Digital Archives Project of Chinese Antiquities at the National Palace Museum

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The National Palace Museum's collection of Chinese antiquities, which includes bronzes, jades, ceramics, and lacquer ware, dates from the Neolithic Age (ca. 7000 B.C. to 2000 B.C.) to the Ch'ing dynasty (A.D. 1644-1911). The collection is not only rich and diverse, but is also valuable to the understanding of Chinese civilization.

The main objective of this project is to organize an automated digital library of Chinese antiquities in the collection of the National Palace Museum. In conjunction with the Museum's rotating sequence of exhibitions, three to four hundred items are annually selected for addition to this archive. Each piece is subjected to detailed scrutiny; photos are taken from all angles, metal wares are x-rayed, and rubbings are taken of inscriptions and decor. Related research materials are gathered and a thorough description of each piece is written. The resulting images are then digitized using state-of-the-art technology and incorporated into a digital archive, which combined with the textual descriptions forms a database to be used for research, education, cultural promotion, and other future activities. The main objective of this project is to organize an automated, digital library of Chinese antiques according to the sequence of exhibition by the National Palace Museum. We select at least three hundred pieces each year from the fine collection, research related papers, write down descriptions, and take pictures of the pieces from all angles and capture the minutest details, including rubbings of the engravings and X-ray images of the bronzes. At the same time, all slides are transferred to digital images in the digital library. Using the most recent technology, the digital images and descriptions form the database will be the basic context for use in research, education, culture promotion, and further application in the future.

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Applied Metadata Standard: CDWA (Categories for the Description of Works of Art)

Metadata Elements List (includes elements names, examples and crosswalk mapping with CDWA)

Progress and Result:

Digital Archives Database of Chinese Antiquities at the National Palace Museum
@ Bronze Thesaurus(2002)
@ Ceramics Thesaurus (2004)

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Working documents contain the records when MAAT works on analyzing metadata with the staffs of the thematic group. They include worksheets, controlled vocabulary lists, analysis reports, system requirement specifications, guidelines, meeting reports, and misc

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