Committee on Korean Materials

Annual Program
1:40-3:30 PM, March 9, 2000
Pacific Salon III, Town & Country Hotel and Resort Convention Center
San Diego, California


Joy Kim, Chair, opened the meeting at 1:40 PM with a brief introduction of committee members: Kyungmi Chun, Mikyung Kang, Hyokyoung Lee, and Yunah Sung. First time attendees to the committee meeting introduced themselves and received a warm welcome. Joy Kim circulated a proposed subjects list for cooperative Internet subject guides, and asked volunteers to please sign up for a subject or two. She announced that the Committee is considering offering a Workshop on Korean Studies Librarianship in conjunction with the 2001 CEAL meeting in Chicago.


Korean Studies in North America 1977-1996: a Bibliometric Study
Kyungmi Chun, University of Hawaii

Kyungmi Chun presented findings from her research on the descriptive bibliometric study of the literature of the field of Korean studies. Its goal is to quantitatively describe the literature and serve as a model for such research in other fields of area studies. This study analyzed 193 source articles and 7,166 citations in the articles in four representative Korean and Asian studies journals published in North America from 1977 to 1996. The journals included in this study were Korean Studies (KS), the Journal of Korean Studies (JKS), the Journal of Asian Studies (JAS), and the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (HJAS). Subject matter and author characteristics of the source articles were examined, along with various characteristics such as the form, date, language, country of origin, subject, key authors, and key titles of the literature cited in the source articles.

Kyungmi Chun summarized major findings of her research, as follows:

She concluded that Korean studies is still evolving and some ways of promoting research in less studied disciplines and of facilitating formal communication between Korean scholars in Korea and Koreanists in North America need to be sought in order to promote well-balanced development in the field. She suggested that as many and as great a variety of titles in all formats as possible need to be collected to support research in Korean studies.



1.   Korean Collections Consortium of North America
      Hyokyoung Lee, Columbia University

Hyokyoung Lee reported that the renewal application of the Korean Collections Consortium of North America grant (a cooperative collection development program) was successful. Each of the nine members of the Consortium will receive $20,000 annually for the next five years, starting with the fiscal year of 2000-2001. Ms Lee gave special thanks to Mr. Hyonggun Choi, previous Chair of the Consortium, for his hard work to finalize the renewal proposal, as well as other members who actively contributed ideas and suggestions to make the proposal more concrete and successful. The renewal of the grant will allow the Consortium members to continue to develop specialized collections in their assigned subject areas and to share the resources with other libraries through free interlibrary-loan programs.


2.   Korean Library Association Conference
      Hyokyoung Lee, Columbia University

Hyokyoung Lee reported on the 37th annual conference of the Korean Library Association (KLA), held at the Mudung Park Hotel in Kwangju, Korea from Sept. 16 through 18, 1999. The theme was "Library, as a foundation of Knowledge and Information Society." The overall conference consisted of workshops by vendors on library resources, seminars, presentation of papers, exhibitions, etc. Topics covered included the library and the Internet, school librarianship, public librarianship, and training and education of librarians.

There was a round table discussion on Korean materials in North America (the first such program on this topic), to which Hyokyoung Lee of Columbia University and Joy Kim of the University of Southern California were invited. Hyokyoung Lee presented her paper entitled "Cooperative Collection Development Between Korean Libraries in North America; with the Case of Korean Collections Consortium". Joy Kim’s talk was entitled "Korean Studies Librarianship in the United States: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Directions." Based on the enthusiastic responses, it was obvious that the audience had keen interest in the topic of Korean collections overseas and the possibility of international cooperation. Hyokyoung Lee hoped that this relationship would continue in the future between the two geographies.

The papers are available from "Chuje Palp'yo Nonmunjip", published by the Korean Library Association.


   3. Visit to Centers for Korean Women’s Studies
      Yoon-whan Choe, University of Washington

Yoon-whan Choe reported on her visits to Korean Women’s Studies centers in Seoul, Korea in Oct. 1999. There are around 18 university affiliated centers (14 universities) and 2 national agencies, which publish journals devoted to Korean Women’s Studies, and the number is growing with the increasing awareness of educators, politicians, and the general public. Of these, she visited the following centers:

  1. Ewha Women’s University
  2. Asian Center for Women’s Studies
  3. Korean Women’s Institute
  4. Korean Women’s Development Institute
  5. Myongji University
  6. Seoul Women’s University
  7. Sookmyung Women’s University
  8. Research Institute of Asian Women

The Asian Center for Women’s Studies of Ewha Women’s University publishes the Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (quarterly, in English) and The Korean Women’s Institute at the same university publishes Yosonghak nonjip (Women’s Studies Review, annual). In addition to these two centers, The Institute for Women’s Theological Studies at Ewha publishes Feminist Theology Review.

