■ Taiwan Colonial
Statistics Database
■ TaDELS Legal
Archive Database
■ TaDELS Legal
Image Database
■ Legal Audiovisual
Archives Database
■ Law and Social
Change Survey Database
TaDELS Legal Archive Database


The intimate relationship between law and life manifests itself in every detail of our daily activities—often in documentary form.  Take for instance: birth certificates, death certificates, and other document establishing personhood; marriage registration certificates, matrimonial property agreements, separation agreements, divorce papers, joint-custody agreements, adoption contracts, wills, and other documents concerning kinship and family relations; the standard contracts; different texts related to personal safety such as safety warning signs, product instructions and warning labels. 

Everyday activities as disparate as purchasing a subway ticket on the way to work and buying a house are similarly inseparable from legal norms.  The written documents they leave behind, though not necessarily comprehensible to lay people, record each party’s respective rights and obligations.  They serve to delineate rights and obligations, convey legal information, and distribute risk.  They furthermore represent crucial sources of data for studying how the law-society relationship plays out in the evolution and application of specific legal norms and legal relationships.  A broad-reaching and diverse sample of documents would provide each area of legal specialization with the basic materials for conducting empirical research, as well as function to preserve important historical materials for posterity.  Because legal documents are relevant to many specialized fields, there is no way to accomplish research goals in a short amount of time.  The comprehensive and constructive collection of materials requires collaboration among researchers from many fields on a long-term basis.

Thus, the Legal Archive Database project collects files from a variety of significant 20th century human rights incidents, as well as legal and law-related documents—contracts, agreements, certificates, announcements, etc.—actually used by Taiwanese people from varied social milieux over the decades.

The Legal Archive Database contains data of three main categories: Important Human Rights Incidents Archive, Legal Documents Archive, and Special Legal Issues Archive. The “Important Human Rights Incidents Archive” consists of significant and representative cases of human rights in Taiwan across the fields of politics, judicial proceedings, gender, environment, ethnic groups, education, medical treatment, labor, economic welfare, and disable people. For example, it includes verdicts, notes and other judicial proceeding documents of Formosa Incident and documents from civil and criminal trials related to the PCB Mass Poisoning Incident. The “Legal Documents Archive” collects legal documents that people encounter in their daily lives, such as contracts, notice, certificate, etc.. It is divided into eight categories : (1) Personal Safety ; (2) Personal Status; (3) Sale and Lease; (4) Financial and Insurance; (5) Employment (6) Dispute Resolution; (7) Government Promotion on Laws and Regulations (8) Miscellaneous. “ Special Legal Issues Archive” aims to catalog and archive some significant texts and documents that cannot be categorized either into “Important Human Rights Incidents Archive” or “Legal Documents Archive” without being arbitrary. For illustration, it includes images, illustrations in the textbooks of primary school, which are related to the idea of law and order, under the period of KMT rule.
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