Reader's Guide



When historian Robert Darnton wrote his seminal articles about academic e-publishing, he described a future of expanded monographs, books that contained materials inaccessible in traditional titles: documents, images, films, interactive maps, and music. But the internet is not just about connecting documents. It is also—and perhaps foremost—about connecting people. To that end this book implements a "commentary" feature by which readers can leave a message for future readers. We hope that this functionality will help point the way toward a future in which academic reading becomes an interactive process and the e-book becomes an i-book, a locus of interactivity.


To leave a comment, simply click on the "commentary" link in the masthead, which will lead to a short form. Comments are reviewed by Columbia University Press editors (to prevent the posting of inappropriate material) and then published within 24 hours of submission. They will appear as discreet links below each paragraph, marked, appropriately enough, "comment." Clicking on them will not only bring up the comment, but also provide an opportunity to append further comments.


Archival Sources


Much of the documentary evidence for this book comes from the Dutch East India Company (VOC) Collection of the National Archives of the Netherlands in The Hague. To save space I do not indicate these sources’ provenance each time I use them but instead identify them with the acronym VOC and then provide an archival index number and folio numbers (if applicable). I do, however, indicate the provenance for documents from other archives, such as the Arsip Nasional of Indonesia, the Archivo General de Indias, etc. Most convenient of all are the Chinese sources, many of which can be found online at the Academia Sinica’s Scripta Sinica (漢籍電子文獻), a superb collection of Chinese texts that includes a nearly complete run of the Taiwan wenxian congkan (臺灣文獻叢刊), as well as the Mingshi (新校本明史) and Qingshi (新校本清史稿) Web Link. All translations are my own unless otherwise indicated.




Pinyin is finally catching on in Taiwan, so I have decided to use it for romanizing Chinese terms, including Taiwanese place names, but I do make two exceptions. First, when a person is known primarily by a non-pinyin name or has a personal preference, I use the common or preferred romanization. Second, for many proper nouns that appear in European sources, I maintain original spellings because, in the case of place names, scholars are still debating modern-day equivalents and, in the case of personal names, it is extremely difficult to guess from Dutch or Spanish transliterations what the Chinese characters might have been.




There is one other issue of nomenclature that I wish to address at the outset. Some scholars today espouse the use of the capitalized term Aborigines to refer to the many and diverse Austronesian peoples who have inhabited Taiwan. I prefer, however, to maintain the use of aborigines as a value-neutral term meaning "original inhabitants" and reserve capitalization for specific ethnic designations, such as Favorolang, Sinkan, and Austronesian.




E-books are not subject to the editorial parsimony of traditional books, so I have been able to avoid EAS (Excessive Acronym Syndrome), which plagues many monographs. Nonetheless, a few abbreviations have crept in here and there. These are the most important:

AGI Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain
APSR Archivo de la Provincia del Santisimo Rosario, Avila, Spain, or Manila, Philippines
UST University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
VOC Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (United Dutch East India Company)

Other Reference Information


For weights, measures, and exchange rates, see Appendix A.

For a list of governors, governors-general, and missionaries, see Appendix B.

For an overview of Dutch Taiwan's economy, see Appendix C.

For a geographical orientation to Taiwan, see Appendix D and Reference Map of Taiwan.