Jangseogak Archives

장서각

The Jangseogak Archives is an archive and research institute that collects and manages invaluable historical materials treasured by private collectors as well as by the royal family of Joseon.

The collection of the Jangseogak Archives consists of about 120,000 books held in the royal palaces of Joseon and about 180,000 pieces of historical records from across the country.

The historical literary works in the Jangseogak Archives were nearly lost during the era of Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953), but were spared such a tragic fate. Consequently, it grew into Korea’s leading institution for the collection and research of historical Korean literature.

The materials stored in the Jangseogak Archives includes invaluable treasures such as the original editions of the Donguibogam (Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine) and various Uigews (Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty), which are artifacts officially recognized by UNESCO Memory of the World Program.

The staffs at the Jangseogak Archives contribute to maintaining an essential database of Korean Studies by arranging, conserving, computerizing, translating, annotating and researching sources in the Jangseogak collection. Anyone can view these historical documents of the Jangseogak Archives through the Digital Jangseogak website, and the Archives of Old Korean Documents websites.

Chronology

  • 1908. Emperor Gojong relocates materials from the Gyujanggak (Joseon Royal Archives), Hongmungwan (Office of Advancement of Literature), Jibokjae (Hall of Treasures), Chunbang (Tutorial Office for the Crown Prince) and other royal institutions to Insugwan (Hall of Benevolance and Propserity) in an effort to renew the function of the imperial library.
  • 1909. Catalogue of Books in the Imperial Household (Jesil doseo mongnok) is published.
  • 1911. The Jeoksangsan repository edition of The Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty (Joseon Wangjo Sillok) is acquired.
  • 1914. Various records (deungnok) of the Miilitary Division are acquired.
  • 1915. A new library building is completed, located behind Myeongjeongjeon Hall in Changgyeonggung Palace.
  • 1929. Records of the Yeongyeongdang Military Division are acquired.
  • 1936. The Jangseogak is relocated to Changgyeonggung Palace.
  • 1950. The Jeoksangsan repository edition of The Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty (Joseon Wangjo Sillok) is taken by North Korea and moved to Pyeongyang during the Korean War. The Hangeul novels collected in Nakseonjae Hall are moved to the Jangseogak.
  • 1964. Written materials stored in the Seven Royal Shrines (Chilgung) are collected.
  • 1969. Written materials stored in Bongmodang Hall and Bogak Halls are relocated to the Jangseogak.
  • 1970. Written materials stored in the Jongmyo Shrine and the auxiliary cottages of located at the various royal tombs are acquired.
  • 1971. Royal tombstone inscription rubbings in Changgyeongwon Palace are acquired.
  • 1981. The Jangseogak collection is moved to the Academy of Korean Studies.
  • 2011. The new Jangseogak library building is open

Research on the materials of the Jangseogak Archives

Research, annotation, and construction of database of the documents produced by the royal family and scholar-officials of Joseon, as well as consistent and systematic in-depth research of these materials retaining higher academic value

Donation and entrustment

Search and surveys of classical literature, its collectors and locations across the country, and effective management and research of the donated and entrusted items of classical literature

Education and popularization

Annual presentation of special exhibitions to promote Korean Studies and the opening of specialized lectures under the titles “Open Jangseogak”, “Jangseogak Classic Documents Reading Workshop”, and “Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop”

Conservation treatment and management of classical books and documents

Establishment of the infrastructure for the research of the Jangseogak Archives collection based on the creation of the conservation environment for written or printed materials, scientific conservation, such as emergency preservation and reproduction of copies, effective management of classical literature in the AKS collection, and production of digital images and microfilms.

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