Committee on Korean Materials


Minutes of the meeting of March 25, 1998, Washington Hilton, Washington D.C.



Presenters: Yoon-Whan Choe, University of Washington, Seattle

Hyonggun Choi, University of Chicago

Yong Kyu Choo, University of California, Berkeley

Mikyung Kang, University of California, Los Angeles

Joy Kim, University of Southern California


Kyungmi Chun, Chair of the committee, called meeting to order at 7:00 pm. A short review of the agenda was followed by a word of welcome to the audience.



1.     Report on NITR (Name Index of Trial Records)


Yoon-Whan Choe reported on the NITR project which was launched in 1997 in an attempt to compile a comprehensive name index based on the reprint entitled, Ilche ha kongpan kirok charyojip [일제하 공판 기록 자료집]. The set of 385 volumes consists mainly of trial records of the Japanese court in Korea from late 1920s to 1944, including official summons, descriptions of defendants on trial and charges against them, as well as the actual court proceedings. Ms Choe explained how to search the Korean Name Index. She emphasized that only the McCune-Reischauer romanized forms are searchable. The result can be displayed in Korean and English along with other information such as record number, address, volumes and notes. Ms Choe noted that the index will be updated with case information to each record providing the capability of searching by trial case. The index is currently available on the Web. The URL for NITR is:



2.     Electronic Resources for Korean Studies


2.1. Rethinking CD-ROMs in East Asian setting


Hyonggun Choi shared his experience in housing a new format of library materials, CD-ROM. He found it advantageous when compared to other types of electronic media considering that a small number of CD-ROM could handle a great amount of information with speed. Moreover, data on a CD-ROM can not be erased accidentally by users. However, Mr. Choi pointed that the adoption of CD-ROMs in libraries created new concerns for libraries in terms of the need to provide more workstations with CD-ROM drives and ample space to install them adequately while the space in libraries is decreasing more and more. Mr. Choi identified three types of CD-ROMs, (1) collected works of writers, or the many editions of a specific work such as Ssu-ku-chuan-shu [四庫全書 ]and Choson Wangjo Sillok [조선왕조실록=Annals of the Chosun Dynasty]; (2) reference tools such as Kyemongsa tae paekkwa sajon [계명사 대백과 ]and Asuki Shuppans Ji-ten-ban [Asuki Publication's --]; (3) full-text journals on CD-ROM such as Yeju Images Korean academic journals and Maruzens Meiji kanko tosho micro ban shusei [丸善's 明治 刊行 圖書 micro 版 集成]. He concluded that librarians should participate in determining the standards for how information is published and presented in terms of both content and interface of CD-ROM products.



2.2. Korean Studies Resources on the WWW


Joy Kim introduced Internet resources on Korean studies compiled by her in joint efforts with Yong Pyo Hong, Hanyang University. The handout distributed by Ms Kim at her presentation gave further information about 44 major databases covering all kinds of Korean studies related subject areas in various type of databases from bibliographic indexes to full-text journals. Ms. Kim encouraged the audience to try out actual sites in the list to learn more about the possible usage of each different database. She explained how exciting an experience it was to find so many valuable resources available on the Web free of charge. Ms. Kim was requested to place her handout on the Committee's home page on CEAL's website by the audience.



2.3. Commercial Online Databases on Korean Studies in Korea


Mikyung Kang reported on major commercial online databases in Korea introducing her experience with Chollian, Hitel, Unitel and Nownuri (Nowcom). Services from these systems include, in most cases, internet services, web-hosting services, interest group support services such as group chatting, bulletin boards and newsgroups, as well as practical information on stock quotes, shopping, and much more. Ms. Kang summarized her overview of the issues related to the services she tested by dividing them into six categories:

1)     there are relatively few scholarly information resources

2)     freely accessible databases are on the increase

3)     controlling entertainment resources is difficult

4)     searching is inexpensive (or) rates for searching are low

5)     interfaces are often not user-friendly

6)     software environment is not standardized

She noted that we have access to a great variety of resources across the world, but if connections are attempted at bad times, use of these resource may be unworkable.


3.     Report on Korean Collections Consortium of North America


Yong Kyu Choo, chair of the Korean Collections Consortium, presented an activity report of the Korean Collections Consortium of North America for the year 1997. He announced that the University of Toronto became the latest new member of the Consortium, which is now made up of nine members-institutions. The homepage of Korean Collections Consortium, created and developed by Mr. Choo, has links to each individual member library for further information regarding the specialized subject areas of each member library. The URL is He reported also about the change in budget allocation for next year, the last contract year from Korea Foundation to the Consortium members, a consequence of the economic crisis in Korea. Providing US$10,000 twice over the next two years, 1998 and 1999, Korea Foundation will fulfill its commitment to the development of Korean cooperative collections in North America. In conclusion, Mr. Choo also reported on decisions made by members at the last meeting in Chicago about following items:


1.     North Korean materials: As there is only a very limited number of titles at this subject to be divided by the members, it was agreed that each institution will collect as much as they can.


2.     Annual report of KF (Korea Foundation) funded materials: Annually the list of titles purchased with KF funds is submitted by the Consortium members to the Foundation along with a financial report. For any recommendations of titles, it is acceptable to send suggestions to individual libraries in accordance with their specialized subject areas.



4.     Announcement


1.     Sonya Lee from the Library of Congress announced that the Korean Bibliography Databases, prepared by the Korean Section in LC, will be available on the Asian Division Homepage sometime this summer. Consisting of about 7,500 records of English-language books on Korea, the database is expected to make a valuable contribution to research in the field of Korean studies.


2.     Hyonggun Choi from the University of Chicago Library announced that a meeting of the CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) Initiatives for Korean collections will be held in the same room following the meeting of the Korean Materials Committee. The meeting will further discuss the proposal for the CIC Korean Collections Consortium Task Force, submitted in January to the CIC libraries during the ALA Mid-Winter Conference.


3.     Maureen Donovan, publisher/editor of Asian Database Online Community Electronic Newsletter announced that any comments, suggestions, and relevant contributions are always welcome.


Hyokyoung Lee / Notetaker