research Community with standardized framework on security, access control, resource policy and workflows. Shared tools, data and common services such as data validation, quality assurance and also long-term preservation could be implemented by defining thematic or institutional requirements together on the infrastructure without repeating the efforts from the individuals.
      Digital archive is not just a collection of collections, it is crucial that the users could access the right content at the right context while ensuring the integrity and utility of data. Hence, TELDAP develops new ways to explore data values and to maximize data accessibility. In addition, a collaborative data infrastructure is also established to connect with international framework. Digital archive is a perpetual effort that not only incorporating new contents but also to include new tools, methodologies, and infrastructure for meta-knowledge.



[1]TELDAP e-Newsletter, June, 2008,
[2]TELDAP website,
[3]Union Catalog of TELDAP
[4]Digital Taiwan: Culture & Nature
[5]Report of EU High Level Expert Group on Scientific Data, Riding the Wave – How Europe Can Gain from the Rising Tide of Scientific Data, Oct. 2010.
[6]Microsoft Research, The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery ; Report of The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, Sustainable economics for a digital planet: ensuring long-term access to digital information [World Wide Web interface]. [Feb. 2010]
[7]Enabling Grids for E-SciencE project
[8]Europeam Grid Infrastructure project
[9]EUAsiaGrid project
[10]A. Rajasekar and R. Moore, et al., ‘Storage resource broker – managing distributed data in a grid’, Computer Society of India Journal, Special Issue on SAN, 33:4 (2003), 42-54.