Newsletter No. 55 (January 2010)

Workshop report: The First Kyujanggak Workshop for Korean Studies Librarians from Overseas

Jung-Sim Kim

Korean Studies Librarian
Monash University



The 1st Kyujanggak Workshop for Korean Studies Librarians from Overseas was held at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University[1] , Korea on 24-28 August 2009. Eighteen Korean Studies Librarians attended the workshop from Australia, Canada, and the United States.

The workshop topics included Korean literature, sociology, religion, and history as well as some issues related to libraries.

The first day started with Opening ceremony.

The 1st session after Opening ceremony was about  Kyujanggak and the cultural history of books by Professor Jongmook Lee  (= 규장각과 책의 문화사 / 이종묵).
Kyujanggak was founded as the royal library in 1776 in the rear garden of Changdeokgung Palace by King Jeongjo and now the Kyujanggak collection has over 260,000 items[2] . Professor Lee gave all Workshop participants a copy of his newly published book entitled Kyujanggak and the Cultural History of Books. The book introduces and explains royal documents with many colourful images of old and rare books. This important new book only came on the market after the Workshop in September 2009.

All workshop attendees had a delicious lunch provided by the Korea Foundation[3] . The Korea Foundation introduced its roles and staff members for the overseas libraries. The Foundation also announced it would provide an English edition of its 20 DVD work on “Korean History”.

The 2nd session was about Korean literature by Professor Sungchang Park (= 한국근현대문학 특강 / 박성창). He gave us a lecture on Korean literature from 1920 to the present. There was a time for a Q&A and discussion. Some questions asked were:

  • Would you suggest any selection policy for works on Korean literature in overseas libraries? A) Consult the four major Korean literature journals. Selection should be based on reviews and public demand.
  • Are there any translated literature works for foreigners? A) Consult materials published by the Korea Literature Translation Institute.
  • University has wide ranges of research areas. Then, its library collects materials to support those researchers but some materials are not suitable to put into a collection due to not for the public. Is that still to purchase those kinds of literature works? A) Depends on the library rules but it would be good to collect those kinds of literature works from diversity or wide varieties aspects.  Those materials can go to closed access areas after purchasing.

The 3rd and last session of the first day of our workshop was about “Research on Colonial Censorship” by Professor Keun-sik Jung  (= 식민지 검열 연구와 자료 / 정근식).  Professor Jung mentioned that there was a Group for Research on Colonial Censorship formed in 2004. The group researches colonial censorship in both Korea and East Asia. In this session, he lectured mainly on censorship in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan during periods of Japanese colonialism.

The second day started with session 4.
The 4th session was on Korean Philosophy and Religion by Professor Dongshin Nam (=  한국 철학과 종교 / 남동신) . His lecture was a revision of his article “Korean Buddhism in medieval Korea = 한국 중세의 불교” which was published in Korea Journal. He also gave us printed useful references of Korean Buddhism information.

The 5th session was on Korean Culture and Science by Professor Jungyang Moon (= 한국 문화와 과학 / 문중양). He gave a lecture on the History of Korean Science. He gave as an example an article on ten remarkable things from Korea from DongA Daily Newspaper dated 1 January 1935.  He also stated that he would help those who would like to get the Journal of the Korean History of Science Society, which started to publish in 1979, for their library collection.

The 6th session was on Modern Korean history and International relations by Professor Taegyun Park (= 현대사와 국제관계 / 박태균). He provided information on Korean history-related sites and tips to find/get materials from those organisations.

The sessions of the third day focussed on librarians and future librarians as well as who were interested in the libraries area.

The 7th session was on Library of Congress Romanization by Mr Young-Ki Lee, Ms Elaine Hyo-jeong Kim. They presented on the revised Korean Romanization and Word Division. It was about the Library of Congress will continue to follow the McCune-Reischauer Romanisation System for Korean and revised document which included with exceptions provided at the session. The remarkable point raised at the session was the Korean diacritics of “alif (’)” and “ayn (‘)” will change to “apostrophe”.  Apostrophe is easy to use by users and cataloguers.

