Author: Harmony Lu 呂紹安

Harmony Lu 呂紹安

Taiwan: An Ideal Place to Conduct Research on the Qing Dynasty

     As a PhD candidate in late imperial Chinese history, already four months into a ten-month Fulbright grant period in Taiwan, I have two goals for this brief essay. First, I want to set forth the reasons why Fulbright Taiwan has provided an ideal environment for my research. Second, I want to suggest that Taiwan is an excellent place to do in-country research on the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). Given the vast trove of archives now open to scholars in mainland China and given that various Taiwanese institutions have digitized many of Taiwan’s archival collections and generously placed them on-line (in some cases, accessible from anywhere), some scholars may no longer consider Taiwan a worthwhile destination for in-country research on Chinese history. To the contrary, my experience has been that the combination of nearly unrestricted access to superbly curated archives, a vibrant and welcoming intellectual community, an incredible system of libraries and research centers, close proximity to mainland China, the concentration of excellent scholars and academic institutions in one place, a clean and modern environment, and Taiwan’s own history as a Qing frontier combine to make Taiwan an ideal location for in-country research on the Qing. After four months, I

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