Newsletter No. 48 (Dec. 2005)

Report on the Workshop for Overseas Librarians 2005 Seoul, Korea, 23-30 October 2005

Jung-Sim Kim
Monash University Library

I was invited to attend the 1st Workshop for Overseas Librarians 2005, which was organised by the Korea Foundation and the National Library of Korea and held at the Librarian Training Center, National Library of Korea from 23 to 30 Oct. 2005. The two sponsors supported all expenses within Korea including hotels, program expenses, venues and meals. I only had to pay my airfare to Korea. Participants from Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and United States attended the workshop.

The workshop covered the following topics:

Korean electronic databases
by Young Joon Nam, Professor of Chung-Ang University.

This session was about the major Korean full-text databases on the Internet as well as useful web sites. Sites listed in the handbook of the workshop include:
Korea Knowledge Portal (http://www.knowledge.go.kr)
National Digital Library (http://www.dlibrary.go.kr)
Korean History Data Integration System (http://kh2.koreanhistory.or.kr/index.jsp)
Korean Studies Information Co., Ltd. (http://www.kstudy.com/)
Choson Daily Newspaper Archive (http://srchdb1.chosun.com/pdf/i_archive)
KERIS Union Catalog (http://www.riss4u.net/)
Korea Institute of Science & Technology Information (KISTI) (http://www.kisti.re.kr) and other primary source databases.

Some other sites, not in the workshop handbook, include:
Hagwi Nonmun Wonmun Kongdong Iyong Hyobuihoe (http://thesis.or.kr/)
This site provides thesis information of almost 150 universities since June 2004. The site can only be opened by librarians not by users.
The Academy of Korean Studies (http://www.aks.ac.kr/)
Hanguk Hyangto Munhwa Chonja Taejon (http://www.grandculture.net/)

Some Korean search engines include:
Naver (http://www.naver.com/)
Google (http://www.google.co.kr/)
Simmany (http://www.chol.com/)
Simfile (http://simfile.chol.com/)

Visit to the National Library of Korea and Discussion with Librarians there
All delegates visited the National Library of Korea, which celebrates its 60th anniversary year this year. During the visit we met with a group of librarian from the National Library of Korea and had a question and answer session. One suggestion by our delegates is that the Korean Short Story Index and Contents Database be linked to English editions of Korean short stories. This should ease searching. It turned out that this has already been done for Table of Contents. However, due to copyright restrictions, only one-third of a book may be photocopied.

The other hot issue in the discussion related to opening the full-text databases of the National Library of Korea to inquiries from outside Korea. The representatives of the National Library of Korea replied that each foreign library must sign an agreement with the Korea Reprographic and Transmission Rights Center (KRTRC, http://www.copycle.or.kr). When a foreign library signs such an agreement, it can inform the National Library of Korea the library's official IP address and obtain a user ID. Then the foreign library can connect up to fifty users to use full-text databases of the National Library of Korea.

There were also discussions on such topics as gift procedure, Unicode conversion, romanisation, and word division.

Korean Copyright Law and Libraries
by HC Kim, Copyright Deliberation and Conciliation Committee
This session dealt with the history of Korean copyright law and gave case studies of copyright dispute. The session also discussed library exemptions within copyright law.

Trends in the Korean Studies Scholarly Community in Korea
by Kim Hyuk-Rae, Yonsei University
Professor Kim explained that the Korean Studies Community at Yonsei University has set a target to "Globalise Korean Studies". He discussed Korean studies in Europe and the United States which receive support from the Korea Foundation. Professor Kim also distributed a handout entitled "Visions of Governance for Korean Studies in the 21st Century".

Library Policy and International Relation Division, the National Library of Korea
The Library Policy and International Relation Division of the National Library of Korea was established in late 2004. Its role includes setting up strategies and policies for the library, cooperation with libraries inside and outside Korea, and organizing international events.

Media Department, the Korea Foundation
The Media Department distributes materials on Korea in Korean language as well as in other languages in book format and audio-visual format. The materials are distributed to major universities, public libraries and research institutions abroad.

Understanding of Korean Rare Books
by Guiwon Lee, Chief of Old and Rare Collection Division, the National Library of Korea
This session gave general information on several types of Korean rare books including Kwonjabon, Cholchoppon, Hojopjangbon, Pobaejangbon, and Sonjangbon. She also explained about the Kyemija writing style which is a national treasure in Korea. The Chikchi Simche Yojol (Jikji) is the first book in the world published using the metal printing method developed during the Koryo dynasty. Mugujonggwang Taedaranigyong is the oldest existing book printed on wooden printing in the world.

Some features of Korean old and rare books which distinguish them from Chinese and Japanese rare books include (1) Korean old and rare books use yellow paper and red string to bind with five holes, (2) the Korean books are large, (3) Most Korean books used metal printing, (4) Most Korean books used paper made from paper mulberry, which is durable strength and resistance of worm.

There were also several questions about the history of Korean manuscripts, the history of wooden and metal printing, the current status of reprints of Korean rare books, the digitization of Korean rare books and priorities in digitization. She replied that some 96,000 volumes of rare books have already been digitized in the National Library of Korea. Priority has been given to pre-1659 old and rare materials.

Cataloguing of Korean Rare Books
by Hye-Eun Lee, Classics Specialist of Old and Rare Collection Division, the National Library of Korea
Using her PowerPoint presentation, "Old Book Collection in the National Library of Korea", Ms Lee gave us cataloguing tips for Korean rare books including identifying author, title, publication, physical description and general note information. The rare items at the National Library of Korea are usually kept on shelves or in a box made of paulownia wood.

