This guidebook, titled An Overview of the National Palace Museum and written and edited exclusively by National Palace Museum (NPM) researchers, is the first NPM guidebook edited and published in Japanese over the past nearly 10 years; and the first guidebook that simultaneously introduces the artifact masterpieces, landscapes, and history of the NPM Northern and Southern Branches. The goal is to present, through this skillfully designed portable book, NPM’s history, artifact collection, and exhibitions to old and new NPM visitors, providing them with friendly services and visit-related information.
This guidebook comprises four chapters, which are “Towards Modern Times: A Brief History of the National Palace Museum” (Chapter 1), “The Collection of Precious Artifact Masterpieces” (Chapter 2), “Friendly Services to Young and Old Visitors Alike” (Chapter 3), and “Vast and Mesmerizing Architectural Landscapes” (Chapter 4). Chapter 1 begins with the history of the NPM including the relocation of NPM artifacts, the construction of various NPM buildings, and NPM Northern and Southern Branch expansions, revealing the journey of the NPM as it transformed from a palace museum to a modern international museum. Chapter 2 showcases selected artifacts and exhibitions, where 86 of the NPM’s nearly 700,000 artifacts are put on display. These artifacts include the most popular artifacts, national treasures that have rarely been exhibited, and exciting new artifacts accepted into the NPM’s collection. These artifacts are classified under different categories such as ceramics, bronzes, jades, curios, paintings, calligraphy, rare books and historical documents, files, maps, religious art, and textiles. Additionally, permanent and themed exhibitions are introduced, allowing readers to use relevant information to plan their visiting routes. Chapter 3 discloses NPM’s efforts in recent years in preserving and restoring artifacts, promoting education, marketing cultural and creative merchandise, and integrating digital technology to let different visitor groups learn about NPM artifacts in-depth. Chapter 4 displays the surrounding landscapes of the NPM Northern and Southern Branches such as classical gardens in the NPM Northern Branch and magnificent buildings in the NPM Southern Branch. Both the NPM Northern and Southern Branches are worth a visit; easy-to-access transport and visit-related information can be found inside the guidebook.