The Korean Women’s Development Institute, a government research institute devoted to the welfare of Korean women, publishes Yosong Yon’gu (Women’s studies, semiannual in Korean), Women’s Studies Forum (in English, annual), and Korean Women Today (a quarterly newsletter in English). It also publishes various research papers, and produces multi-media materials to educate Korean women in improving women’s life and status in Korean society.

Myongji University’s Institute of Woman and Family Life approaches women’s studies by focusing on improved family life as the core of well being for Korean women in general. The institute publishes Yosong Kajok Saenghwal Yon’gu Nonchong (Journal of Women’s Studies, annual).

The Women’s Studies Institute at Seoul Women’s University publishes Yosong Yon’gu Nonch`ong (Journal of Women’s Studies, annual). The Institute established a center for Korean women authors recently, with the goal of collecting and preserving works by Korean women authors and making these materials available for researchers.

Sookmyung Women’s University has two centers: the Research Institute of Asian Women, which publishes Asea Yosong Yon’gu (Journal of Asian Women, annual), and the Asian Pacific Women’s Information Network Center. Established in 1996, the latter promotes women-related communication technologies in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to these centers, a Presidential Commission on Women’s Affairs was established in 1998 to promote the status of Korean women, to protect their rights, and to emphasize a positive attitude toward developing the abilities of Korean women.

Yoon-whan Choe noted some difficulties of getting journals published by these centers. Most of these journals are not for sale, and personal contact is an important means for acquisitions. However, the high turnover rate among directors and research members make it difficult to maintain steady relationships with these centers.

Yoon-whan Choe concluded her report by saying that researchers and the public in Korea are paying increasing attention to the well-being of Korean women and are trying to improve their quality of life. As more and more Koreans recognize the dignity of women, efforts are being made to educate the public on issues of women’s rights.


4.   University Publications and Dissertations On the Web: Implications for Collection Development
      Joy Kim, University of Southern California

During her visit to Korea in September 1999, one of the things Joy Kim wanted to do was to see how Korean libraries were building their digital libraries and what kind of commercial databases were available and popular among Korean academic libraries. She learned that more and more university publications and dissertations were being put on university homepages in full text. She predicted that, as retrospective materials will be added as time goes by, most major university publications and dissertations will be accessible via the Web within the next few years. In addition, hundreds of other full-text journals, either commercial or scholarly, were being made available through commercial vendors at a rapid rate. Not only journals, but also many of the Korean classics, in full-text, have been converted with enhancements. Joy said that this has significant implications for collection development, because dissertations, university journals, and other non-commercial scholarly journals have been one of the more challenging areas of Korean acquisitions in this country. From all indications, physical acquisition of these types of materials will most likely become a non-issue within the next few years. Since more and more of them are becoming available on the Web, good indexes for locating citations are needed and even the indexes are freely available on the Internet.

She emphasized that developing short- and long-term collection development strategies that are

time-sensitive is more crucial than ever in this time of rapid change and limited acquisitions resources. She proposed that the Koreans studies community in this country approach the vendors collectively for commercial databases with very high price tags.


5.   Cooperative Purchase of Korean Databases: a UC experience
      Mikyung Kang, UCLA

Mikyung Kang briefly reported on her efforts to promote joint purchases of Korean digital resources among five libraries (UCLA, UCB, UCI, UCSD, and USC). Mikyung initially proposed the idea of joint purchasing of Korean commercial databases (mostly historical sources and journal back issues in social sciences and the humanities) at the East Asian Academic Libraries of California annual meeting at USC in 1998 and discussed it with Joy Kim of USC and Bill Wong of UC Irvine. During her trip to Korea in September 1998, Mikyung met with database producers/vendors in Korea to discuss the possibility. She received positive responses from three major companies; Seoul Systems, Nuri Media, and Yeju Image. All three suggested purchase of the network version of their databases at double the rate of the personal version, reasoning that if shared by four or five members, savings to each institution would still be substantial. However, the whole process of joint purchasing and sharing did not go as smoothly as she hoped, due to technical and other campus-specific difficulties. At the end, only UCLA and UCSD shared the cost for the single version of the CD ROM "Koryosa (The History of Koryo)".


