The History of the Book in Taiwan (Sources)

As the history of the book in Taiwan is not the area of specialization of the creator of this site, who works predominately on British texts, the following list of English-language sources related to Taiwanese book history is extremely incomplete. If you would like to contribute to a more extensive bibliography, please use the contact form.

Primary Sources

Many repositories of primary sources can be found on the archives page. Researchers should also know about Reed College’s Formosa: Nineteenth Century Images, which includes scanned images of English sources on Taiwan.


Alford, William. To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense: Intellectual Property Law in Chinese CivilizationHarvard UP, 1997.

Kaser, David. Book Pirating in Taiwan. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1969.

Wang Fei-Hsien. Pirates and Publishers: A Social History of Copyright in Modern ChinaPrinceton UP, 2019.

Ye Shitao. A History of Taiwan Literature1987. Translated by Christopher Lupke, Cambria Press, 2020. (See also Cambria Press’s Literature from Taiwan series, which includes A Taiwanese Literature Reader [six stories written under Japanese colonial rule.])

Journal Articles

Chang, Hui-Ching. “Learning Speaking Skills from Our Ancient Philosophers: Transformation of Taiwanese Culture as Observed from Popular Books.” Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 11.2 (2001): 109-33.

Chiang, Yuan-Chen (Jessica). “Parallel Importation of Copyright Products in Taiwan: A Struggle with International Trade Policy.” The Journal of World Intellectual Property, vol. 13, no. 6, Nov. 2010, pp. 744–69. Wiley Online Library,

Chiung, Wi-vun Taiffalo. “Romanization and language planning in Taiwan.” The Linguistic Association of Korea Journal 9.1 (2001): 15–43. PDF. 3 Apr. 2018.

Erni, John Nguyet and Anthony J. Spires. “Glossy Subjects: G&L Magazine and ‘Tongzhi’ Cultural Visibility in Taiwan.” Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society, vol. 4, no. 1, Feb. 2001, pp. 25-49.

How, Rex. “An Overview of Taiwan’s Book Publishing Industry.” Publishing Research Quarterly 26.3 (Sept. 2010): 183-86.

Hu, Te-Chia (胡德佳) and Lin Weijane (林維真). “The Trend Analysis of E-Book Research in Library and Information Studies.” (圖書資訊學領域電子書研究之趨勢分析.) Research of Educational Communication and Technology (教育傳播與科技研究), no. 116 (June 2017): 49–71.

Jacobs, J. Bruce. “Taiwan’s Press: Political Communications Link and Research Resource.” China Quarterly, vol. 68, Dec. 1976, pp. 778-88. EBSCOhost,

Kleeman, Faye Yuan. “Colonial Ethnography and the Writing of the Exotic: Nishikawa Mitsuru in Taiwan.” PAJLS: Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, vol. 2, 2001, pp. 355-377.

Ma, Ya-chen (馬雅貞). “Gardens, Travel Palaces, and the Imperial Prerogative: Images of Imperial Gardens Published by the Qianlong Court.” (園林、行宮與皇權-乾隆宮廷刊印的皇苑圖繪.) New History (新史學) 28, no. 3 (September 2017): 139–206.

Min, Hui-Tzu. “Participating in International Academic Publishing: A Taiwan Perspective.”TESOL Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 1, Mar. 2014, pp. 188-200.

Mokia, Rosemary Nturnnyuy. “Publishers, United States Foreign Policy, and the Third World,” Publishing Research Quarterly, vol. 11, summer 1995, pp. 36–51. (Mentions book pirates from Taiwan shipping pirated American textbooks back to the U.S.)

Smith, Ward D. “The Pirates on the Straits.” Orient/West 9.2 (1964): 38-50.

Seitz, Emily. “Growth of Children’s Book Publishing in Taiwan.” International Journal of the Book 4.4 (2007): 213-20.

Sin, Chi-yŏng. “Chains of Comparison, Difference in Empathy: Dialogic Texts in Colonial Korea and Taiwan.” Journal of Korean Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, 2015, pp. 379-414.

Tan, Teri. “A New Breed of Publishers.” Publishers Weekly, vol. 253, no. 36, 2006 Sept 11, pp. 5-14.

Wei, Shu-chu. “Shaping a Cultural Tradition: The Picture Book in Taiwan, 1945-1980.”Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 20.3 (1995): 116-21.

Book Chapters

Liu, Kenneth S. H. “Publishing Taiwan: A Survey of Publications of Taiwanese Literature in English Translation.” The Global Literary Field, Anna Guttman, et al., Cambridge Scholars, 2006, pp. 200-227.

Lu, Nelson C. “To Steal a Book is No Longer Such an Elegant Offense: The Impact of Recent Changes in Taiwanese Copyright Law.” Asian Law Journal, 1998. pp. 289 ff. HeinOnline.

Vynckier, Henk. “Museifying Formosa: George Mackay’s from Far Formosa.” Sinographies: Writing China, Eric Hayot, et al., U of Minnesota P, 2008, pp. 247-270.

Dissertations and Theses

Clart, Philip Arthur. “The Ritual Context of Morality Books: A Case Study of a Taiwanese Spirit-Writing Cult.” Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 58, no. 6, Dec. 1997.

Fu, Li-Chen (傅俐甄). “The study of Qing Dynasty Li Yu on intellectual property rights in publishing industry.” (清朝李漁在出版產業智慧財產權之研究). Master’s Thesis, Asia University, 2017.

Wang, Hui Hsuan (王蕙瑄). “A study on the historical development of publications of Taiwan children’s books (1945- 2016).” (臺灣童書出版發展史研究(1945~2016)) Doctoral Dissertation, National Taitung University, 2017.

Yu, Li-Wen (尤麗雯). “Contending in publishing industry: the individual study in Feng Menglong, a scholar in late Ming dynasty.” (爭鳴出版業 : 晚明文人馮夢龍的個案研究). Doctoral Dissertation, National Central University, 2017

See also the bibliographies on the Modern Chinese Literature and Culture site, particularly the list of sources on Taiwan.

Other Resources:

Books from Taiwan, an initiative from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, seeks to “introduce a select list of titles, ranging from fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and comics, to foreign publishers and readers alike.” In addition to information on books and authors, the site includes a list of Taiwanese publishers, and information on translation grants.

Camphor Press publishes English-language memoirs from the nineteenth and twentieth century, along with histories, travel writing and political writing about Taiwan.

Please feel free to suggest other entries about the history of the book in Taiwan, including all necessary citation information, using the contact form.

Historical Popular Sources:

“The History of Rare Chinese Books.” Taiwan Review [Free China Review at the time of this article’s publication.] 1 Apr. 1963.

Chinese-Language Sources that have been suggested to me include the following:

  • 晚清士人的西學閱讀史(1833~1898) [The History of Western Learning for Scholars in the Late Qing Dynasty (1833~1898)
  • Liao Wei-min (廖為民). 台灣禁書的故事 (The Story of Banned Books in Taiwan). 2017.
  • 江宝钗. “论台湾传统文人社群’行动力’的兴微与变迁-以台湾文社暨《台湾文艺丛志》为观察核心.” [On the Prosperity and Vicissitude of Taiwan’s Traditional Literati Community’s “Activity” – A Focus on Taiwanese Culture and Information Society and “Taiwan Literature and Art Collection”] Wen Xue Ping Lun/Literary Review, vol. 4, 2011, pp. 72-83.

Thank you to Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang, Associate Research Fellow of Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology, for contributing entries to this list.  

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