History is like a running river that never ends. One can always see ups and downs in history. History also carries people’s memories and sentiments. One can always look back to feel past happiness and sorrow, retrospect how one’s predecessors walked in the path overgrown with brambles, and eventually keep on going towards the unknown future brightly and confidently with these experiences and lessons learned from history. History teaches us and also gives us strength to face future challenges.
In 2017, NCCU celebrates our 90th anniversary. NCCU, as a top and leading university in the fields of humanities and social sciences in Taiwan, should promote academic spirit and humanism and enrich academic achievements to develop a new paradigm for higher education in Taiwan.
Since the establishment of the Humanities Research Center (HRC) in 2008, we have executed several big and important research projects. For example, we completed a series of History of R.O.C. in 12 volumes, re-edited a series of Mr. Chiang Kai-shek in the War of Resistance against Japan in 13 volumes, and published 21 scholarly monographs for “NCCU Humanities Series.” All the above achievements had shown NCCU’s energy in promoting and advancing humanities research.
Along with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of R.O.C., the HRC was granted by the Ministry of Science and Technology to write History of R.O.C.. We invited 149 scholars and experts to retrospect and reexamine crucial developments of R.O.C. since its establishment till the present. Sticking closely to the theme— “transformation and diversity,” we developed this book series into 6 categories, including “academic development,” “politics and law,” “economic development,” “social development,” “literature and art,” and “education and culture” with about 130 topics. This 12-volume series aims to construct and consolidate a R.O.C.-centered viewpoint of modern China studies. In History of R.O.C., we describe ups and downs, development and achievement within the past one hundred years. With these new research results and historical explanations, the world could not only see but understand stories of R.O.C..
In order to stimulate historical research and publish historical documents, the HRC negotiated with Academia Historica and was therefore authorized to republish an important collection of historical documents, Chiang Kai-shek’s Chronological Event Transcripts. During the editing process, some Chiang’s undisclosed transcripts covering periods from July to December of 1937 and the whole year of 1939 were found. These precious historical documents were not included in the previous edition. In other words, they were all revealed to the public and published for the first time. Along with the 70th anniversary of the Republic of China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japan (also called the Second Sino-Japanese War) in 2015, we decided to firstly focus on Chiang’s records written in 1937-1945, i.e., the wartime periods. These documents had been carefully re-edited, punctuated, and proofread by editors, and were also reviewed and approved by Taiwan’s distinguished historians in the field of modern history of China. With great effort, we eventually published a new book series in 13 volumes in July 2016. In this series, we compiled considerable historical materials, such as telegraphs, dispatches, memorandums, treaties, and Chiang’s diaries and speeches that are all precious and indispensable to the study of modern history of China. We hope this series could help the public access historical documents easier and understand more about the history of the War of Resistance against Japan, and would give fresh impetus to NCCU for further research on history of Republic of China.
After many years of effort, the HRC and our affiliated research groups of the “Formation of Modern China” Plan have gradually built up our academic reputation. In Taiwan, the HRC has become a leading institute of the study of modern history of China. The HRC will continue to sharpen and deepen our research, investigate the inheritance and transformation of R.O.C., and stand firmly in our position to interpret modern history of China.