Publishing Trends of Scholarly Books in Korea
by Kyung-Hee Kim, President of Jisik-sanup Publications
Mr Kim stressed the history of Korean publishing starting with the Choson Kwangmunhoe which published about twenty books in 1910. He discussed publications of various associations or publishers since then.

The whole workshop spent a night and next day visiting Andong, a city southeast of Seoul.

Nongam Chongtaek in Andong
We visited the house of Yi Hyon-bo (1467-1555), who wrote under the pen name of Nongam. Nongam is a famous historical figure who turned away from power and wealth and headed to the countryside. We spent the night in the house and experienced the traditional Korean-style home as well as heard stories about Korean history and culture and about Nongam by Dr. Yi Song-won, a direct descendant of Nongam.

Guided tour to Tosan Sowon (Dosan Seowon), Pyongsan Sowon (Byeongsan Seowon), Andong Korean Traditional Paper, and Hahoe Village in Andong
A one day tour to sample the architecture and culture of a traditional Korean village. Tosan Sowon was started by the Confucian scholar Yi Hwang (1501-1570, also known as Toegye) to teach his disciples. After his death, his disciples established the Tosan Sowon to commemorate his lofty virtue. The tour was especially interesting from an architectural point of view. For example, the form of the classroom building was in the shape of the Chinese character for "study".

We also had the opportunity to make the Korean traditional paper "Hanji" with paper mulberry when we visited the Andong Korean Traditional Paper factory. At Hahoe Village, we learned local history and culture, especially the Hahoe Mask Dance.

Korean Studies Advancement Center in Andong
This Center preserves endangered materials owned privately rather than by government. It also copies books and constructs databases of materials which have very high academic value. We visited the Exhibition Halls for Confucian Culture and for the World of Traditional Document Culture and also watched a film of the Korean Studies Advancement Center. We then saw a place which stores more than one hundred twenty thousand ancient books and other documents.

The Kyujanggak Archives, Seoul National University
The Kyujanggak Archives is a subsidiary of Seoul National University, which is responsible for the preservation and dissemination of its holdings, mostly inherited from Kyujanggak and other government institutions of the Choson dynasty. The Archives also offers the usual library services for users. The holdings are classified into two categories: (1) books collected or published by the government as references for governance and (2) official records and documents produced by Kyujanggak and other central government offices. We divided into two groups and visited the restricted Book Stack to see some valuable items and listen from the staff of the Kyujanggak Archives on its history and features. Then we all moved to the Exhibition Hall to look at valuable items on display.

Korea Education and Research Information Service
KERIS operates the e-Learning system, the National Teaching and Learning Center, Research Information Service System (RISS) and support for the digitalization of universities and life-long education. We learned about KERIS through Video on Demand. They also provided the PowerPoint presentation on RISS, union catalogue of the KERIS's UNICAT, Web Based Inter Library Loan System (WILL), and dCollection (Digital Collection). Monash University Library users often use the RISS4U for finding full-text articles which they can get free of charge. It was really good to understand the KERIS function and roles.

National Museum of Korea
The new location of the National Museum, which has a huge area opened on 28th October 2005. We could not explore all areas of the Museum, but I was happy to look around the Koryo Celadon exhibition hall and paintings. Their Web site is http://www.museum.go.kr

Changdok Palace
This Palace was built in 1405 during the reign of the Choson dynasty's King Taejong. It is now a world heritage site in Korea. Changdokkung (Changdok Palace) is open for guided group tours only. I had not had a chance to visit the Palace before. Our recent Monash University Library exhibition, entitled 'Asia - East and Southeast' displays the book entitled "Changdokkung kwa Changgyonggung" with the reprinted fold-out aerial map "Tonggwolto". I was very happy to explore this historical site.

Chonggyechon (Cheonggyecheon)
The Chonggyechon opened to the public on 1 October 2005. It was called as "Kaechon" during Choson dynasty. It was change its name as "Chonggyechon" during the Japanese Occupation period. The Web site is http://english.seoul.go.kr/cheonggye/
We walked across the stepping-stones in the Chonggyechon and enjoyed fresh air from around Chonggyechon.

Around the workshop, there were several discussions and the preparation of a formal response to a proposed draft on the Korean romanization and word division revision. The draft was by Mr. Young Ki Lee and Ms. Elaine Kim from the Library of Congress (LC). These discussions provided a good chance to discuss and prepare a formal response by the participants of the project team within the Committee on Korean Materials though the discussions were outside the formal Workshop program. The group efforts to improve our cataloguing rules should help our work.

Through the workshop, I have gained valuable information on Korean studies trends in Korea and also obtained an opportunity to build my expertise in arranging and managing materials on Korean studies for the Monash University Library. Though the workshop schedule was quite tight I received much valuable information which should enhance my work considerably.

I deeply appreciate the people of each organization who ran the workshop. I especially thank Ms Myong-ran Chang, National Library of Korea, and Ms Soonji Kwon, Korea Foundation, for leading us every day during the workshop. Special thanks to Tae Geun Kim, the director of the National Library of Korea, and Kim Hyeh-won, Executive Vice President of the Korea Foundation, for making this workshop possible. Thanks also to everyone involved in the workshop for showing us great hospitality.

I also thank the Monash University Library for giving me conference leave to attend the workshop.

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