A Quantitative Analysis of Publishing Trends in Korea : Focused on Commercially Available Korean Studies Scholarly Materials
Mikyung Kang, UCLA

Mikyung Kang presented findings from her research on quantitative analysis of scholarly publishing trends in Korea, focusing on Korean studies scholarly publications. Her research was based on Korean studies scholarly publications from 1989 to 1998, listed in Han’guk Ch`ulp`an Yon’gam: Mongnokp`yon (Korean Publication Yearbook) which contains lists of specimen copies submitted to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Korea. The following types of publications were included for analysis: scholarly monographs, original works in Korean including both Hangul and Hanmun, primary and secondary sources, basic reference sources, reprints of primary sources, and collected literary works. Excluded were translated works, non-Korean language materials, textbooks, CD-Rom titles or other digital resources, serials, and popular literary works. Since Han’guk Ch`ulp`an Yon’gam covers only 60-70% of all the publications in Korea, her research was somewhat limited. There were other limitations due to frequent changes of law and policy on the submission of specimen copies.

Selected categories of this research are general works, philosophy, religion, social science, art, language, literature, and history. According to Korean studies scholarly publications, there were 720 titles published in 1989 compared to 1,600 titles in 1998, with an annual average growth rate of 10.1%. Among selected categories, publications in economics show rapid growth, even more distinguishable after the IMF crisis. It reflects current strong interest in social sciences. More titles have been published in modern literature than in classical literature. The statistics show an increase in the number of reference tools, such as indexes, bibliographies, and dictionaries. One interesting finding is the tendency toward the popularization of scholarly publications. Aiming to appeal to a wider population, these publications are commercially viable, which also means that the scholarly quality might suffer.

In order to improve the Korean publishing industry, Mikyung Kang offered the following comments:



1.   Korean Studies Support Programs of the Korea Foundation
      Keum-jin Yoon, The Korea Foundation

Ms Keum-jin Yoon, Director of the Korean Studies Support Team, introduced Ms Hyang-joo Park, a new Program Officer of the Publication & Translation Program Team at the Korea Foundation. The Korean Studies Support Team is responsible for the support of Korean studies programs overseas, an area that has always been a key priority of the Foundation. The Publication & Translation Program Team publishes and oversees the publication of periodicals and monographs on Korea. The team also provides support for the publication of books on Korea in foreign languages and distributes books and audio-visual materials related to Korean studies to major universities, public libraries and research institutions abroad. Hyang-joo Park’s email address is For further information regarding the program, Ms Yoon encouraged the audience to visit the Korea Foundation’s booth at the exhibit, or the Web page at


2.   Library of Congress Classification of Kanbun and Hanmun Writings
      Philip Melzer, Library of Congress

Philip Melzer announced that the Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) had approved the recommendation that Japanese and Korean literature classed in AC, PL, and Z written solely in Chinese characters by Japanese and Korean authors will no longer class with Chinese literature, but with Japanese and Korean literature. He mentioned that this change has the support of LC's Asian Division and CPSO is working closely with staff specialists in the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division, to work out the details resulting from this change.

He pointed out that in addition to adding instruction notes/references to appropriate areas in the LC classification schedules, some of the following issues will be addressed:

  1. Whether to create separate classification numbers for collections/history and criticism of Kanbun and Hanmun written by Japanese and Korean authors in PL or to disregard the solely Chinese character nature of these literary writings and class poetry collections together by time period.

  2. To create unambiguous subject headings for this literature.

  3. To agree on ways to bring out time period and place.

  4. To discuss file maintenance issues.


3.   Support Programs of the Korea Research Foundation
      Joy Kim, USC

Joy Kim said that the Korean Research Foundation has programs that may help North American libraries. The following grants support international joint studies and other types of academic cooperation including libraries.

      These grants provide support to visiting professors and researchers from overseas in the introduction of advanced knowledge and technology from other countries. Those selected are provided with airfare and living expenses during their six-month to one-year stay.

      These grants are intended to promote overseas Korean studies. Funds are provided for expanding Korean studies programs in academic institutions, training Korean studies specialists, and improving an understanding of Korea.

      These grants are available to dispatch Korean scholars to overseas universities to teach in their areas of expertise and foster interest in Korean Studies. Those selected are provided with airfare and living expenses during their one-year stay.

      Grants are available for Korean studies conferences and seminars held abroad. These awards are made in order to create interest in Korean studies and bolster its academic grounding for the globalization of various fields related to Korea.

More information can be obtained from the Web page:, or from Dr. Hee Won Yoon (Email: 02-3460-5601, 5602/Fax: 02-3460-5578)

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM.

Recorder: Yunah Sung, Cleveland Museum of Art