ThakBong: Digitizing Taiwan's Tombstones for Teaching, Research and Documentation
What is ThakBong?
ThakBong is a digital archive of gravesites mainly in Taiwan. The archive however also includes gravesites in China and places where
Chinese settlers have moved to, e.g. Hong Kong, Hawaii, the US Mainland, England, The Netherland, France or Italy.
On 898 graveyard visits, we took 181.748 photos,
representing 47.142 tombs. The sampling of graveyards tries to
approximate ethnic and regional proportions of the census held 1956 in
Taiwan. The relation of sampling and census is shown in a number of graphs.
In Taiwan, tombstones older than 60 years are
getting rare or difficult to decipher. Factors responsible for this are
the urban development, social changes, the price for land,
religious practices, as well as climatic and geological conditions on the
island. As tombs are disappearing at
an astonishing pace, there exists the urgent need for documentation of
this part of Taiwan's cultural heritage.