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Major Holdings in the Jangseogak Collection
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 UNESCO Memory of the World
 
     Uigwe: The Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty

The Uigwe is a collection of records documenting procedures and proceedings of state ceremonies and rituals of the royal house held during the Joseon Dynasty. These records, in beautiful bindings, are written in attractive calligraphy, accompanied by color drawings, and are considered the crown jewels of the documentary heritage from Joseon.


Gyeongmogung uigwe (The Royal Protocols of Gyeongmogung Shrine), 1777-1800, handwritten manuscript
A series of uigwe records documenting protocols observed during rituals held in Gyeongmogung, a shrine dedicated to the memory of Prince Sado, during the reign of King Jeongjo.
 
     Donguibogam (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine)

Donguibogam (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine) was a medical work published in 1613 (the 5th year of King Gwanghaegun’s reign), at the order of the king. A vast compendium of extracts from various medical literature from this and earlier periods, the original edition of Donguibogam consists of twenty-five woodblock print books. Donguibogam was re-published in Japan and China, during the 18th century and thereafter. A copy of Donguibogam in Hangeul has survived to the present as well.

 
 Other Rare Ancient Books and Records
 
Jangseogak’s collection has been significantly expanded in recent decades, with other books belonging to Joseon’s royal house that were previously held in Bongmodang and Bogak of Changgyeonggung Palace, added to the original collection of the Iwangjik Library. A large series of royal house-related records from Nakseonjae, the Seven Large Palaces, Jongmyo Shrine and other royal shrines have also been integrated into the Jangseogak collection, further increasing its size and variety. The ancient documents in the collection of Jangseogak range from genealogical records of Joseon’s royal house to writings and calligraphies by kings and crown princes, uigwe records and other various registries including royal household records, diaries, epigraphic rubbings, records from military camps, geographic literature and records kept by Iwangjik.
 
     Royal Genealogy of the Joseon Dynasty
The genealogical records of Joseon’s royal house are the main reference for the identification of the lineages of its kings and queens and their relatives, and the reconstruction of their family trees. Currently, 1,256 books on the genealogy of the Joseon Dynasty are in the collection of Jangseogak, including Seonwollok (Record of the Wellspring of Fine Jade) and the sole extant copy of Donnyeong bocheop (Royal Genealogy of the Joseon Dynasty).
Seonwon gyebo giryak (Royal Genealogy of the Joseon Dynasty), 1882-1897, Jongbusi (Office of the Clan Register) edition, handwritten manuscript: genealogical records of Joseon rulers from King Taejo to King Sunjong, including King Taejo’s fourth to first-generation ancestors. 

     Writings and Calligraphies by Kings
These writings and calligraphies offer intimate glimpses into the learning and scholarship of the past rulers of Joseon, and their literary and calligraphic taste.
Yeolseongeopil(Handwritings of Past Kings), 1722-1723, Gyoseogan (Office of Editorial Review) edition, rubbings
An album of handwritings by eleven Joseon rulers, including King Munjong, King Sejo and King Sukjong.

 
     Geographic and Cartographic Materials
Geographic literature such as records of graveyard of Joseon’s royal house and administrative maps of its towns and provinces in the Jangseogak collection are important primary source materials for understanding geographic knowledge and cartographic expertise available in historical times.
Woljungdo (Map of Town of Yeongwol), 1796 or thereafter, color map with handwritten legends
A pictorial map of Yeongwol in Gangwon-do, featuring places associated with Danjong, the deposed king of Joseon who was banished to a life in exile there.  


     Classical Novels in Hangeul
Classical novels in Hangeul, previously housed in Nakseonjae inside Changgyeonggung Palace, were the favorite narrative genre among royal ladies. They often have a beautiful binding and are written in fine calligraphy.
Nakseongbiryong (The Falling Star and the Flying Dragon), unknown period, handwritten manuscript
A classical novel telling the epic account of the life of a Chinese hero, written in typical palace-style Hangeul calligraphy.

     Royal Household Records
Most of the household records and documents from the later part of the Joseon Dynasty have survived in single copies, and the vast majority of them are in the Jangseogak collection. These documents offer precious information on the lifestyle, customs and practices within royal palaces of late Joseon.
Imogaryesi bingungmama uidaebalgi (List of Bridal Garments Worn by the Crown Princess during the Wedding Ceremony in the Imo Year), 1882, handwritten manuscript
This document provides the list of garments worn by the bride of the Crown Prince of Gojong (Sunjong) during her wedding ceremony.


     Records from the Great Han Empire Period

Various documents produced within the royal palace during the Great Han Empire period, providing insights into ceremonial customs, military administration, diplomacy, trade and commerce, and other state affairs and institutions.
Daehan yejeon (Protocol Book of Great Han Empire) 1894-1906, handwritten manuscript
A book of protocols updating protocols relating to the monarch and his government, in a manner suitable for the new imperial status proclaimed for Korea, now renamed “Korean Empire.”

 
     Zhizheng tiaoge (Code of the Yuan Dynasty)


A code of law created in Yuan China, during the reign of Emperor Zhizheng. The code of law arrived in Korea during late the Goryeo period and was used, during the Joseon Dynasty, as a reference in legislative activities and diplomatic affairs. The copy in the collection of Jangseogak is currently the only surviving copy of this code of law worldwide, and was discovered among the old family documents of the head house of the Gyeongju Son Clan.
 

     Isipgongsin hoemaengchuk (Covenants of Twenty Meritorious Subjects)

This document contains the names of all those that were awarded the title “meritorious subject” during the Joseon Dynasty, over the twenty occasions since the bestowal of the title “meritorious subject having contributed to the founding of the dynasty” in the early years following the birth of this dynasty, as well as those of their descendants, along with the text of their covenants. The document was drafted in 1644, on the occasion of the banquet recognizing the accomplishments of “Yeongguk Gongsin,” those meritorious subjects designated for their contributions to Jungjong’s accession to the throne.

 
     Yi Chung-won gongsin hwasang (Portrait of Yi Chung-won Created on the Occasion of His Designation 
         as “Hoseong Gongsin” )


Yi Chung-won (1537-1605), a scholar-official of mid-Joseon, was bestowed the title “Hoseong Gongsin (Meritorious Subject Who Escorted the Monarch)” for escorting King Seonjo to safety during the Japanese Invasion of 1592. This portrait of him was painted to commemorate this occasion.

 
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