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Reed College
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European and American travelers to Taiwan in the 19th century left behind woodcuts, maps, images, and travelogues about the people and land they called “Formosa.” This site has gathered 75 19th-century maps, more than 100 images, 35 travelogues, and a small sample of linguistic data on aboriginal languages. To situate yourself in “Formosa,” visit the timeline that covers events and people from 1796 to 1871. Proceed to the “Maps” section. Though the maps are often slow-loading, they enlarge to more than full screen and include island maps, as well as detailed city and regional maps and maps of the Pescadores Islands. The texts—transcriptions of original documents—cover topics ranging from the geography and environment of Taiwan to its inhabitants and their social practices, and are available both in English and in their original language. The images are grouped by category—architecture, landscape, implements, people, and boats—and by the traveler who created them, allowing the images to complement the texts. A keyword search function on the site’s main page makes the entire site easy to use.

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