The“National Museum of Historical Artifacts and Fine Arts” was established in a Japanese style building near the Taipei Botanical Garden in 1955. It was renamed the“National Museum of History” (hereafter, “NMH”) in 1956 and the building was renovated in a five-floor traditional Chinese Ming and Qing palace style, with four floors for exhibition and staff offices, and one floor for storage. Despite its limited space, the NMH is renowned for its international exhibitions, and its proactive and innovative museum development and educational programs. Various conversions of the building have been carried out over the years to adapt it as a modern space fit for the newest exhibition facilities and requirements.
The NMH's collection originally consisted of artifacts from the Henan Museum that were relocated to Taiwan in 1949, and of relics recovered from the Japanese after the Sino-Japanese War. The collection included the bronzes unearthed in Xinzheng, Hui and Anyang (in Henan Province), Pre-Qin pottery unearthed in Loyang, Han green-glazed pottery, the dancer and musician figurines of the Six Dynasties, Tang tri-colored pottery and other treasures. The arrival of allocated artifacts and donations from private collectors gradually enriched the Museum's collection and enlarged its archives.
The museum collections continued to grow with annual acquisitions obtained with government procurement budget allocations and donations from private collectors. The annual acquisitions provided the museum with artifacts and relics from mainland China, Taiwan, and other countries. The collections date back to the Neolithic period and the ancient Chinese dynasties Shang, Zhou, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing, up to the contemporary era.
Since its establishment, the NMH has pursued the following four development goals. In light of the rapid changes of the times, its purposes and the environmental conditions in which it exists have undergone considerable changes.
1.To create a multi-cultural historical and cultural center in the heart of Taiwan's metropolitan center.
2.To build an environment embodying the symbiosis of culture and nature, and one that is conducive to both learning and recreation.
3.To manifest the vitality of our island nation and extend its ethnic and international horizons.
4.To respect the core value of cultural artifacts, stimulate interest and intellectual development, and urge innovation in research and development work.
In light of above goals, we have all joined our hearts and minds to realize these endeavors:
1.Exhibits, archives, and study report publications: To provide equal importance to ethnic, Chinese, and international shows and studies; to understand the value of humanities and cultural diversity; to expand museum archives; to enhance the nation's knowledge of Taiwan's past and of her cultures; and to establish learning and sharing links and exchanges with the international community.
2.Education promotion campaigns: To encourage career-oriented creative thinking; to experience and respond to the demands of society and the times; to manifest the existing advantages of cultural and artistic objects through programs and activities; and to garner optimum benefits and value for these objects through proper arrangement of venue, category, and market.
3.Hardware facilities: To use surrounding spaces in accordance with a policy of fostering the symbiosis between culture and nature; to enhance hardware facilities; and to provide museum visitors with a comfortable and complete environment for learning and recreation.
4.Resource utilization: To combine university resources with other public human resource under a policy of resource sharing; and through the conveniences afforded by information technology and translation tools, to bring museum objects to life, to encourage innovative development, to generate added value for the museum, and to introduce new developments and trends.
Finally, through a service policy and core values of dedication, pragmatic and professional service, sharing, and innovative development, we have established a national museum with a vast international perspective. Our primary aim is to provide visitors to the museum with an elegant and multifaceted learning environment. It is our dearest hope that our endeavors and services may win your hearts and support for the museum!