After a quick lunch, all of us visited the Seoul National University Library[4] and had a guided-tour and discussions. The Seoul National University Central Library has about 4 million volumes of books, about 7,000 titles of scholarly journals, over 25,000 titles of electronic journals, and about 194,000 titles of non-printed materials to support of research and academic activities of the University[5].

The 8th session was on Subject Librarians in academic libraries presented by Ms Kyungmi Chun from Stanford University, and Ms Soon-Yeong Hong from Seoul National University. They discussed the roles and environments of subject librarians. After both presentations, there was a discussion by panels on Subject Librarian issues.

The 9th session was on Libraries in North America by Professor Jung-Tae Choe. He used slides of various libraries which he visited. The issue was raised about publishing book which will describe major North American libraries.

The fourth day was started with attendance at the Opening ceremony for the Second Kyujanggak International Symposium on Korean Studies (27-28 August) at the Kyujanggak Auditorium followed by tour of the exhibition.  The theme was “Creating and Keeping Records in Korea”.

Here are some pictures from the exhibition.

Tablets in the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies’ Exhibition Hall

The Royal Funeral for the King of Joseon seen through the Uigwe (儀軌 = Manual)

Boinso Uigwe寶印所儀軌
Formality Manual of the Boinso office which was in charge of managing the royal seals

Heonjong Gukjang Dogam Uigwe 憲宗國葬都監儀軌 State Funeral Uigwe of King Heonjong

Onyang byeolgung jeondo  溫陽別宮全圖
Royal Residence in Onyang contained in the Yeonggoedae-gi (Account of the Zelkoba Pavilion)

The 10th session was about Working in Academic Libraries in North America by Hyoungbae Lee and Jee-Young Park. These two junior academic librarians provided tips about working in academic libraries. One of them mentioned Library courses for academic studies and the other presented information about internships, job searching, interviews, and working as a junior librarian. The audience was students and librarians from Korea.

The 11th session was E-resources on Korean Studies by Mr Jaeyoung Chang and Hana Kim. They were the members of the Task Force on Korean Online Database Price Negotiation Team based in North America. They presented the process and result and other information on subscription of the commercial e-Korean Studies databases for North America and Australia.

All participants of the Second Kyujanggak International Symposium on Korean Studies and the Korean studies librarians from overseas attended the welcome reception which was held at the Kyujanggak Terrace.

The fifth day was visiting the National Museum of Korea[6] , and the KERIS (Korea Education & Research Information Service)[7] .
We had a guided tour of the National Museum of Korea. I was happy to see workshop-related objects from the National Museum of Korea such as Korean bells compared with other Asian countries bells.

Korean Buddhist Bell

From KERIS, Ms Sooji Lee gave us a presentation on the Research Information Service System (RISS)[8] 2.0 collaborative scholarly communication network as well as information on RISS International database, followed by lunch at Jihwaja, where we had Korean traditional cuisine provided by KERIS.

The workshop was very useful and informative even though the workshop schedules were very tight. I can directly use the information that I received at the workshop to assist our users and researchers in Korean Studies.

I wish to express my appreciation to all of those at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University, who made this workshop possible and provided us with good care during our stay in Seoul, Korea. And many thanks to those presenters who shared library work-related information with us as well as KERIS, and the Korea Foundation.


[1] http://kyujanggak.snu.ac.kr/
More information (includes workshop pictures) on this workshop is from the Kyujanggak Tongsin (= Kyujanggak News) 2009. 10 (http://kyujanggak.snu.ac.kr/_Board/Newsletter.jsp)

[2] From the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (KIKS)’ history (http://kyujanggak.snu.ac.kr/kiks/main.do?m=01z04)

[5] From the Seoul National University Library Guide which we received from the Library tour




Page last updated: 31 December 2009
Please direct all enquiries to: Bick-har Yeung <bhy at unimelb.edu.au>
Webmaster: Ms Kyunghee Kim, NLA, Canberra, Australia, with the assistance of Dr Matthew Ciolek, ANU, Canberra, Australia
This web page is copyright. It may be linked to any other Web pages, but contents may not be altered.