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Inventories of the Collection

The collection of the National Palace Museum had experienced frequent movements prior to its reinstallation in Taipei; during the period it had also been subjected to several inventory checks. The earliest inventory count was taken by the Committee for the Disposition of Qing’s Imperial Possessions after Emperor Puyi (Qing’s last emperor) was asked to leave the palace. Years later, when selected treasures were sent to Shanghai for safekeeping, a thorough inventory count was taken between the years 1933 and 1937 under Director Ma Heng's administration. The results became the original inventory of the collection that was moved south, and were taken in later inventory count as an indispensable source of information for verifying the names of objects and their quantity and condition.

Director Fung Ming-Chu performed spot checks on artifacts from the Department of Painting and Calligraphy in January, 2013.
Director Fung Ming-Chu performed spot checks on artifacts from the Department of Painting and Calligraphy in January, 2013.

In 1951, a special committee was organized to oversee the inventory of the combined collections of the two museums, which were then stored in Peikou, Wufeng, Taichung. Scholars and experts were invited to serve as committee members, and were charged with the tasks of examining the collection and re-assigning crate numbers. The work was completed in 1954, and the results were compiled into many volumes. The set has since then served as the original documentation of the first inventory of the combined collections after their arrival in Taiwan.

 

Between 1989 and 1991 the National Palace Museum undertook yet another major inventory check of the collection. Formed by the Advisory Committee at the approval of the government, the task force, made up of over forty scholars and experts in the field, meticulously examined each and every object in the collection and checked its condition against the descriptions in the records of the two previous inventories. Considering that 35 years had passed since the last inventory listing, members of the staff also took the opportunity to attach a registration label to each object and examine its condition. Photographs of the entire collection were also taken to further enhance the management of the collection.

Starting in 2001, given the increasing number of additions to the collection over the years, the National Palace Museum, in addition to implementing a policy of randomly selecting works from the collection for verification and confirmation of the collection contents, has also begun a comprehensive count of the Museum's collection starting October 2008, so as to verify the records on file.

(Revised June 2011)

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