In the very beginning of the digital archive programs of museums in Taiwan, the purposes were only for culture preservation, exchange, and sharing. The government then puts more emphases on the cultural, education/learning, commercial applications and services of the digitized content. It would be a waste if we do not make the best use of the digitized content. The digitized content can be and should be used for many other areas such as digital games, digital video applications, digital publications, software applications, internet services, digital learning, mobile applications and services, computer animation, and commercial merchandise such as commodities, and cultural creative products.The main purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the ACT (Arts, Creativity, Technology) Media Lab in the Department of Graphic Communication Arts at the National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA) utilized the digital archives licensed from the Museum of World Religions (MWR) to develop cultural, educational, and commercial merchandise in cooperation with two local manufacturer in Taipei, Bright Idea Co., Ltd.. This project was funded by the Council of Culture Affairs (CCA) under a specially granted project named “Creative Value-added Applications of Digital Archiving and Digital Licensing of 2006”.The licensed digital content of this project were a rich and vivid collection of Taiwanese folk religious objects and images, publication, audio, and video archived by the Museum of World Religions (http://www.mwr.org.tw/library/ch.htm). Particularly, more than 200 high resolution images of Taiwanese folk cultural artifacts were licensed to develop merchandise in the areas of commodities, creative merchandise, and education/learning/research digital product (e-books). The main roles of the ACT Media Lab in the project were the coordinator of the project, the image and product designer, digital merchandise producer such as animation film and e-books (digital to digital application), and the main marketing strategy and promotion activity planner. The Bright Idea Company was the manufacturer of commodities and creative merchandise (digital to analog application). An official website (http://gcaserver.ntua.edu.tw:9000) constructed by the ACT Media Lab displays all the information about the project. A database containing the detailed information and metadata related to the digital archives of the Museum of World Religions could be found in the project website. All the merchandises developed by the project can be purchased at the souvenirs store of the Museum of World Religions in Taipei or they can be browsed and purchased online through the e-commerce platform established within the project website.This government-academy-industry collaboration project has created a new business model and generalized certain amount of profit; the most important of all, the profit has been reimbursed to all the parties participated in this project including the content providers (MWR). The success of this project (model) has been used by the CCA to promote the idea of utilizing licensed digital content to create added value for museums. With the development of digital technology and commercial applications of digital archives, museums have better chances of reaching out to the public and make known to the public. Finally, the success of the project has caused attention from digital content industry and cultural creative industry both in Taiwan and oversea.
Yung-Cheng Hsieh, Hui-Wen Cheng, Chao-Chen Chen, "Cultural, Educational, and Commercial Applications of Digital Archives" in Proc. IS&T Archiving 2008, 2008, pp 264 - 271, https://doi.org/10.2352/issn.2168-3204.2008.5.1.art00053