Archiving Local Memories: Sustainable Preservation of Local History and Cultural Innovation


Founded in 1956, Hsinchu County Dung-Hai Elementary School is located in the suburb region of Zhubei City and neighbors Qionglin Township. Students are admitted from Dunghai Village and Aikou Village, both of which are Hakka settlements. For over 60 years, the school has witnessed the development of the Zhubei region from farms and uncultivated land to the densely populated city of today.

Compared with new schools in the city center of Zhubei, Dung-Hai Elementary School is relatively small in size and possesses limited resources. Although the archive room of the school contains numerous artifacts of historical significance, plans to utilize this space and its remarkable artifacts are lacking. Moreover, the school is located on land expropriated by the government for urban development, necessitating the preservation of these artifacts.

Prof. Lieh-Shih Lo from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences has strived to preserve and promote Hakka culture in the Hsinchu region. Through the course Archived Memories–Service Learning (II) offered by the Department and successful promotion of the application of the digital cultural memory database and archive of Hsinchu County, Prof. Lo has assisted in preserving the artifacts of Dung-Hai Elementary School, which are now considered a crucial goal for the promotion of Hakka culture.

In the course, Prof. Lo leads students in the fields of humanities and social sciences to examine the development of local elementary schools in Zhubei in the historical context of the region. This in turn allows them to explore topics related to cultural preservation in the face of modernization. The students undertake service-learning through participation in artifact preservation tasks in the elementary school, thereby fostering skills in historical data collection, preservation, and digital archiving. The course content integrates the local history and culture of Hsinchu, cultural preservation topics associated with urban renewal and township development, collection of historical data, and practical methods for cultural preservation and digital archiving. The service-learning activities involve the revitalization of the archive room space, preliminary digitalization of artifacts and historical documentations, and report writing for the analysis of historical documents.

Through cultural preservation and promotion, students in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences have now formed a deeper bond with Hsinchu but are also fulfilling our social responsibility to preserve cultural artifacts through digital archiving, thereby achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11—Sustainable Cities and Communities, fostering resilient and sustainable community software power, and promoting community identity.


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