SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines was founded in 1994 as a specialist museum for the display of artefacts pertaining to the Taiwan indigenous peoples. Originally established on the basis of donations by its founder and Chairman, Safe C.F. Lin, the Museum has over the years developed into an organisation that seeks to celebrate, through research and preservation, the uniqueness of the Taiwan indigenous cultures.

In 2010, Mr Niki Alsford, at the Centre of Taiwan Studies, began researching, on behalf of the Museum, the archival collections of the Presbyterian Church of England (PCE), housed in the vaults of the School of Oriental and African Studies’ library. This collection is the largest in the UK and contains some of the earliest written histories of the Taiwan indigenous peoples in the English language.  Aside from the written documentary and visual evidence of culture, pre-Japanese ethnography, language, and architecture of the people, it also contains some of the earliest and rarest photographic records of the Presbyterian Mission and its activities in Taiwan from the 1860s through to the early 1940s.