LOS ANGELES – A rare collection of Taiwan Literature Series, also code named the Encyclopedia of Taiwan, made the last display to the public Saturday in El Monte, a suburban city in Los Angeles, before they were donated to the East Asian Library at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
May Chen, a Chinese American immigrated from Taiwan, brought the series, totaling 466 books with over 48,000,000 Chinese characters, from Taiwan 40 years ago. The collection, which recorded a history of Taiwan from the Tang Dynasty (about AD 618) to the year of 1963, was praised by historians as the most comprehensive, most complete history ever recorded in Taiwan.
Chen said she bought this collection from a banker in Taiwan and treated them as treasures. She brought them from Taiwan to the United States and well kept them till recently that she thought it might be more useful and helpful if those rare books were displayed at a university library for the public to read. She contacted UCLA’s East Asian Library and got a quick response to accept them.
“I think the USLA East Asian Library has the most advanced facility to store and keep the books and make them available for the researchers, professors and students and even the public to read,” said Chen.
The collection recorded the history of development of different areas in Taiwan, the changes of cities, important historic characters and deeds, local customs, famous literature pieces and poems, etc.
Evans Y. Lam, Chairman of Southern California Foundation for the Preservation of Chinese Literature and History which helped to make the donation possible, praised May Chen’s efforts to preserve the rare collection of Taiwan Literature Series and her selflessness to donate those valuable books to the East Asian Library.