臺灣物質文化資料有意識的累積，大致始於十九世紀中期清帝國被迫對外開放臺灣港口通商之後，最早到臺灣的西方人中，主要是英國領事人員、傳教士、海關人員、洋行商人、和新興的科學研究者。當時來臺經商、傳教、探險、作戰或研究的西方人，基於對異文化的好奇心、對民族學知識的興趣、、西方博物館發展的契機、以及當時攝影技術的新發明等因素，開始以臺灣作為研究與書寫的焦點，並且採集器物標本和影像帶回西方世界。這些臺灣收藏，後來陸續移轉進入歐美各大博物館，淹沒在異國的博物館典藏庫中，逐漸被世人遺忘。目前一些重要的歐美博物館，如大英博物館（British Museum）、加拿大的皇家安大略博物館（Royal Ontario Museum）、美國的自然史博物館（American Museum of Natural History）等，都保存了一批日本殖民臺灣之前，西方人在臺灣採集的文物和影像。這些輾轉流散到海外的臺灣藏品資料雖然較為零散片段，但卻難得保存了一百多年前的臺灣物質生活訊息，也反映出早期臺灣與西方的互動接觸過程。
This website presents achievements of the ‘International Cooperation Project of National Digital Contents and Technique--A project of Information Exchange and Research on Taiwan Ethnological Collections’ funded by National Science Council. It is based on developing collaborations with famous western museums for studying and digitizing the Taiwanese ethnographic collections made by western collectors during 19th century. By creating a cooperative venue and making intensive studies on overseas Taiwanese collections, the project team have examined their original archives, analyzed material objects, made digital images, and constructed a web-based databank. On the one hand, it aims to enhance our knowledge on early Taiwanese material life; on the other hand, it creates a powerful network for retrieving information of overseas Taiwan collections.
The overseas collections in western museums were accumulated mainly by western explorers and missionaries who arrived in Taiwan after the opening of Chinese treaty-ports since 1850s & 1860s. Although they came to Taiwan generally for business, missionary works, explorations or scientific investigations, some of them had collected lots of cultural specimens from Taiwan as souvenirs or material evidences. Part of these early collections are now scattered into famous Euro-american museums, such as British Museum, Canada Royal Ontario Museum, American Museum of Natural History, etc..
● Director and Object Interpreter : Chia-yu Hu
● Assistants for Data Digitization and Key In : Cheng-yi Pu, Zi-lan Liu, Chao-chieh Wu, Siang-chai Koh
● Photographer : Chia-yu Hu, Yu-chin Su, Siang-chai Koh
● Website Builder and Maintainer: Research Center for Digital Humanities, National Taiwan University
◎Executive Phase by Year：
● 2007：A project of Information Exchange and Research on Taiwan Ethnological Collections――
Taiwan Collections in the British Museum I
● 2008：A project of Information Exchange and Research on Taiwan Ethnological Collections―
Taiwan Collections in the British Museum II
● 2010：A project of Information Exchange and Research on Taiwan Ethnological Collections―
Taiwan Collections in Pitt-Rivers Museum and Cambridge Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology.
● 2011：A project of Information Exchange and Research on Taiwan Ethnological Collections―
Taiwan Collections in Royal Ontario Museum, Canada.
● 2012：A project of Information Exchange and Research on Taiwan Ethnological Collections―
Taiwan Collections in American Museum of Natural History and University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, USA.